If you registered to vote by mail, you must vote in person in the first Tennessee election in which you vote. If you registered in person, you may vote absentee in your first election.

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Tennessee absentee ballot deadlines

  • In Person: 7 days before Election Day.
  • By Mail: Received 7 days before Election Day.
  • Online:
  • Voted ballots are due: Election Day.

Tennessee absentee ballot rules

You may vote by absentee ballot in Tennessee if:
  • you will be outside the county of registration during the early voting period and all day on Election Day;
  • you or your spouse are enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited college or university outside the county of registration;
  • 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 place;
  • you are hospitalized, ill, or physically disabled and because of such condition, cannot vote in person;
  • you are the caretaker of a person who is hospitalized, ill, or disabled;
  • you are a candidate for office in the election;
  • you serve as an Election Day official or as a member or employee of Election Day commission;
  • you will be observing a religious holiday which 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 Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and you certify that you will be working outside the state or county of registration during the early voting period and all day on Election Day;
  • you are a member of the military or an overseas citizen;
  • a licensed physician has filed a statement with the county election commission stating that, in the physician's judgment, you are medically unable to vote in person. The statement must be filed not less than five (5) days before Election Day and signed under the penalty of perjury;
  • you reside in a licensed facility providing relatively permanent domiciliary care, other than a penal institution, outside the voter's county of residence.
If you are one of the last two, you can apply to be a permanent absentee voter.

Tennessee absentee ballot directions

  1. Use our Absentee Ballot Tool to prepare your application.
  2. Sign and date the form. This is very important!
  3. Return your completed application to your Local Election Office as soon as possible. We'll provide the mailing address for you.
  4. All Local Election Offices will accept mailed or hand-delivered forms. If it's close to the deadline, call and see if your Local Election Office will let you fax or email the application.
  5. Make sure your application is received by the deadline. Your application must actually arrive by this time -- simply being postmarked by the deadline is insufficient.
  6. Please contact your Local Election Office if you have any further questions about the exact process.

Once you receive your ballot...

  1. Once you receive the ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions.
  2. Sign and date where indicated.
  3. Mail your voted ballot back to the address indicated on the return envelope. (You may not hand-deliver your voted absentee ballot.)
  4. Your voted ballot must arrive by the deadline or it will not be counted.