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Absentee ballot requests open until Nov. 1

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Last day to register to vote is Oct. 11

ELECTION INTEGRITY – Tennessee voters must present a government-issued photo ID when casting a ballot in person and voting machines in the state aren’t connected to the internet. Those policies pushed Tennessee to the top of election integrity, ranking Tennessee’s election processes among the most secure in the nation, according to The Heritage Foundation.

By Sabrina Bates

The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the Nov. 8 election in Tennessee is Nov. The early-voting period for the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 19 through Nov. 3. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 11. There is a wide range of eligibility requirements for registered voters in the state to vote absentee by mail, which can be accessed at https://sos.tn.gov/elections/services/absentee-voting.
Those requesting an absentee ballot are encouraged to fill out a request form to their local election commission office, which includes the following information: Name, residential address, Social Security number, date of birth, mailing address, date of the election, reason the voter needs to vote absentee, and the voter’s signature.
A request for an absentee ballot may also be printed from the website at GoVoteTN.gov.

The request that contains the required information will be processed, and if complete and approved, a ballot will be mailed to the voter. Ballots must be returned via mail (UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc.) to the local election commission office no later than the close of polling locations on Nov. 8. To prevent absentee by-mail voter fraud, ballots are watermarked and election officials match the signature on the envelope with the one on file. Absentee by-mail ballots are not opened until Election Day and are counted by local bipartisan counting boards.

Tennessee was determined by The Heritage Foundation to have the most secure elections in the nation because of two factors. First, voters must present a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot at polling locations. Second, the Secretary of State’s office noted voting machines in Tennessee are not connected to the internet.

For more information on registering to vote, registration status, address changes and absentee ballot requests in Benton County, contact the Benton County Election Commission office at 731-584-6144 or visit the office at 113 Maple St. in Camden, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

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