Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle has issued an order in an ongoing legal battle over the state’s voting access during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under her order, the Tennessee Secretary of State must update the absentee ballot application form to include clear information about how voters with special vulnerabilities of COVID-19 and their caretakers can request absentee ballots.

Hargett has already added that information to the request form, and now, in addition to the options that were included previously, the form includes the following options:

  • I am hospitalized, ill or physically disabled and unable to appear at my polling place to vote (this includes persons who have underlying medical or health conditions which in their determination render them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or at greater risk should they contract it).
  • I am a caretaker of a hospitalized, ill or physically disabled person (this includes caretakers for persons who have underlying medical or health conditions which in their determination render them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or at greater risk should they contract it).

Absentee ballot request forms are available at www.coffeecountyelectioncommission.com and www.govotetn.com, or at the Coffee County Election Commission office, located at 1329 McArthur St. in Manchester.

“The request can be hand delivered, mailed, faxed or emailed back to the Election Commission,” said Andy Farrar, administrator of elections for Coffee County. “After the request has been made and verified by the Election Commission, a ballot will be mailed out with instructions on how to fill out the ballot and how to return the ballot. Ballots for the November election will not be ready until mid-September. All absentee ballots must be returned by mail; they cannot be dropped off at the Election Commission office.”

Voters can request absentee ballots until Oct. 27.

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