Tennessee | Voting Guide

 
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Registration Deadlines and Election Dates

Voter Registration Deadline: 30 days before Election Day


 
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Official Election Websites
 
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Register at School or Home

Students have a decision about where to register to vote.


You have a right to register to vote at the address you consider the place where you live, whether that is your family's home or the place where you attend school. You should update your registration anytime this home address changes.


You may only be registered and vote in one location.

 
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What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?

Tennessee’s voter registration form asks for your full 9-digit Social Security Number. The online voter registration form requires a Tennessee driver's license or ID number.

 
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What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

Voters must show a government-issued photo ID when voting in person at the polls during the early voting period or on Election Day.


If this is your first time voting since registering in Tennessee, you must vote in-person unless you are on the the permanent absentee voting list or are a participant in the address confidentiality program.


Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • Tennessee driver's license with a photo;

  • U.S. passport

  • Photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security

  • Photo ID issued by the federal or Tennessee state government

  • Military photo ID

  • Tennessee handgun carry permit card with a photo.


For more information about Tennessee's voter ID requirements, please visit: https://sos.tn.gov/products/elections/what-id-required-when-voting

 
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Where Do I Vote?

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

 
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How Can I Vote?

By Mail


Tennessee requires an excuse to vote by mail. Voters who qualify to vote by mail include:


  • Full-time students at accredited colleges and universities located outside their county of registration, and their spouses

  • Voters with physical disabilities who are assigned to an inaccessible polling place

  • Military members and U.S. citizens located overseas

  • For a full list of qualifying excuses, visit: https://sos.tn.gov/products/elections/absentee-voting


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 application form is available at: https://sos-tn-gov-files.tnsosfiles.com/Absentee%20Ballot%20Request%20Form.pdf


Completed absentee ballots must be returned by mail so that they are received by the county election commission by the closing of the polls on Election Day. You cannot hand deliver it.



Early In-Person


Any registered voter may vote early in person. Early in-person voting is usually available starting 20 days before an election and ends 5 days before an election. For polling place locations and hours, visit: https://web.go-vote-tn.elections.tn.gov/.



Election Day


Polling place opening times vary by county. All polls close at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central Standard Time. If you are in line by the closing time, then you have the right to vote.

 
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Common Questions/Concerns

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?

As a new resident of Tennessee, you may have to obtain a Tennessee driver’s license and update your car’s registration, regardless of whether you register to vote there. For more information, you may wish to contact Tennessee Driver Services.

Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein to be used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Tennessee legal professional.

 

Last updated July 2021