Early voting is one of two ways in which a registered voter of Tennessee may vote before the actual election day. The second way for a registered voter to vote early is called by-mail voting.
Both early voting and by-mail voting are for the voter’s convenience. These two voting choices differ in that to vote by-mail, the individual must have a statutory reason. On the other hand, to vote during the early voting period, the person may vote purely for the sake of convenience.
To vote early, a person must appear in person at either the county election commission office or at a satellite voting location opened by the county election commission. The early voting period typically begins twenty (20) days before an election and ends five (5) days before an election. The exception is for the Presidential Preference Primary, when early voting ends seven (7) days before the election. Although closed from voting on holidays, a person may vote early on any Saturday that falls during this time frame. In those instances in a city election where there is not any opposition on the ballot, there shall be no early voting period.
There are many advantages to voting early, namely being able to choose a day during the early voting period that best fits the voter’s schedule and the voter being able to change his or her address of registration and vote in the same voting location.
For details regarding times and early voting locations, a person must contact the local county election commission office.