Home National news Get ready for the August Election and consider absentee voting by mail this year

Get ready for the August Election and consider absentee voting by mail this year

by Cass Teague

Due to coronovirus concerns, voters are encouraged to request an absentee ballot.

With the COVID-19 crisis unresolved, and the anticipation that 2020 elections will proceed as scheduled, advocates are urging voters to consider absentee voting by mail.

“It’s a surefire way to avoid the potential for disaster if you wait until the election nears and get stuck in a long line with potentially sick people all around you, either at the early voting or election days polls. This is especially true for voters over the age of 60,” said Cass Teague, a local voting advocate.

The first day to submit a request for an absentee ballot for the August 6 election is Friday, May 8, 2020.
According to reports, “More than 50 people who voted in person or worked the polls during Wisconsin’s election earlier this month have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

“Military personnel around the globe have been voting by mail for decades, so, seriously, how hard can it be? It’s relatively easy to do, and it supports our US Postal Service,” said Teague.

While the Election Commission main office is open with limited staff, their satellite office at Howard School is Closed until further notice, as of March 23. In support of Mayor Cooper’s Safer at Home Executive Order to protect Nashvillians and slow the spread of COVID-19, the Davidson County Election Commission Main Office, located at 1417 Murfreesboro Pike, is open with limited staff and their Satellite Office is closed until further notice.

With most staff members are working remotely, the commission is asking that you call 615-862-8800 or email them at vote.questions@nashville.gov and they will respond as soon as possible. A Tennessee or Federally-issued photo ID is required to vote. The new REAL ID is not required.

With many Nashvillians sheltering at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, now is a great time to prepare for upcoming elections by registering to vote or updating address / name information. The Davidson County Election Commission encourages voters to act now, as everything may be handled without ever leaving home. Voters may register online at GoVoteTN.com, a fast, secure, convenient option. Addresses and name changes due to marriage or divorce may also be updated using the online system.

To register, you must be a Davidson County resident, a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old on or before August 6, and must not have been convicted of a felony OR have had your voting rights restored. A Tennessee Driver License or Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security ID is required to submit an application online. If you do not have either ID, you will be able to print your completed form and submit by mail.

“There’s no time like the present to prepare for our upcoming elections,” said Jeff Roberts, Davidson County administrator of elections. “Registering or updating online will take only a few minutes and is a great stay at home activity.”

About Absentee voting

Absentee voting is a voting method that involves voting on a day earlier than the actual election day.

Tennessee has two forms of absentee voting: Absentee in person, which is better known as early voting, and Absentee by mail, which is commonly called by-mail voting. A registered voter may request an application for a by-mail ballot no earlier than ninety (90) days before the election and no later than seven (7) days before the election. To be processed for the next election, the application must be received by the election commission no later than seven (7) days before the election.

Read more about Absentee Voting at either the Metro Election Commission website or the Tennessee Secretary of State – Division of Elections website, or contact the Absentee / Early Voting Department at 615-862-8815 or moaballot@nashville.gov

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