Voting in Tennessee
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|Voting policy in the United States|
| State poll times (2015) |
| Voting in the 2015 primary elections |
| Voting in the 2015 general elections |
|Voter identification laws by state|
|Voting information by state|
- 1 Registration
- 2 Voting on Election Day
- 3 Absentee voting
- 4 Early voting
- 5 Election policy ballot measures
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
For full information about voting in Tennessee, contact the state election agency.
To vote in Tennessee, you must meet the following requirements:
—Tennessee Secretary of State
When and where
You can register to vote by completing a Voter Registration Application and mailing it to your county election commission. You can also register in person at one of the following locations:
—Tennessee Secretary of State
Registration must be completed 30 days prior to an election.
As of April 2015, Tennessee is one of 30 states that have not implemented full online voter registration.
Voting on Election Day
- See also: Voter identification laws by state
At polling places, voters must present government-issued photo identification. Valid forms of ID do not include student ID cards from state universities.
Tennessee's voter ID law has been scrutinized by several courts. On September 26, 2012, a judge ruled that Tennessee's voter ID law did not violate the state constitution. On October 25, 2012, the Court of Appeals also upheld Tennessee's voter ID law, though the court did issue an order requiring state officials to accept Memphis library cards as government-issued photo identification. State officials announced plans to appeal this part of the ruling, arguing that library IDs were not valid because they were not issued by the state government. On February 6, 2013, the Tennessee Supreme Court was asked to decide whether the state’s voter ID law deprived citizens of the right to vote, if safeguards should be implemented to prevent election fraud and if a city-issued photo library card could qualify as proper identification. On April 24, 2013, Governor Bill Haslam signed into law a bill that required voters to present photo identification issued by the state of Tennessee or the United States, which rendered library cards and photo identification issued by other states invalid. However, the Tennessee Supreme Court ordered that Memphis Public Library photo IDs be accepted until the court's final ruling. In August 2013, before the Tennessee Supreme Court issued its final ruling, the Tennessee Green Party filed a federal lawsuit challenging Tennessee's voter ID law. The Tennessee Green Party argued that the law was unconstitutional and unfair to minority voters. The Tennessee Supreme Court issued its final ruling on the voter ID law on October 17, 2013, upholding the law and allowing the legislature to block the use of library cards as identification.
- See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times
In Tennessee, most polling places are open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. All precincts close at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and 7:00 p.m. Central. The polls must be open a minimum of 10 hours and may be open for a maximum of 13 hours.
Tennessee is split between Eastern and Central time zones.
- See also: Absentee voting
Voters are eligible to vote absentee in an election if they cannot make it to the polls on Election Day for one of the following reasons:
—Tennessee Secretary of State
To vote absentee a request must be received by the county election commission no earlier than 90 days and no later than seven days prior to the election. The ballot must then be returned by close of polls on Election Day.
Military and overseas voting
For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.
- See also: Early voting
Tennessee is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 20 days before Election Day and ends five days prior. The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.
Election policy ballot measures
elections and campaigns
|Not on ballot|
Ballotpedia has tracked no ballot measures relating to election and campaign policy in Tennessee
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Tennessee voting."
- Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.
Elections in Tennessee
- Tennessee elections, 2016
- Tennessee elections, 2015
- Tennessee elections, 2014
- Tennessee elections, 2013
- Tennessee elections, 2012
- Tennessee Secretary of State, "Voter Qualifications," accessed June 4, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Tennessee Secretary of State, "Register to Vote," accessed June 4, 2014
- Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, "Voter Photo ID," accessed June 4, 2014
- The Tennessean, "Judge rejects challenge to Voter ID law," September 26, 2012
- Reuters, "Tennessee judge tosses challenge to state voter ID law," September 27, 2012
- Associated Press, "Tenn. to appeal voter ID ruling over library card," October 25, 2012
- The Tennessean, "TN Supreme Court hears voter ID case," February 7, 2013
- Associated Press, "Governor signs voter ID measure," April 24, 2013 (dead link)
- WREG, "Changes Made To Tennessee Voter ID Policy," April 25, 2013
- The Tennessean, "Green Party sues over voter ID law," August 26, 2013
- WBIR.com, "TN Supreme Court upholds voter ID law," October 17, 2013
- vote411.org, "Voting in Tennessee," accessed January 3, 2014
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
- Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
- Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
- Tennessee Secretary of State, "Absentee Voting," accessed December 16, 2013
- Tennessee Secretary of State, "Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013
State of Tennessee
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