Voter Registration In Tennessee
Who Can Register In Tennessee
To register to vote in Tennessee, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be a resident of Tennessee
- Be at least 18 years old on or before the date of the next election.
- Not have been convicted of a felony, or have been convicted but have had your rights restored. 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.
You must register to vote at least 30 days before the election you wish to vote in.
Tennessee Election Day Registration
Tennessee does not offer Election Day registration, so be sure to submit your voter registration before the deadline.
You can pre-register to vote in Tennessee if you will turn 18 by the next election.
Voting Rights Restoration
Tennessee doesn’t automatically restore the right to vote for felony convictions sustained on or after May 18, 1981. You must apply to have your voting rights restored. However, you are never eligible to register and vote if you were convicted of specific felonies within specific date ranges that permanently disqualify you from registering to vote. If you were convicted of a felony between January 15, 1973, and May 17, 1981, your right to vote has been automatically restored. If you were convicted of a felony before January 15, 1973, your right to vote has been automatically restored unless you were convicted of certain felonies, in which case you would need to apply to your voting rights restored or show that at the time of your conviction the judge did not render you “infamous.” You also do not need to apply for a restoration of your rights if your conviction was reversed on appeal or expunged or if you received a full pardon.
If you have a past conviction, learn more about your eligibility to vote here.
Voting In Tennessee
Where To Vote In Tennessee
You can search for your polling place here.
Vote-by-mail & Absentee
Voters can typically only vote absentee in Tennessee with an approved excuse. During COVID-19, illness, physical disability, or other underlying health condition that makes one especially vulnerable to COVID-19 is considered an approved excuse. Additionally, following a judicial decision, first-time voters are not required to vote in-person if they meet a legal reason to vote by-mail.
To request an absentee ballot in Tennessee, submit a written request for an absentee ballot or a completed absentee ballot request form with your original, non-digital signature by mail, fax, or email to your local county election commission office.
Click here to track your Tennessee absentee ballot.
To return your Tennessee absentee ballot, you must mail it back.
Early Voting In Tennessee
Tennessee offers in-person early voting. No excuse is needed to vote early. Early voting begins 20 days before the election and ends five days before the election. Early voting is available on Saturdays but closed on holidays that fall within the time period.
Primary Elections In Tennessee
Tennessee has open primaries. Any registered voter can participate in primary elections, regardless of political party (Tennessee does not register political party). 17-year-olds cannot vote in the primary election even if they will be 18 by the corresponding general election.
Voter ID In Tennessee
Voter ID Requirements
Photo ID is required to vote in Tennessee. ID may be expired, and valid forms of ID include:
- 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
If you do not have an approved form of ID, you may obtain a free photo ID from the Department of Safety and Homeland Security at any participating driver service center. You may use the express service line at the driver service center to obtain your photo ID to minimize wait times. To obtain your ID, you will need the following:
- Proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate)
- Two proofs of Tennessee residency (such as a voter registration card, a utility bill, vehicle registration or title, or bank statement)
- If your name differs from that on your primary ID, proof of the changed name (such as a certified marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, etc.)
- If you cannot afford a copy of the documents required to obtain a free photo ID, you may sign a form stating under oath that you are indigent and have been unable to obtain an acceptable photo ID for voting without paying a fee.
If you go to your polling place without an approved form of ID, you will vote a provisional ballot. You will then have two business days after Election Day to return to the election commission office to show a valid photo ID. Upon returning to the election commission office, you will sign an affidavit and a copy of your photo ID will be made to be reviewed by the counting board.
Additional Tennessee Resources
Your State Election Official
Tennessee Secretary of State
Phone number: 877.850.4959; Coordinator of Elections: 615.741.7956