Tennessee absentee and mail ballot guide
Tennessee absentee ballot overview
Absentee ballots and mail ballots are the same thing, and the process for getting one is straight forward.
- Request your ballot by the deadline
- Receive your in ballot in the mail
- Return your ballot by the deadline
Tennessee absentee deadlines
- Earliest day to apply: 90 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (online): N/A
- Request deadline (by mail): Received by 7 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (in person): 7 days before Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (by mail): Received by Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (in person): You cannot hand-deliver your mail-in ballot in Tennessee. You must put your voted ballot in the mailbox.
Tennessee absentee ballot rules
You can vote by absentee ballot in Tennessee if:
- you are 60 years of age or older
- you will be outside of your county during the early voting period and all day on Election Day
- you are a full time student outside of your county
- you reside in a nursing home or living facility outside of your county
- you serve as an Election Day official
- you will be unable to vote in person due to jury duty
- you have a physical disability and are unable to vote in person
- you are a member of the military or an overseas citizen
- you are on the permanent absentee list.
Tennessee online ballot request
Tennessee does not allow you to request your ballot online.
Tennessee by-mail ballot request
- Download the Tennessee absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Print the application.
- Sign and date your application. This is very important.
- Mail or hand-deliver your completed application directly to your local election office as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
- If it’s close to the deadline, call your local election office and see if they will let you submit your application via email or fax.
- Your application must be received by 7 days before Election Day.
Tennessee in-person ballot request
- Visit your local election office.
- Ask the clerk to give you an absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Sign and date your application.
- The deadline to apply in person is 7 days before Election Day.
After you receive your ballot
- Carefully read and follow the instructions, and fill out all required fields.
- Sign and date the outside envelope.
- Mail your ballot to your local election office.
- If you mail your ballot, it must be received by Election Day.
- If you miss the deadline – or forget to sign the outside envelope – your vote will not be counted.
Tennessee absentee ballot ID requirements
- ID required when requesting a mail-in ballot:
You must include your full social security number on your absentee ballot application.
- ID required when returning a mail-in ballot:
The signature on the return envelope will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match. If you forget to sign the return envelope, your ballot might be rejected. Additionally, if you hand-deliver your voted ballot you will need to show a government issued photo ID to the election official. Student IDs are not considered valid in Tennessee.
Tennessee absentee ballot tracker
Track your ballot here: Tennessee absentee ballot tracker
Tennessee absentee ballot curing
Ballot curing is the process of resolving any problems with your absentee or mail ballot to ensure that your vote is counted. After tracking your ballot, contact your local election office to fix any issues that have been noted.
- Your ballot will be rejected if you forget to sign it or if the signature does not match the one that the state has on file for you.
- You must make corrections by the close of polls on Election Day for your vote to count.
Tennessee emergency ballots
Some states have special procedures that allow you to obtain an emergency ballot if a medical or other emergency occurs after the standard absentee ballot application window.
Emergency Ballot Rules
You may apply for an emergency absentee ballot starting 20 days before Election Day if you are hospitalized. Your ballot must be witness by another registered voter.
You may be eligible to vote "absentee by personal appearance" between 5 days and 1 day before the election if
- there is a death in your family and you will be attending a funeral outside the county on Election Day; or
- you receive a subpoena or service of processing that requires your presence on Election Day
Dates & Deadlines
- Emergency ballot request ends before polls open on Election Day
- Emergency ballot return deadline is Election Day
Contact your local election office
Local election office
Contact your local election office if you have questions.
Statewide election office
This is the statewide agency that is ultimately responsible for Tennessee elections. You can contact them with questions, but your local election office will probably respond faster.
Coordinator of Elections Tennessee Tower, Seventh Floor 312 Rosa L. Parks Ave. Nashville, TN 37243‐1102