En español | Tennessee’s Aug. 4 primaries will determine which candidates appear on November’s general election ballot for governor, the U.S. House of Representatives and the state legislature.
Redistricting has changed certain boundaries of U.S. congressional and state legislative districts and may affect which candidates appear on your ballot.
Register by July 5 for the primaries and by Oct. 11 for the general election. Mailed registration forms also must be postmarked by those dates. Check whether you’re registered to vote through the state’s voter information portal or through the GoVoteTN app.
No. Tennessee is an open primary state, and voters don’t choose a party when they register to vote. Voters can choose which party’s primary they vote in, but they can choose only one.
Only some voters can request an absentee by-mail ballot, including anyone 60 or older, people who will be out of town throughout the early voting period and on Election Day, people who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities and anyone who is hospitalized or has a physical disability that prevents them from going to a polling place. A full list of valid reasons for voting absentee by-mail is on the secretary of state’s website.
Apply for an absentee ballot online, by mail or by fax:
Applications cannot be submitted in person. All applications are due by July 28 to vote in the primaries and by Nov. 1 to vote in the general election.
Only return completed ballots by mail. Postage is not provided, so you’ll need to add your own. Ballots must be received by your county election commission before polls close on Election Day.
Use the state’s voter services portal to track the status of your absentee ballot.
Yes, you can vote early at your county election commission’s office or a satellite location from July 16 through July 30 for the primaries and Oct. 19 through Nov. 3 for the general election. Hours and locations may vary by county. Contact your county election commission’s office for more information.
The primary election is Thursday, Aug. 4; the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polling hours vary by county, but all locations close at 7 p.m. CT, 8 p.m. ET. You will be able to cast a ballot after the polls close as long as you were already in line. Use the state’s voter services portal to find your polling place.
You’ll need to show a federal or state-issued photo ID, such as a passport, driver’s license or handgun carry permit. A full list of acceptable documents is on the secretary of state’s website. If you vote in person and forget your ID at home, you’ll be allowed to cast a provisional ballot and will have until two business days after the election to show a valid photo ID at your county election commission’s office.
Editor’s note: This guide was updated on June 20 to correct early voting dates for the general election in Tennessee. The guide was first published on July 20, 2020.
This story is provided by AARP Tennessee. Visit the AARP Tennessee page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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