How To Register To Vote By Today's Deadline In Tennessee

Posted at 5:58 AM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 21:33:05-04

The deadline is coming to a close to register to vote in Tennessee in the November election.

Tuesday is the last day to register for the Nov. 6 election.

Historically, Tennessee has ranked among the worst in the United States in voter turnout, particularly in midterm elections
According to a Pew Charitable Trusts survey, in 2014, only 28% of voters came out to cast their vote. 
The 2018 midterm election is a different story.

"Certainly for what we call a midterm election, [an] election other than a presidential election, interest has been high and it has been for the last five or six weeks," Tennessee Secretary of State coordinator of elections Mark Goins said.

Goins says it's likely because this midterm has big openings to fill with the race for governor, U.S. Senate and three congressional district seats. 
The races are not only high stakes, but Goins says candidates are spending more money.

"The candidates have been out there trying to get out [to] their voters and spending a lot of money in ads on TV," Goins said. "I certainly think that that will drive out voters, as well."

Beyond the big races, it's now easier than ever to register to vote in Tennessee.
On Sept. 1, 2017, the Secretary of State rolled out their online voter registration.
With that came almost 250,000 new voter or updated registrations.

"It's easy," Goins said. "A couple minutes and you will be ready to go for Nov. 6."

While the talk of the town has been how Taylor Swift's endorsement for Phil Bredesen may have influenced voter registration, Goins isn't totally convinced.

"We certainly appreciate anyone that's going out there and encourages people to register to vote, but we think that folks are finding out through social media, sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google," Goins said. "They're all sending individuals to our site and we're seeing a spike from that." 

Tennesseans can use online voter registration to register by midnight Tuesday.

You can also download the GoVoteTN app to register.

Early voting for the election runs from Oct. 17 through Nov. 2. Oct. 30 is the deadline for receiving an application for a by-mail ballot.