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“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” — Plato

Voter 101 FAQ's (continued)


Who can request an absentee ballot?
Registered voters who will be unable to vote at the polls on Election Day may cast ballots by mail for the following reasons:

  • Out of the county (Shelby County)
  • Full time student or the spouse of a full time student
  • Hospitalization, sickness, or physical disability (may also be the caretaker)
  • Permanent absentee voter because of health (must have a statement from a Doctor)
  • Juror in a federal or state court
  • Observance of a religious holiday
  • Candidate for office in the election
  • 65 years of age or older

How do I request an absentee ballot?
Voter must send a written request for an Absentee Ballot to the Shelby County Election Commission office. Written requests will be accepted no earlier than 90 days prior to an election and no less than nine days before the election. The application for the Absentee Ballot must be in the Shelby County Election Commission office no less than seven days before the election.

The request (form) must include the following information:

  • Voter's name as it appears on voter registration
  •  Voter's address as it appears on voter registration
  • Social Security number or Registration number
  • Election that the voter wants to vote in
  • Reason the voter is requesting an Absentee Ballot
  • Address where the Ballot is to be mailed
  • Voter's signature

The written request for an Absentee Ballot should be mailed to:

Shelby County Election Commission
157 Poplar Avenue, Suite 109
Memphis, TN 38103-1999

Upon receipt of the request, it will be checked for completeness. If all necessary information is included, a ballot will be mailed. If the request is incomplete, an application will be mailed.

Absentee Ballot Form
Download here

How do I find out why type of voting machine will be at the precinct?
You can go here for a voting machine demo.

When do I need to re-register to vote?

  • If you have moved outside your county.
  • If you have moved within the county but fail to transfer your registration and have not voted for two November general elections
  • If you have been convicted of a felony but had your full rights restored by court order or pardon
  • If you have changed your name and also want to change your voter registration (it's your choice).

How will I receive my voter's registration card?
You will receive your voter registration card by mail within approximately 2-4 weeks of mailing or delivering your voter registration application.

How do I check the status of my voter registration?
Call the Shelby County Election Commission: 901-545-4123 or 901-545-3836
Or, go to voter lookup.

How do I get a replacement voter registration card?
Send written request to:
157 Poplar Avenue, Suite 109
Memphis, TN 38103-1999

Include the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Signature

You may also request the replacement card in person at any of the normal registration centers. If requesting the replacement card in person, you must have a driver's license or other documentation with a verifiable address.

Where can I go to vote early and what are the times?
The early voting locations, and times for each location, will be published in the media and will be available at near the time of the election. Specific times for each location will be published in the newspaper during the early voting period.

Do I have to vote at the closest site to my home when I vote early?
Voting can be done at the most convenient location.