Overseas & Military Absentee
Military and US citizens outside the country who are residents of the state of Tennessee (Guidelines for Determining Residency), reside at or have previously resided at an address within Rutherford County, and will be outside of the county during Early Voting and on Election Day may apply to vote by mail.
(Not a TN resident? Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program to learn more about requesting absentee ballots from your state.)
How Do I Apply To Vote By Mail?
You must submit a completed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) Form 76 to the Rutherford County Election Commission. You may mail, fax or email the completed form to the office. If emailing the document, the Form 76 must be completed, signed, then scanned and attached to an email. A simple email requesting a ballot is not sufficient to serve as the application.
Tips for Completing the FPCA
• You may also choose the way you receive your ballot (#6), if choosing to have your ballot emailed to you, you must be able to print the ballot emailed to you and email or mail it back to us. Otherwise, if you choose the mailing option, all ballot information will be mailed to the address listed in Section 8.
• You must sign the application yourself. Powers of Attorney are not honored for election purposes.
• Your Voting Residence Address (#7) is your most recent address within Rutherford County. You do not need to currently own or lease this place of residence. This information will be used to precinct you.
• Your Current Address (#8) is the address where you will be able to receive mail during the two months preceding the election. This address must be outside of Rutherford County. You do not need to list a Forwarding Address (#9).
• If you are applying for ballots for Primary elections, you must list a Political Party Preference (#2). This information will determine which party's ballots you will receive. If you do not list a party preference, you will be mailed ballots for general elections only.
• Don’t worry about having a witness sign your FPCA; Tennessee law does not require this.
• Tennessee law also requires that you list your full SSN (#4).
• Call or e-mail the Election office after a reasonable amount of time to confirm that they have received your FPCA.
Who Is Eligible To Use an FPCA?
You may apply for absentee ballots using an FPCA if you are: • A member of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine on active duty, or an eligible spouse or dependent;
• A U.S. citizen residing outside of the U.S. temporarily; or
• A U.S. citizen residing outside of the U.S. indefinitely.
Do I Need To Be Registered To Vote To Use an FPCA?
No, you do not need to be a registered voter to request ballots with an FPCA. An FPCA will temporarily register you strictly for the purpose of voting by mail. If you will be physically present within Rutherford County during an election, you will not be eligible to vote by mail using an FPCA. In that case, you will need to Permanently Register at least thirty (30) days prior to Election Day.
When Should I Submit My Completed FPCA?
Generally, the Election Commission will accept your completed FPCA from January 1 of the year in which the election will take place through seven (7) days before the election. However, if the election in question will be held less than ninety (90) days after January 1, the Election Commission will accept your completed FPCA as early as (90) days before the election and as late as seven (7) days before the election.
** Please keep in mind that voting by mail takes some time. The Election Commission must mail your ballot to you, you must complete and return your ballot by mail, and the Election Commission must receive your completed ballot on or before Election Day for your vote to count (an election-day postmark is not sufficient). Please plan the timing of your request accordingly.
Do I Need to Submit an FPCA For Every Election?
The voter will receive an absentee ballot for all regularly scheduled elections for the calendar year in which the request (Form 76) is submitted. The Form 76 will expire on December 31 of each election year. A new Form 76 will need to be submitted for each calendar year in which you wish to vote in an election.
What Should I Do If My Mailing Address Changes?
FVAP - Click here to the Federal Voting Assistance Program
You are responsible for keeping your mailing address up-to-date with the Election office.
If your mailing address has changed since the time that you submitted your FPCA or will change between now and the next election, please submit a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) Form 76 with your updated mailing address as soon as possible.
What if I do not receive my ballot?
• After timely requesting an official absentee ballot and you have not received it, or you do not feel that there will be a sufficient amount of time to receive and then return the voted ballot you can then use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).
• To obtain the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) go to fvap.gov or see your unit voting officer.
• Note: If both ballots are received prior to the close of the polls on Election Day, the County Election Commission will count the official ballot it provided to the voter.
What if I do not provide all of the information required on the by-mail ballot application?
• The county election commission will reject the application and notify the voter by mail. The voter can then correctly complete a new application and re-apply.