What to Expect When Voting

General Information about Voting


Where & When to Vote

Early Voting - Early voting begins 20 days before each election and ends five days before each election.  A Presidential Preference Primary Election is an exception to this rule in that it ends early voting 7 days before Election Day.  During early voting, you may vote at either of our two early voting locations.  Hours may vary, so please check.  You can find the dates and times for early voting under the Special Announcements section on our Home Page. 

Election Day Voting - On Election Day, you must vote only at your assigned polling place.  The polls are open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. If you have moved, make sure you are at the correct polling place for your current address.  Click here to find your polling site.

Primary Elections

The purpose of a primary election is for political parties to select their candidates to run in the general election.  Primary elections are also used to pick convention delegates and party leaders.  In order to vote in a primary, you must pick a party. The party you choose applies only to that election.  Voters do not select a party when they register to vote.  The winners of each party’s primary election will advance to the general election. Voters in the primary will receive different ballots depending upon which party they select.  Voters may select only one party in the primary election.

Unlike some states, voters in Tennessee do not select a party when they register to vote. This is known as an open primary.  An open primary is a primary election in which a voter does not formally affiliate with a political party in order to vote in its primary. They simply declare their affiliation with a party at the polls.

General Elections

A general election is an election in which candidates are elected to office.  The candidates selected by the primary election, along with any independent candidates, will appear on the ballot.  In a general election, all voters in a specific district receive the same ballot.

What to Expect

When you arrive at the polls, you will need to show the poll worker a photo ID.  The worker will check you in.  If it is a primary election, they will ask you what party you have selected.  Then a ballot application will be completed you will sign the signature list and you will be directed to a machine.  The machine operator will use your ballot application to select your ballot.  Vote for the candidates of your choice.  If you don’t want to vote in a particular race, skip it. When you are finished you will have an option on the last page to review your ballot.  If you have questions or would like to just look over your ballot you press review and look over your ballot before pushing the “Red Cast Vote” button.  If you are happy with your selections you can go ahead and cast your ballot by pushing the “Red Cast Vote” button and there can be no changes made after that. 

If You Need Assistance

You may be assisted by anyone you choose except a candidate.  If you ask for assistance from a poll worker, workers from both parties will help.  If you have any questions, please ask a poll worker for help before you push the “Red Cast Ballot” button.  Once you have pushed that button, you have voted and no changes can be made.