Tennessee

Upcoming Elections

2024-02-05 – Registration Deadline (Received by)

Received by Mon Feb 5, 2024

2024-02-14 – Early Voting

From Wed Feb 14, 2024 to Tue Feb 27, 2024

2024-02-27 – Ballot Request Deadline (Submitted by)

Submitted by Tue Feb 27, 2024

2024-02-27 – Overseas Ballot Request Deadline (Received by)

Received by Tue Feb 27, 2024

2024-02-27 – Overseas Registration Deadline (Received by)

Received by Tue Feb 27, 2024

2024-03-05 – Ballot Return Deadline (Received by)

Received by Tue Mar 5, 2024 8:00PM CST

2024-03-05 – Overseas Ballot Return Deadline (Received by)

Received by Tue Mar 5, 2024 8:00PM CST

Last Updated: January 2024

Voting in Tennessee

When You Can Vote

Election Day: Polling place opening and closing times vary by county and the population of the county. Generally, polls open between 7 am and 8 am local time, and polls in the Eastern time zone close at 8 pm local time and those in the Central Time zone close at 7 pm local time. 

If you are in line before the polling location’s official closing time, you will be allowed to vote. 

Details on polling place opening and closing times are available from your county election commission. You can find your voting times and polling place by using the state Voter Registration Lookup tool or the GoVoteTN App (available for phone and computer).

Absentee voters: Voters must return their absentee ballot by mail in time for their county election commission to receive it no later than the close of polls in the county on Election Day. You must return your absentee ballot by mail (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.) to your county election commission. Hand delivery to the commission or handing it to an election official during early voting or at a polling place is not permitted.

Where You Can Vote

How to Find Your Polling Place: You can find their voting times and polling place by using the state Voter Registration Lookup tool or the GoVoteTN App (available for phone and computer), or by contacting your county election commission. Election Day Polling locations are based on your registered address.

Registering to Vote

Registration Deadlines

  • The voter registration deadline for the Tennessee Presidential Preference Primary is Received by Mon Feb 5, 2024.

How to Check Your Registration: Voters can determine whether they are registered to vote at the following link: Am I Registered?.

You are eligible to vote in Tennessee if you:

  • Are at least 18 years old by Election Day
  • Are a resident of Tennessee
  • Are a U.S. citizen
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony, or if you have, your voting rights must have been restored.

You are NOT eligible to vote in Tennessee if:

  • You were disqualified from voting due to a court order
  • You are currently serving a sentence including incarceration, parole, probation, or extended supervision for a felony conviction

Tennessee has different rules regarding felony convictions before May 18, 1981. See here for more information: https://www.usvotefoundation.org/voting-rights-restoration/tennessee

How to register 

  • Tennessee Presidential Preference Primary
    • Submit an Application: Received by Mon Feb 5, 2024

Tennessee residents can register online through the Tennessee Online Voter Registration System. A Tennessee driver’s license or Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security ID is required to register online.

Tennessee residents may download and print a Voter Registration Application, and mail the signed, completed form to their county elections commission, or hand-deliver it to their county elections commission for receipt on or before the registration deadline.

Tennessee law does not require a period of residency for voter registration, but residents must register at least 30 days before an election. Residency is a factor-based consideration. Guidelines for Determining Residency are available on the Secretary of State’s website. The registration application asks you to affirm that the address information you provide is your legal residence and that you plan to remain for an undetermined period of time.
Applicants are asked on the voter registration application to provide their address in Tennessee, but a person does not have to live in a building to register to vote. Registration instructions for homeless persons are on the Secretary of State’s website.

Voting Early & by Absentee Ballot

If You Want to Vote Absentee, requests may be made:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail
  • By Fax
  • By Email

Absentee Ballots may be returned:

  • By Mail
Tennessee Presidential Preference Primary

Ballot Request:

  • Submitted by Tue Feb 27, 2024

Ballot Return:

  • Received by Tue Mar 5, 2024 8:00PM CST

Absentee Voting By-Mail: A voter can vote absentee by-mail only if they qualify under certain categories. Voters can consult the Guide to Absentee Voting on the Secretary of State’s website to determine if they are eligible to receive an absentee by-mail ballot. The Absentee By-Mail Ballot Application is available for download from that website. Voters eligible to vote absentee, including permanent absentee voters, must apply for an absentee by-mail ballot before each election.

First time voters who registered by mail or online must appear in-person to vote unless they are a permanent absentee voter, enrolled in the Safe at Home confidentiality program, or have previously voted in the county of registration.

Voters must return their absentee ballot by mail in time for their county election commission to receive it no later than the close of polls in the county on Election Day. You must return your absentee ballot by mail (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.) to your county election commission. Hand delivery to the commission or handing it to an election official during early voting or at a polling place is not permitted.

Early Voting In Person: In Tennessee, early in person voting is available for all registered voters. The early in person voting period typically begins twenty (20) days before an election and ends five (5) days before an election. For a Presidential Preference Primary, early voting ends seven (7) days before the election. Early voting dates and times vary by county within this timeframe. You can find your early voting times and location(s) by using the state Voter Registration Lookup tool or the GoVoteTN App. Details on early voting locations and times are also available from your county election commission.

Identification Requirements

Voter Registration

To register to vote in Tennessee you should provide:

  • Your Social Security Number

Voting In-Person

In Tennessee, you need to show a valid photo ID to vote. You can use any ID from this list, even if expired:

  • Tennessee ID Card
  • Valid Federal Issued ID
  • Valid US Passport
  • Valid Tennessee Driver’s License
  • Valid ID Issued by the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security
  • Valid Military ID
  • License to Carry Concealed Weapon or Firearm

First time voters who register online or by mail, if the ID is expired, must also present one of the following: * a copy of a current utility bill * bank statement * government check * paycheck * other government document that shows the voter’s name and address

The following categories of voters are exempt from photo ID requirements for voting:

  • Voters who vote absentee by mail;
  • Voters who are residents of a licensed nursing home or an assisted living center in their county of residence and who vote at the facility; 
  • Voters who are hospitalized;
  • Voters with a religious objection to being photographed; and
  • Voters who are indigent and unable to obtain a photo ID without paying a fee. 

Any of the following IDs may be used as photo ID for voting, even if expired:

  • Tennessee driver’s license with your photo;
  • United States Passport;
  • Photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security; 
  • Photo ID issued by the federal or Tennessee state government; 
  • United States Military photo ID; and
  • Tennessee handgun carry permit with your photo.

IDs that are NOT acceptable as photo ID for voting include:

  • College student IDs; or
  • Photo IDs not issued by the federal or Tennessee state government including county or city issued photo IDs, such as library cards, and photo IDs issued by other states. 

First time voters who registered by mail or online must appear in-person to vote unless they are a permanent absentee voter, enrolled in the Safe at Home program, or have previously voted in the county of registration. If your ID is expired and you are a first-time voter who must appear in person to vote, you must also provide verification of your residential address such as:

  • A copy of a current utility bill;
  • A bank statement;
  • A government check;
  • A paycheck; or
  • Another government document that shows the voter’s name and address.

If you do not have a photo ID, you can obtain a free photo ID to use for voting from the Department of Safety and Homeland Security at any participating driver service center across the state. Further information is available on the DSHS website at Voter Photo ID.

If you do not bring an acceptable photo ID to vote in person, you can request a provisional ballot. You will then have two (2) business days after Election Day to appear at your county election commission office to show a valid photo ID. At the commission office, you will be asked to sign an affidavit and a copy of the voter’s photo ID will be made for review by the counting board.

If You Have Moved Within Tennessee

Moving Within Same County: If you moved within the same county you may, at least five (5) days before an election, submit an updated and signed voter registration form online or to your county election commission office. Additional information on How to Update your Voter Registration, including links to the online form and a downloadable form, is on the Secretary of State website. 

Alternatively, you may update your address and vote during Early Voting at any early voting location in your county. On Election Day, you can vote using a regular ballot at your new polling location after completing an affidavit. Contact your county elections commission if you are unsure of the polling place for your new address.

Moving Between Counties: If you have moved to a different county within Tennessee, your voter registration will not transfer. To vote in your new county of residence, you will need to register in your new county no later than thirty (30) days before the election.

If you are a registered Tennessee voter and move from one Tennessee county to another within ninety (90) days of an election, you may vote in person at the polling place where you are registered or during early voting in the county in which you are registered. You may not vote absentee by-mail. For all subsequent elections, you must register in the Tennessee county of your new residence.

Out of State Moves Prior to Presidential Election: For a Presidential Election only, if you are Tennessee registered voter and moved out of the state after the thirtieth (30) day before such an election and, for that reason, you do not qualify to register in your new state of residence for that election, you continue to be a registered voter but only for electors for president and vice president in the voting precinct in which you were last registered. You may vote either in person or by absentee ballot in that county.

If you are in the Military or are an Overseas Voter

Voting Military

Service members and their dependents may register and request a ballot using the federal voter registration/ballot request form (“FPCA”). You will have the following identification options when completing the form:

  • Complete Social Security Number

Voting Overseas

U.S. citizens living overseas may register and request a ballot using the overseas voter registration/ballot request form. You will have the following identification options when completing the form:

  • Complete Social Security Number

Military personnel and their family members, and overseas voters may visit How to Vote Absentee for Military and Overseas Voters on the Secretary of State’s website to confirm their eligibility for an absentee ballot under these procedures. Additional information on these procedures, including the links provided below, are on the Secretary of State’s website.

Military personnel, their spouses and dependents residing overseas who are U.S. citizens and residents of Tennessee, and qualifying individuals who are U.S. citizens currently residing overseas may request an absentee ballot by completing a Federal Post Card Application. An online version of the Federal Post Card Application is available at Register and request your absentee ballot with the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The signed application can be mailed, faxed, or emailed to the voter’s county election commission

Absentee ballot requests using the FPCA will be accepted by county election commissions starting January 1 of the year in which the election is held. If the election is less than 90 days after January 1, FPCA requests will be accepted beginning 90 days before the election. Requests using the FPCA must be received by the voter’s county election commission no later than seven (7) days before the election.

You need to submit your FPCA once per calendar year to receive absentee ballots for all applicable elections in that calendar year.

If you qualify for the FPCA and were not registered prior to requesting an absentee ballot, your application for an absentee ballot will be treated as an application for temporary registration.

Your completed absentee ballot can be returned to your county elections commission by e-mail or mail (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.). It cannot be returned by fax. Your ballot must be received by the commission by the close of polls on election day. 
If, after timely requesting an absentee ballot using the FPCA, you feel there may not be sufficient time for you to receive it and return the completed ballot to your county elections commission, you may use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. See Vote as a backup using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). The completed FWAB must be received by your county elections commission by the close of the polls on election day.

If You Have a Felony Conviction

Persons who have a felony conviction that has not been expunged may not be eligible to vote. Under Tennessee rules, a person can be ineligible to vote if that individual has any conviction of a crime that is classified as a felony in Tennessee, regardless of which court convicted the individual.

A person with a felony conviction may be eligible to have their voting rights restored.

Eligibility to have voting rights restored depends upon the crime the person was convicted of and the date of the conviction. Detailed information about eligibility to vote and how voting rights may be regained is available on the Secretary of State website at Restoration of Voting Rights.

If your felony conviction has been expunged, you may mark “No” on the voter registration form question asking if the voter has a felony conviction. See Restoration of Voting Rights for further information.
If you are incarcerated for a misdemeanor only or are awaiting trial for any charge and have not previously lost your voting rights due to a prior felony conviction, you may register to vote and request an absentee by-mail ballot.

Questions about voting in Tennessee?

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