NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tennesseans who want to cast a ballot in the Nov. 8 state and federal general election only have one week until the voter registration deadline next Tuesday, Oct. 11.
“The first step to making your voice heard on Election Day is registering to vote,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett in a news release. “With our convenient online voter registration system, it’s never been easier for Tennesseans to register to vote or update their registration.”
Registering to vote, updating or checking your registration status is fast, easy and secure with the Secretary of State’s online voter registration system at this link.
Using a computer, phone or tablet, any U.S. citizen with a driver’s license or a photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security can register in minutes at GoVoteTN.gov. Each submission is checked against the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s database.
Voters can also download a paper voter registration application at GoVoteTN.gov. Completed paper voter registration applications must be mailed to your local county election commission office or submitted in person. Mailed voter registrations must be postmarked by Oct. 11.
Election Day registration is not available in Tennessee.
Early voting for the Nov. 8 State and Federal General Election starts Wednesday, Oct. 19, and runs Monday to Saturday until Thursday, Nov. 3. The deadline to request an absentee by-mail ballot is Tuesday, Nov. 1.
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This election will see Tennesseans choose who they would like to see in a number of statewide offices, including the governor’s seat and members of the Tennessee General Assembly, as well as four different state Constitutional amendments.
Incumbent Republican Gov. Bill Lee will face Democrat Dr. Jason Martin and a host of Independent candidates in the gubernatorial election.
Tennessee voters will also select who will fill the new Congressional District 5 seat, created by the General Assembly after the 2020 decennial census saw the splitting of Davidson County into three different districts. That race will see current State Sen. Heidi Campbell (D – Nashville) take on former Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles. There are also three different Independent candidates on the ballot in that race.
U.S. Congressman John Rose will take on Democrat Randal Cooper in the 6th Congressional District to retain his seat in the House of Representatives.
In the 7th Congressional District, Republican Mark Green will face Democrat Odessa Kelly and Independent Steven Hooper.
In addition to elected officials, voters will determine whether four different amendments are made to the state Constitution in November. The amendments to be considered on the November ballot include:
An amendment to Article XI, of the Constitution of Tennessee, relative to the right to work
An amendment to Article II and Article III of the Constitution of Tennessee, relative to the exercise of the powers and duties of the Governor during disability.
An amendment to Article I, Section 33 of the Constitution of Tennessee, to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude.
An amendment to Article IX, of the Constitution of Tennessee, relative to disqualifications.
Constitutional amendments are presented on the ballot as yes or no questions. To approve the amendments, voters would simply vote “yes” on them.
According to the Secretary of State’s Office, two things must happen for an amendment to pass and become part of the Constitution. The first is the amendment must get more yes votes than no votes.
The second is that the number of yes votes must be a majority of the total votes in the gubernatorial election. To determine the number of votes needed to adopt a proposed Constitutional amendment, votes for all candidates for governor are added together and then divided by two. If there are more yes votes than no votes on the proposed amendment and the number of yes votes exceeds 50% +1 of the total votes for governor, the amendment passes and becomes part of the Constitution.
The Constitutional amendment fails if the number of yes votes does not meet or exceed the threshold or if there are more no votes than yes votes.
Although the number of votes cast for governor is used to determine the threshold for a proposed Constitutional amendment to pass, it is not necessary to vote in the governor’s race to vote on the Constitutional amendments. Likewise, it is not necessary to vote on any of the amendments to vote in the governor’s race.