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Justices overturn Tennessee mail vote expansion for November

The ruling restores Tennessee's excuse-based system for November, with COVID-19 related additions.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Supreme Court has overturned the option for all eligible voters to vote by mail in November due to COVID-19.

Wednesday's ruling nixes a June expansion order by a lower court that state election officials opposed. The decision came the same day voters could begin requesting absentee ballots for the general election.

It restores Tennessee’s excuse-based system for November, with COVID-19 related additions that include underlying health conditions for voters and those in their care. The justices wrote the decision doesn't impact ballots for Thursday's primary. 

Only a handful of states are not offering by-mail voting for everyone during the pandemic, though two-thirds of states allowed the practice before it.