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                      Frequently Asked Questions                     
Who must register to vote in Tennessee? 

If you have never registered to vote in Tennessee, changed your address since you last registered or had your rights restored as required by law after being convicted of a felony, you must register, or re-register.  

Who is eligible to register in Tennessee?

Any U.S. Citizen who is at least eighteen (18) years old on or before the next election, who is a resident of Tennessee and who has never been convicted of a felony or, has had their rights of citizenship restored or received a pardon, may register to vote.  

How long must I be a resident of Tennessee before I can register to vote (if I have just moved)?

You may register as soon as you establish residency.  

Do I have to register at a specific time?

Although you may register at any time, you must register no later than thirty days before the election date you wish to vote in.  

Are there different places where I can register to vote?

voter registration is available at the Election Commission office, driver’s license stations, Department of Human Services, Health Department, Veterans’ Affairs office, or military recruiting office.  (Grainger County does not have a driver’s license facility).  

Can I register to vote by mail?

Yes, you can fill out a mail-in voter registration form to register to vote.  You must sign the form and mail to the election Commission office early enough for it to be postmarked at least thirty (30) days before Election Day.  By-mail forms are also available at all U.S. Post Offices in the county, except Rutledge, and that is because our office is nearby, local libraries, county clerk’s office, and register of deeds office. The address to mail the form to is:  P.O. Box 28, Rutledge, TN  37861.

If I move to a different address within the county, do I have to re-register?  

You do not have to re-register.  However, you do have to update your address.  Why? Because your address may be in a different district or precinct.  You are required by law to vote in the precinct where your legal address is.  Keeping your address current makes the election process run a lot smoother by not having to step out of line and fill out required paper work before you can vote, or have to go to a different precinct to vote in. You can change your address by: completing a mail-in registration form and checking the box that says “Address Change”.  Mail or hand deliver the form to the election commission office.  

I plan to move to another county or state, what do I need to do?

After moving to a new county or state, you must re-register at your new address.  Registration is not transferable from county to county, or from state to state.  

If I get married and change my name, do I have to change my voter registration?

You do not have to change your last name after you get married.  However, you must continue to sign your name they way you are registered when you are voting, signing any kind of election document, etc.  If you want to change your name, you can complete a mail-in form, or come by the office in person to make that change.  It must be done in writing.  

Will the Election Commission office let me know if I am a registered voter?

If you have filled out a voter registration form at any of the agencies that I have listed in this questionnaire, and have not received a registration card, then please call the office to verify that we have received your application.  When we receive applications from agencies, it is usually processed within two or three days.  If there is a problem with the application, we notify you by mail with a “status” form letter, and send another application for you to fill out and correct the problem.  We have many applications that are not signed, or have not completed the required information.  

Do I have to declare a political party when I register?

No, in Tennessee this is not a requirement.  However, you must declare a party when you are voting in any primary election.  You may vote for either party in a general election.  

If I am not able to vote on Election Day, what can I do?

Any registered voter in Grainger County, regardless of where they live in the county, may vote during early voting. Early voting begins 20 days before each election and ends on the 5th day before the election.  Dates and times for early voting will be in our local newspaper and posted on our web-site at:  

Can I still vote in a Presidential election if I move to another state just before the election?

If you move to another state less than thirty (30) days before the election for electors for President and Vice-President and, for that reason, do not satisfy the registration requirements of your new residence for that election, you may vote in the Presidential election only in the precinct in Tennessee where you were last registered.  You may vote either in person or by absentee ballot (you must vote in person if you registered by mail and have not voted since you registered).  

If I want to write in the name of someone who is not on the ballot, what should I do?

Our voting machines are designed and set-up to allow for write-ins.  Just ask the election official at the precinct how to do this.  Any person attempting to be elected by write-in ballots must complete a notice at the election commission office requesting that their votes be counted no later than fifty (50) days before the primary election or general election.   

How does a person with disabilities vote?

Voters with disabilities can vote absentee by-mail, or they may vote in person with anyone of their choice to assist them (except a candidate, whose name is on the ballot).  A disabled person may be placed on Permanent Absentee by providing a physician’s statement stating that they are unable to appear at the polls.  After receiving the statement, the voter would be mailed an application for a ballot for each election.  Our voting machines are equipped with headphones so that a visually impaired person can vote independently.

What election district do I live in?
  See Voter Look-up on State Web-Site

Your voter registration card will have the county district, city ward (if applicable), Tennessee Senate, Tennessee House, and U.S. Congressional district printed on it as well as your voting location.  If you cannot find your card, please call our office at (865) 828-5132 for that information.  Without a registration card, you will need to show I.D. at the precinct.  A driver’s license, anything that supplies your name, address, and signature may be used.  

Is there information I can get about the candidates?

Our local newspapers always have stories about the candidates, announcements, etc. It is the responsibility of the candidate to get their message out.  

How may I contact the county party chairman for either political party?

                     Democrat Party Chairman                    Republican Party Chairman                                                                                      
               George "Brett" Powers                                  James Acuff 
         5990 Lakeshore Rd.             .                  11829 Hwy 131      
               Bean Station, TN  37708                        Washburn, TN  37888                                                     (865) 356-3150                                    (865) 497-2680