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Tennesseans divided over issue of universal vote-by-mail or absentee ballot


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  A new poll shows Tennesseans fairly evenly divided over the question of allowing all registered voters the option of voting by mail or absentee ballot in this year’s elections.

It has been suggested that voting by mail could help prevent or reduce the spread of coronavirus at polling stations. However, the issue has taken on a partisan tone. President Trump and many Republicans oppose the idea. Many Democrats favor it. 

A poll out this week by East Tennessee State University suggests 43 percent of Tennesseans favor universal vote-by-mail, while 46 percent oppose the idea. Those results fall within the poll’s margin of error and so are essentially a statistical tie.

The ETSU poll finding suggests Tennesseans are out of step with the rest of the nation on this issue. ETSU pollsters note that a recent nationwide Gallup Poll on the subject found that 64 percent of respondents favor “allowing all voters to vote by mail or absentee ballot in this year’s presidential election.” Thirty-four percent were opposed.

According to the Tennessee 2020 Election Calendar, state resident go to the polls next on August 6 for State and Federal Primary and State and County General Elections.

The period for requesting an absentee ballot is currently open and will close on July 30. Use these links to learn more about voting by mail and voting absentee.

You can review the complete ETSU poll results here.

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