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Tennessee vote by mail guide

Tennessee vote by mail deadlines

  • Earliest day to apply: August 5, 2020
  • Request your mail-in ballot (online): N/A
  • Request your mail-in ballot (by mail): Received by October 27, 2020
  • Request your mail-in ballot (in person): Received by October 27, 2020
  • Return your mail-in ballot (by mail): Received by November 3, 2020
  • Return your mail-in ballot (in person): N/A

Tennessee vote by mail rules

You will need to provide an excuse to vote by mail in Tennessee, but 100% of eligible voters can use COVID-19 as an excuse. It is up to the voter to determine their eligibility and no physician’s note is required. You can select 1 of 2 options:

  • You are hospitalized, ill or physically disabled and unable to appear at your polling place to vote (this includes persons who have underlying medical or health conditions which in their determination render them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or at greater risk should they contract it). For a list of underlying health conditions that makes a person more susceptible, see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html. A physician’s statement is not required to check this box.
  • You are the caretaker of a person who is hospitalized, ill, or disabled (this includes caretakers for persons who have underlying medical or health conditions which in their determination render them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or at greater risk should they contract it). For a list of underlying health conditions that makes a person more susceptible, see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html. A physician’s statement is not required to check this box.

Usually first time voters may only vote in person. A recent district court case ruled that first time voters may vote by mail for the November 3, 2020 election.


Tennessee vote by mail ID requirements

  • Tennessee voters must include their full social security number to request a ballot.
  • You do not need ID when you return a voted ballot.

Tennessee vote by mail directions

In almost all cases, you will need to sign up to vote by mail. The state won’t just mail you a ballot. Don't worry: we will walk you through it. There are only a handful of steps:

  1. You submit an application to vote by mail
  2. Your local election office processes your application
  3. Your local election office sends your ballot to you
  4. You vote using the ballot and return it by the deadline

Apply to vote by mail

  1. Download the Tennessee vote by mail application.
  2. Fill out all of the required fields.
  3. Print the form.
  4. Sign and date your form. This is very important.
  5. Mail or hand-deliver your completed form directly to your local election office as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
  6. If it’s close to the deadline, call your Local Election Office and see if they will let you submit your form via email or fax.
  7. The deadline to apply by mail is: received by October 27, 2020

Apply to vote by mail in person

  1. Visit your Local Election Office.
  2. Ask the clerk to give you an absentee ballot application.
  3. Fill out all of the required fields.
  4. Sign and date your application.
  5. The deadline to apply in person is: received by October 27, 2020

How to vote by mail

  1. Carefully read and follow the instructions.
  2. Fill out all of the required fields.
  3. Sign and date the outside envelope.
  4. Mail or hand-deliver your ballot to your Local Election Office.
  5. Your ballot must be received by the deadline or it will not be counted.

Two important things to note:

  1. The Local Election Office will compare your signature on your voted ballot to the one on your driver’s license and on your voter registration form to make sure they match. So please sign carefully.
  2. The post office will deliver your ballot even if you don’t have a stamp as long as you use the return envelope provided by your state. This envelope will say “official election mail.” The USPS will always deliver official election mail -- no stamp needed.

Questions? Need help?

Contact your local elections office if you have any questions about voting by mail in Tennessee.

Statewide election office

Coordinator of Elections
Tennessee Tower, Seventh Floor
312 Rosa L. Parks Ave.
Nashville, TN 37243‐1102