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Tennessee Voter Registration Information

Friday, December 9, 2011

Presidential Primary Election
March 6, 2012

Presidential Primary Election Voter Registration Deadline
February 6, 2012

Primary Statewide Election
August 2, 2012

Primary Statewide Election Voter Registration Deadline
July 7, 2012

General Election
November 6, 2012

General Election Voter Registration Deadline
October 9, 2012

Voter Registration and Eligibility
In order to participate in an election, a qualified voter must be properly registered no later than 30 days before the election. The election commission office will process any by-mail voter registration form that has been postmarked at least 30 days before the election.


To register to vote in the state of Tennessee, an individual must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be a resident of Tennessee, view guidelines for determining residency here.
  • Be at least 18 years old on/before the next election
  • Must have full rights of citizenship restored if convicted of a felony or have received a pardon. 

View Restoration of Voting Rights.


Registering in Person:
Registration forms may be completed at the local County Election Commission Office, Department of Safety (motor vehicles division), Department of Health (WIC program), Department of Human Services, Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Department of Veteran’s Affairs, public libraries, County Clerk’s Offices, and register of Deed’s Offices.

Registering by Mail:
Voter registration-by-mail forms may be obtained from the County Elections Commission Office, the post office and a variety of other public offices across the state. Anyone who registers by mail must vote in person the very first time they vote after registering. Note: You are not registered until receiving a voter registration card.

Obtain a mail-in registration form online here.


Who Can Absentee Vote in Tennessee?

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 20 days before an election and ends five days before an election. In those instances in a city election where there is not any opposition on the ballot, early voting begins 10 days before the election. For details regarding times and early voting locations, a person must contact the local county election commission office.

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 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 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 therefore 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. For more information, click here.

 How Can I Acquire an Absentee Ballot?

A registered voter may request a by-mail ballot by simply writing to the voter’s local County Election Commission Office and making such a request over the voter’s signature. The request may be mailed or faxed to the County Election Commission Office (contact information). Upon receipt of the request, the Local Election Commission will mail an application for ballot to the voter.

However, if the voter wants to expedite the application process, the voter may want to provide the following information in the request for ballot:

  • The name of the registered voter
  • The address of the voter's residence
  • The voter's social security number
  • The address to mail the ballot outside the county (this applies only when the reason for voting by mail is that the voter will be outside of the county during early voting and on Election Day)
  • The election the voter wishes to participate in. If the election involves a primary, the political party in which the voter wishes to participate
  • The reason the voter wishes to vote absentee
  • The voter’s signature

A request that contains this information will be treated and processed as an application for ballot, and a ballot will be mailed to the voter.

A registered voter may request an application for by-mail ballot no earlier than 90 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.

Additional Information for Overseas Voters

How do I Return the Absentee Ballot and What is the Deadline?

The county election commission must receive the ballot by mail no later than the close of polls on Election Day. The by-mail ballot must be received by the county election commission office through the postal mail.

Source of information:
Division of Elections
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
Snodgrass Tower, 9th Floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Phone: 615-741-7956
Email: tennessee.elections@tn.gov




Tennessee Tennessee

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