Tennessee  

Voting Guide

Voter Registration Deadline: 30 days before Election Day

2020

  • Voter Registration Deadline for Presidential Primary Election: February 3

  • Presidential Primary Election: March 3

  • Voter Registration Deadline for Partisan Primary (Other Offices): July 7

  • Partisan Primary (Other Offices): August 6

  • Voter Registration Deadline for General Election: October 5

  • General Election: November 3

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.

 

Students attending college may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered or register at their permanent or home address.

 

You may only be registered and vote in one location.

Tennessee’s voter registration form asks for your full 9-digit Social Security Number. If you are registering to vote for the first time in Tennessee and you submit the registration form by mail (not in person at the county election commission office), you will need to submit a copy of one of the following forms of ID with your registration form or present the physical ID at the polls. Acceptable forms of ID for first-time mail-in registrants include:

  1. a current photo identification with the voter’s name and photo (with or without an address); or

  2. a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the voter’s name and address.

 

Some forms of ID may simultaneously satisfy this requirement as well as the photo ID requirement below, like a current Tennessee driver’s license, but an expired photo ID will NOT satisfy the first-time mail-in registrant requirement.

Voters must show a government-issued photo ID when voting in person at the polls either early or on Election Day. If you’re casting an absentee ballot in Tennessee, you do NOT have to provide a copy of your photo ID. If this is your first time voting since registering in Tennessee, you must vote in person. Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • Current or expired Tennessee driver license with a photo;

  • Current or expired U.S. passport;

  • Current or expired free photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security;

  • Current or expired photo ID issued by the federal or Tennessee state government;

  • Current or expired employee ID cards issued by the federal or Tennessee state government, including retired state government employee photo ID cards and IDs issued by public universities to faculty and employees;

  • Current or expired U.S. military photo ID; or

  • Current or expired Tennessee gun permit card with a photo.

 

Student IDs, even those from public colleges, are NOT acceptable forms of ID.   If you do not have a qualifying photo ID, you will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot. But you will then have to provide a qualifying photo ID to election officials within two business days for your vote to be counted.

Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at: tnmap.tn.gov/voterlookup/

By Mail

  • Voters may cast an absentee ballot by mail in Tennessee only if they register to vote in person or have voted before in Tennessee. If you’re a student, you must be attending school outside of your county of registration or have another reason for being outside of your county of registration during the early voting period and Election Day to be eligible to vote absentee by mail.

  • Applications for absentee ballots must be mailed, emailed or faxed to your county election commission office so that they are received by 7 days before Election Day.

  • An absentee ballot must be returned by mail so that your county election commission receives it by the closing of the polls on Election Day. You cannot hand deliver it.

 

Early In-Person

  • Early in person voting is usually available starting 20 days before an election and ends 5 days before an election.

 

Election Day

  • Voting sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time then you must be allowed to vote.

Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:

  • Federal Financial Aid

    • Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA

  • Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes

    • Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes

  • Tuition Status

    • Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community

 

Will registering to vote in Tennessee affect my driver’s license or car registration?

  • Registering to vote establishes that you are a Tennessee resident.

Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed North Carolina legal professional.
 
Last updated March 2019