State of Tennessee Elections & Voting

Election Day is November 8

  • October 9                    Deadline to postmark voter registration
  • October 9                    Deadline to submit voter registration online or hand delivered
  • October 19                  First day of early voting
  • November 1                Deadline for election authority to receive absentee ballot request via mail, fax, or email
  • November 3                Last day of early voting
  • November 8                Deadline for election authority to receive absentee ballot (absentee ballots must be mailed, hand delivery is not permitted)


To register to vote in Tennessee, you must:

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen
  • You must be a resident of Tennessee
  • You must be at least 18 years old on/or before the next election
  • If you have been convicted of a felony, your eligibility to register and vote depends upon the crime you were convicted of and the date of your conviction. If your conviction made you ineligible, you may regain your eligibility if your conviction has been expunged or if you have had your voting rights restored, unless you were convicted of a crime that rendered you permanently ineligible to vote. Learn more on our website.


How to register to vote:

There are many ways to register to vote in Tennessee. Use one of the following methods:

  • Use online voter registration to conveniently register to vote or update your voter registration.
  • Download and complete the Voter Registration Application and mail the application to your county election commission.
  • Pick up voter registration applications in person at the following locations:
    • County Election Commission Offices
    • County Clerk’s Offices
    • Public Libraries
    • Register of Deeds Offices
  • Register during a transaction with one of the following agencies:
    • Department of Health (WIC program)
    • Department of Human Services
    • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
    • Department of Mental Health
    • Department of Safety (motor vehicles division)
    • Department of Veteran’s Affairs


Voter ID Requirements

All voters must present a federal or Tennessee state ID containing the voter’s name and photograph when voting at the polls, whether voting early or on Election Day. Any of the following IDs may be used, even if expired:

  • Tennessee driver 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
  • Tennessee handgun carry permit with your photo

The following IDs are not acceptable:

  • College student IDs
  • Photo IDs not issued by the federal or Tennessee state government are NOT acceptable. This includes county or city issued photo IDs, such as library cards, and photo IDs issued by other states.

First time voters who register by mail or using Online Voter Registration, if the ID is expired, the voter must also present one of the following:

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

The following individuals are exempt from the voter ID requirement:

  • Voters who vote absentee by mail (view requirements here)
  • Voters who are residents of a licensed nursing home or assisted living center and who vote at the facility
  • Voters who are hospitalized
  • Voters with a religious objection to being photographed
  • Voters who are indigent and unable to obtain a photo ID without paying a fee


Early Voting

Any registered voter can decide to vote early and does not need to provide a reason. To vote early, a person must appear in person at either the county election commission office or at a satellite voting location opened by the county election commission.  The early voting period typically begins twenty (20) days before an election and ends five (5) days before an election.  The exception is for the Presidential Preference Primary, when early voting ends seven (7) days before the election. Although closed from voting on holidays, a person may vote early on any Saturday that falls during this time frame.  In those instances in a city election where there is not any opposition on the ballot, there shall be no early voting period. For details regarding times and early voting locations, a person must contact the local county election commission office.


Absentee Voting

You can vote absentee by-mail if you fall under one of the following categories:

  • You are sixty (60) years of age or older.
  • You will be outside the county where you are registered during the early voting period and all day on Election Day.
  • You are hospitalized, ill or physically disabled and unable to appear at your polling place to vote (this includes persons who have underlying medical or health conditions which in their determination render them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or at greater risk should they contract it). For a list of underlying health conditions that makes a person more susceptible, see here. A physician’s statement is not required to check this box.
  • You are the caretaker of a person who is hospitalized, ill, or disabled (this includes voters who care for or reside with persons who have underlying medical or health conditions which in their determination render them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or at greater risk should they contract it). For a list of underlying health conditions that makes a person more susceptible, see here. A physician’s statement is not required to check this box.
  • You or your spouse are a full-time student in an accredited college or university outside the county where you are registered.
  • You reside in a nursing home, assisted living facility or home for the aged outside your county of residence.
  • You are a candidate for office in the election.
  • You are observing a religious holiday that prevents you from voting in person during the early voting period and on Election Day.
  • You serve as an Election Day official or as a member or employee of the election commission.
  • You will be unable to vote in-person due to jury duty.
  • You have a physical disability and an inaccessible polling place.
  • You or your spouse possess a valid commercial drivers license (CDL) or Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card and you will be working outside the state or county of registration during the open hours of early voting and Election Day and have no specific out-of-county or out-of-state address to which mail may be sent or received during such time.
  • You are a member of the military or are an overseas citizen.
  • You are on the permanent absentee list.

*First time voters may not vote absentee.

You must submit a written request containing the information below to your local county election commission office by the seventh day before Election Day. You can use the absentee ballot request form to make sure all required information is provided. You can submit your written request for an absentee ballot by mail, fax, or e-mail. If e-mailing your request, be sure the attached document contains the information below and your scanned signature.

  1. Name of the registered voter
  2. Address of the voter’s residence
  3. Voter’s social security number
  4. Voter’s date of birth
  5. Address to mail the ballot
  6. The election in which the voter wishes to participate. If the election involves a primary, the political party in which the voter wishes to participate.
  7. Reason the voter wishes to vote absentee. If applicable, a copy of the CDL containing the CDL number or the TWIC card must be included in the voter’s request.
  8. Voter’s signature

A request that contains this information will be processed and a ballot will be mailed to the voter. If you do not provide all of the information required your county election commission will return the application to you so you can make corrections and resubmit your application. You must return your ballot by mail (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.). Hand delivery or handing it to a poll worker during early voting or on Election Day is not permitted.




Tribes in Tennessee

Federally recognized tribes

  • None

State recognized tribes

  • None

Native Vote Coordinators

Sign up to be a local Native Vote coordinator today!

Major Party Contact Information

Chair, Mary Mancini

Chairman, Ryan Haynes

Posted in States.