Tennessee Voter Registration Information

State

VOTER REGISTRATION

Registration Deadline: You must register 30 days prior to the election. Registration in person depends on the office hours of each county elections office. Mail-in applications must be postmarked no later than 30 days prior to the elections.

Party Affiliation: Tennessee has an open primary system, no party registration is required to vote in the primary elections.


VOTER REGISTRATION QUALIFICATIONS

Age: Must be 18 years or older before the date of the election

Citizenship: Must be a United States citizen

Residency: Must be a resident of Tennessee. View Guidelines for Determining Residency.

Mental Competency: The right to vote may be removed from a mentally incompetent person under guardianship. The court must remove this right explicitly.

Felony Convictions: Must not have been convicted of a felony, or if you have, your full rights of citizenship must have been restored (or you must have received a pardon). View Restoration of Voting Rights.

ID Requirements: You must provide a current photo identification with voter's name and photo or if the photo identifiction is expired, the voter must also present one of the following: a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the voter's name and address.


OBTAINING A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM

Online: Tennessee Mail-In Application For Voter Registration

In person: Register in person at:

   - County Clerk’s Offices
   - County Election Commission Office
   - Department of Health (WIC program),
   - Department of Human Services,
   - Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation,
   - Department of Safety (motor vehicles division)
   - Department of Veteran’s Affairs
   - Public Libraries
   - Register of Deeds Offices

By mail/ in writing: Download and complete the voter registration application and mail it to your county election commission.


VERIFYING YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS

Online: Voter Registration Verification

Phone: Contact your local county election commission office for additional information.


ABSENTEE BALLOT QUALIFICATIONS

Who can vote absentee:
To vote by mail, a registered voter must fall under one of the following categories:
   -The voter will be outside the county of registration during the early voting period and all day on election day;
   -The voter or the voter’s spouse is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited college or university outside the county of registration;
   -The voter’s licensed physician has filed a statement with the county election commission stating that, in the physician's judgment, the voter is medically unable to vote in person. The statement must be filed not less than five (5) days before the election and signed under the penalty of perjury;
   -The voter resides in a licensed facility providing relatively permanent domiciliary care, other than a penal institution, outside the voter's county of residence;
   -The voter will be unable to vote in person due to service as a juror for a federal or state court;
   -The voter is sixty-five (65) years of age or older;
   -The voter has a physical disability and an inaccessible polling place;
   -The voter is hospitalized, ill, or physically disabled and because of such condition, cannot vote in person;
   -The voter is a caretaker of a person who is hospitalized, ill, or disabled;
   -The voter is a candidate for office in the election;
   -The voter serves as an election day official or as a member or employee of the election commission;
   -The voter’s observance of a religious holiday prevents him or her from voting in person during the early voting period and on election day;
   -The voter possesses a valid commercial driver license and certifies that he or she will be working outside the state or county of registration during the early voting period and all day on election day;
   -The voter is a member of the military or is an overseas citizen. 

Other absentee voter qualifications: To vote in person absentee, better known as early voting, a voter need not give an excuse.


OBTAINING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT

Online: To request a by-mail absentee ballot, fax or email with an attached document which includes a scanned signature the following information directly to your local county election commission office: 
   1. Name of the registered voter
   2. Address of the voter's residence
   3. Voter's social security number
   4. Address to mail the ballot outside the county (this applies only when the reason for voting by mail involves that the voter will be outside of the county during early voting and on election day)
   5. The election the voter wishes to participate in. If the election involves a primary, the political party in which the voter wishes to participate
   6. Reason the voter wishes to vote absentee
   7. Voter's signature
  A request that contains this information will be processed and a ballot will be mailed to the voter.

In Person: In person absentee voting is also known as early voting.

By mail: To request a by-mail absentee ballot, mail the following information directly to your local county election commission office:
   1. Name of the registered voter
   2. Address of the voter's residence
   3. Voter's social security number
   4. Address to mail the ballot outside the county (this applies only when the reason for voting by mail involves that the voter will be outside of the county during early voting and on election day)
   5. The election the voter wishes to participate in. If the election involves a primary, the political party in which the voter wishes to participate
   6. Reason the voter wishes to vote absentee
   7. Voter's signature
  A request that contains this information will be processed and a ballot will be mailed to the voter.

Military and overseas voting: Tennessee Military and Overseas Voting Information

Emergency Voting: The county election commission may designate emergency registrars who shall have the responsibility of supplying ballots to and receiving ballots from persons who have been hospitalized in their county of residence within twenty days of an election when such persons will be unable to vote in person on election day. A registered voter eligible to request not more than twenty days before the election and no later than the opening of the polls on election day. (T.C.A. 2-6-401)

Other absentee ballot information: A registered voter may request an application for by-mail ballot no earlier than ninety days before the election and no later than seven days before the election. To be processed for the next election, the application must be received by the election commission no later than seven days before the election.


SUBMITTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT

Location and time: The county election commission must receive the ballot by mail no later than the close of polls on election day. Once the election commission issues an absentee by-mail ballot to a voter, the voter can only vote by mail. The by-mail ballot must be received by the county election commission office through the postal mail only, hand-delivered by-mail ballots are not accepted.


EARLY VOTING

Early voting qualifications: Early voting is available and no excuse is required. Registered voters are not required to complete an application to vote early.

Other information for early voting: To vote as an early voter, a registered voter may vote without giving a reason during the established early voting period. The early voting period typically begins twenty (20) days before an election and ends five (5) days before an election. For details regarding times and early voting locations, contact your county election commission office.


QUALIFICATIONS

Verifying Registration: Voter Registration Verification

Deciding how to vote:
http://www.votesmart.org/

Time off to vote: Employees who begin their work day less than 3 hours after polls open and finish less than 3 hours before polls close are entitled to up to 3 hours paid leave to vote. The employee must request leave by noon the day before Election Day. The employer can set the time for leave to vote.

Polling Place: Polling Place Lookup

ID Requirements:
Tennessee Voter ID Requirements
  Summary of New Voter ID Law:
http://www.tn.gov/sos/election/111031%20Photo%20ID%20Handout.pdf
  Beginning January 1, 2012, all voters must present an ID containing the voter’s name and photograph when voting at the polls, whether voting early or on Election Day.

How to Vote: Voting Machine Demos

Problems with voting: Tennessee HAVA Election Complaint Forms and Info

Verifying provisional ballot status: The provisional ballot can be considered valid unless the administrator notifies the voter by mail of the provisional ballot rejection and the reason for such rejection. A list of all rejected ballots shall be made whereby the Administrator of Elections shall mail notices of rejection to the voter.

Verifying absentee ballot status: Contact your Local County Clerk