Voting Absentee

To vote absentee by mail, you must fall under one of these categories:

  • MailboxesYou will be outside Tipton 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 Tipton County
  • You reside in a licensed nursing home outside Tipton 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 cannot vote in person
  • You are a 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 an employee of the Tipton 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 Tipton 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.  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.

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.

Download the Regular Request for Absentee Ballot Here

Download the Military and Overseas Application Here

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:


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 Tipton 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: 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 have your doctor complete the Physician’s Statement.  Click here for the application.