Register to Vote Online in Tennessee
Thursday, September 7, 2017
by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
Tennessee residents now have the option to register to vote and update personal information from their smart phones and computers.
House bill 1742, sponsored by House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga and passed with bipartisan support, states that the election coordinator in the Secretary of State’s office is required to “establish a website which permits an applicant to submit a voter registration application, submit information necessary to establish an applicant’s eligibility to vote and swear or affirm to the oath required on the registration form.”
Margaret Ottley, Administrator of Elections at the Franklin County Election Commission, said the site will be a great tool for Franklin County residents.
“So many young people can just register on their phone, and a lot of older people are into the internet too. I think it will be good for service members that might be overseas as well. When it comes to election time, if someone has forgotten to change their address or something, they have to do a lot of paperwork at the polling place. I think we can remind people with this to get things taken care of before election day to streamline things,” she said.
According to the language in the house bill, there will be an increase in local expenditures of $237,500 and an annual maintenance cost of $500 per county. Ottley said the state will cover those costs.
For residents who do not have access to internet, updating personal information and registering to vote can still be taken care of at the polling office.
To take part in an election, Tennessee voters are required to register at least 30 days prior to election day, must be a U.S. citizen, and must have a Tennessee driver’s license or photo ID to complete the process. Each online submission is checked against the department’s database while securely obtaining an electronic signature already on file with the state.
The next election in Franklin County will be in May of 2018. To register to vote or to update your information, visit https://ovr.govote.tn.gov>