How Absentee Voting in Tennessee is Different This Year

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Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) – The election in November will be different because of the COVID-19 pandemic. How Tennesseans will be able to vote has been debated, specifically absentee voting.

House Speaker Cameron Sexton, “We thought we had a very good process which allow people over 60 to vote and if you had certain illnesses or sicknesses you could vote by absentee. It seems the courts are trying to transpose that and move it to allow same day registration, same day voting which calls in question a lot the integrity of the election.”

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A recently issued U.S. District Court order allows first-time voters to vote by-mail under certain circumstances.

House Speaker Cameron Sexton made a stop in Chattanooga Monday.

We asked him if there are any concerns over absentee voting.

House Speaker Cameron Sexton, “We passed voter ID in the state of Tennessee not to suppress anybody’s right to vote, but to make sure we protected the integrity of the system. So as you’re looking at absentee ballot you also have to protect the integrity of it and I think those are some concerns that we have as people are trying to move in that direction.”

First-time voters and regular voters can vote by mail if they are eligible.

This includes people who might be more susceptible to contracting COVID-19.

So, if you have an underlying medical or health condition making you susceptible to getting the virus or if you’re a caretaker of someone who is, you can vote by-mail.

The state links to the CDC for a list of underlying health conditions which includes cancer, obesity and pregnancy.

Folks must apply for an absentee ballot no later than October 27th.