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August 7th elections - First the Basics (Part 1)

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First the basics. You must be registered to vote. If you haven't registered by now (30 days prior to the election) then you cannot vote in the August 7th elections. However, no time like the present to get registered before the November 4th elections come around. The below information is from the Tennessee Secretary of State office on voting qualifications and changes in your voting residency.

Voter Qualifications

1. You must be a citizen of the United States, (18) years of age or older on or before the date of the next election.
2. You must be a resident of Tennessee. View Guidelines for Determining Residency.
Special Considerations for Homeless Persons Residency and Non-resident Property Owners
3. You must not have been convicted of a felony, or if you have, your full rights of citizenship must have been restored (or you must have received a pardon).
4. In order to participate in an election, a qualified voter must be properly registered no later than thirty (30) days before the election. The election commission office will process any by-mail voter registration form that has been postmarked at least thirty (30) days before the election. T.C.A 2-2-109.

Did you move within your county or change your name?

The voter may also submit, in writing, any address change within the county to their local county election commission office. The request must be signed and received no later than five (5) days before the election in order to process the change.

If the voter has not updated their address and the voting period has begun, we encourage the voter to vote during the early voting period. The early voting period is from the twentieth (20th) day to the fifth (5th) day before the election (July 18-Aug 2 for the August 7th election). The voter may go to any early voting location within their county to update their address and vote.

If the voter elects to wait to the day of the election to update this information and the voter’s permanent voter registration record differs from the voter’s current address, the voter must complete an affidavit before being allowed to vote. The voter will be required to vote either at their new polling location or at a central location designated by the county election commission office.

Did you move to a different county?

If you move to a different county, it is not considered an update. Your registration does not transfer to other counties in Tennessee. A voter must register in their new county by submitting a voter registration application to their local county election commission office. The voter may either go in person to the local county election commission office or mail the application to their local county election commission office.

All registration deadlines apply to new applications, therefore, the voter must register no later than thirty (30) days before the election. If the voter submits the application by mail, the voter must vote in person at the first election. These rules apply even if you have been registered and voted in another county in Tennessee.

Remember registrations do not transfer from county to county and if the above requirements are not met the voter will not be allowed to vote in that election.

Is your voting status inactive?

You did not respond to the confirmation notice that was sent to the address we have listed on your permanent voter registration record. If your address is correct, either return the notice or verify, in writing, that your address is correct. Please contact your local county election commission office and they will assist you in this process. If you have moved within the county, please update your address by completing the change of address section on the voter registration application. If you moved to a different county, you must register in your new county.

Tomorrow, we will discuss offices up for election in the August 7th elections.

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