AARP AARP States Tennessee Voters

How to Vote in Tennessee’s 2022 Elections

En español | Tennessee’s Nov. 8 general election will decide races for governor and seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislature. The state’s primary was Aug. 4.

Essential info:

  • Absentee voting: Absentee by-mail ballots are available to certain voters, including anyone age 60 and older and people who will be traveling outside their county during early voting and on Election Day.
  • Early in-person voting: You can vote early and in person at your county election commission office or at a satellite early voting location, if your county uses one. Early voting runs from Oct. 19 through Nov. 3 for the general election.
  • In-person voting on Election Day: The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polling hours vary by county, but all locations will close at 7 p.m. CT, 8 p.m. ET.

What's new this year?

Redistricting has altered certain boundaries of U.S. congressional and state legislative districts. These changes may affect which candidates appear on your ballot.

What races are on the ballot?

  • Governor: incumbent Gov. Bill Lee (R), Jason Martin (D)
  • U.S. House: all nine seats
  • State Senate: 17 of 33 seats
  • State House: all 99 seats
GOP Senate Candidate Marsha Blackburn Campaigns In Franklin, Tennessee
A voter walks into an early voting site in Franklin.

How do I register to vote?

  • Online: Use the state’s voter registration portal to register or update your registration status. Include your name, date of birth and your Social Security number. You’ll also need a Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security ID or a Tennessee driver’s license to submit your application.
  • By mail: Print a voter registration form, complete it and mail it to your county election commission office. Or contact your commission office to request that a form be mailed to you. You can also pick up a form at a public library or at a county election commission, a register of deeds or a county clerk’s office. 

Register by Oct. 11. Mailed registration forms also must be postmarked by that date. Check whether you’re registered to vote through the state’s voter information portal or through the GoVoteTN app.

How can I get an absentee by-mail ballot? Are there important deadlines?

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 is on the secretary of state’s website.

Apply for an absentee ballot online, by mail or by fax:

  • Online: Complete an absentee by-mail request form and email it to your county election commission office. Your email must include a picture of your signature as well as your name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, a reason for voting absentee and the specific election for which you’re requesting a ballot. A ballot will then be mailed to you.

Applications cannot be submitted in person. All applications are due by Nov. 1.

Only return completed ballots with proper postage by mail. Ballots must be received by your county election commission before polls close at 7 p.m. CT, 8 p.m. ET on Election Day. 

Use the state’s voter services portal to track the status of your absentee ballot.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Vote early at your county election commission office or a satellite location from Oct. 19 through Nov. 3. Hours and locations may vary by county. Contact your county election commission office for more information.  

When is Election Day? When are the polls open?

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 if you were already in line. Use the state’s voter services portal to find your polling place.

Do I need identification to vote?

You’ll need to show a federal or state-issued photo ID, such as a U.S. passport, Tennessee driver’s license or handgun carry permit. A full list of acceptable documents is on the secretary of state’s website.

If you forget your ID at home, you may cast a provisional ballot when voting in person. You must show a valid photo ID at your county election commission office no later than Nov. 10 for your vote to count. While you’re there, you also must sign an affidavit.


Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Aug. 29 with information about voting in the general election. The guide was first published on July 20, 2020.

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