Voting Absentee

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Pursuant to the September 9, 2020 Order of the U.S. District Court, first-time voters are not required to vote in-person if they meet a legal reason to vote by-mail.  Legal reasons are listed below.   First-time voters may be required to include a copy of ID with their ballot.  Instructions will be sent with the ballots.
 
SPECIAL INFORMATION about absentee voting and COVID-19:
  1. If an individual has an illness, physical disability or other underlying health condition that makes them especially vulnerable to COVID-19, and who, because of that condition is unable to appear at the polling place and instead wishes to vote absentee, that otherwise eligible individual may vote absentee my mail.
  2. If an individual is a caretaker of someone who has a special vulnerability to COVID-19 because he or she is ill, physically disabled or has an underlying health condition, that otherwise eligible caretaker voter may vote absentee by mail.
  3. Whether that illness or physical disability creates a special vulnerability should be determined by the voter using guidance from the CDC and common sense as to the voter's other activities in public.  Please visit the Center for Disease Control website for guidance.  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-estra-precautions/people-at-increased-risk.html
  4. A voter is not required to submit a physician's statement in support of their determination as to their special vulnerability.
 
To vote absentee by mail, you must fall under one of these categories:
  • You will be outside Shelby County during the entire early voting period and all day on Election Day
  • You or your spouse is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited college or university outside Shelby County
  • You reside in a licensed nursing home outside Shelby County
  • You will be unable to vote in person due to service as a juror for a Federal or State court
  • You are sixty (60) years of age or older
  • You have a physical disability and an inaccessible polling location
  • 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.
  • You are a candidate for office in the election
  • You serve as an Election Day official or as an employee of the Shelby County Election Commission
  • Your observance of a religious holiday prevents you from voting in person during the early voting period and on Election Day
  • You or your spouse possess a valid commercial drivers’ license (CDL) or you possess a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card , and certify that you will be working outside Tennessee or Shelby County during the open hours of early voting and Election Day, and have no specific out-of-county or out-of-state address to which mail may be sent or received during such time.
  • You are a member of the military or are an overseas citizen. Learn more about military and overseas citizen absentee voting
 
Under Tennessee law, once you have requested an absentee ballot, you cannot vote in person for that election except by provisional ballot.  Applications cannot be processed if they are received more than ninety (90) days before an election.  Applications must be received no later than seven (7) days before an election.   Even though that is the legal deadline,  waiting until 7 days prior to the election will make it nearly impossible  to receive your ballot and mail it back before the deadline.
 
Notice to voters using US mail service: the USPS delivery standards changed in 2016 so that First Class delivery went from 1-3 days to 2-5 days and Standard delivery is now 2-9 days.   Please request your ballot as early as possible. 
 
The first day that you can request an absentee ballot is listed on the form below.  
 
If you live in the Shelby County, click here for an absentee ballot application. 
 
 
 
Permanent Absentee Voters
 
To become a Permanent Absentee Voter and automatically have a Request for Absentee Ballot application sent to you before every election, you must:
 
Questions?  Contact our Absentee Department at (901) 222-6800 or absenteevoting@shelbycountytn.gov

 

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