Absentee Voting FAQs

When can I request the ballot and when is the ballot due?
All requests must be in writing and must be signed by the voter. Requests will be accepted no earlier than 90 days prior to an election and no fewer than seven days before an election.
Absentee ballots will be accepted until 7 p.m. on Election Day.  Any ballot received after 7 p.m. on Election Day will be rejected.
Absentee ballots must be delivered by the USPS, FedEx, UPS or a courier service. They cannot be hand delivered, faxed, or emailed.
 
When are ballots mailed?
Mailing of Military and Overseas Citizen ballots begins 45 days prior to a Federal election. Other requests follow and will start being mailed no later than 30 days prior to an election.
 
Why must I state a reason for obtaining an absentee ballot?
Tennessee state law requires that a reason be provided when an absentee ballot is requested.  
 
Why must I include my entire social security number?       
Tennessee state law requires your complete SSN for identification purposes.
 
I am going to be out of town, can you just mail it to me before I leave?
If you select the “outside of Shelby County” reason on your absentee ballot application, the ballot can be mailed to a local address but only if you will be out of town during the entire Early Voting period as well as on Election Day.
 
I am a student going away to college, can I vote absentee?
Yes, the ballot can be mailed to you as long as you have registered in person or have voted in person. This is a very important step that is often overlooked.
 
Why do I have to choose a party in a primary election?
In a primary election, members from each party decide what candidate they want to represent them in the general election that will occur a few months after the primary. You will need to tell us if you want a Republican or Democratic ballot.  These are the two choices currently available.  If you don’t select one, you will only receive a general ballot, and will not be able to vote for candidates who are running for office based on their political affiliation.  
 
Do I have to request an absentee ballot for each election?
Yes, each request is only good for one election.  You will need to complete a new request prior to each election unless you qualify as a military or overseas voter.
 
What steps must I take to vote if I am in the military or a civilian living overseas?
Please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website at: www.FVAP.gov for more information and forms to complete.
 
My health makes it difficult for me to go to the polls to vote, how can I become a Permanent Absentee Voter?
You will need to complete a simple form have your doctor complete the Physician’s Statement.  Click here for the application.
 
How do I contact the Absentee Voting Department?
Call:  901-222-6800
 

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