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“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” — Plato

Voter 101 FAQ's

 
Voting Machine

Many citizens, even registered voters, have questions about the voting process. Voting 101 answers some of the most frequently asked questions about voting and the voter registration process.

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BAD OFFICIALS
“BAD OFFICIALS are elected by GOOD PEOPLE who do NOT VOTE” George Jean Nathan

How do I register to vote?
Voting registration applications are available at the Shelby County Election Commission, libraries, post offices, and some city/county government offices

To register by mail, download, print out, complete, and mail this form to the Shelby County Election Commission.

NOTE: If you register by mail, you must vote in person the first time you vote. You will not have the option to vote absentee.

Who is eligible to vote?
Anyone who…:

  • Is a U.S. citizen
  • Is 18 years of age or older by election day
  • Is a resident of Tennessee
  • Has not been convicted of a felony or, if convicted, has had his or her voting rights restored by court order or pardon.

Is there a fee to register to vote?
There is no fee to register to vote.

How do I find which district I am in and where my voting location is?
Every registered voter is assigned a location to vote, which will be printed on the voter registration card. This location is based upon voter's home address.

To look up the district and voting, go to Voter Registration Look Up.

You may also call the Shelby County Election Commission: 901-545-4123 or 901-545-3836.

Most major elections will also include a two-week “early voting” period, during which any registered voter may vote any of several specially designated precincts throughout the city and/or county. Specific early voting periods and locations will be published in the media and available at www.ShelbyVote.org

When do I need to register to vote?
Tennessee state law mandates that a qualified voter must be properly registered no later than 30 days before the election, in order to participate in that election. The Shelby County Election Commission office will process any by-mail voter registration form that has been postmarked at least thirty days before the election.

If I have recently moved to Memphis, how do I register to vote?
Voting registration applications are available at the Shelby County Election Commission, libraries, post offices, and some city/county government offices.

To register by mail, download, print out, complete, and mail this form to the Shelby County Election Commission:

NOTE: If you register by mail, you must vote in person the first time you vote. You will not have the option to vote absentee.

If I moved within Shelby County or Memphis, how do I change my address on my voter registration card?
Complete a new voter's registration application reflecting the changes. The application is the same form used for new registrations and may be found at any of the above mentioned locations or complete the mail form as mentioned above.

What if I legally change my name?
Complete a new voter's registration application reflecting the changes. The application is the same form used for new registrations and may be found at any of the above mentioned locations or complete the mail form as mentioned above.

What do I need to bring with me to vote?
Registered voters must present either their voter's registration card or valid state ID at their voting precinct.

What if I'm not allowed to vote at the precinct?
If you encounter any problems while attempting to vote, please contact the Shelby County Election Commission as soon as possible at 901-545-4136. Please note that during busy elections, the Election Commission's office is often overwhelmed with calls and may not be able to respond to your inquiry or complaint immediately. Note also that during many elections, representatives from both political parties and/or most major candidates will have volunteer “poll watchers” stationed at voting locations who can provide assistance, answer questions, or, if necessary, direct voters to seek appropriate legal action.

Do I need to declare a political party when I vote?
The only time you must declare a party is when voting in a partisan (Republican or Democratic) primary.

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