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By the end of 2018, Nashville residents will have had the chance to vote in six elections. According to the Davidson County Election Commission, that's a record number for the city. With early voting underway for the vice mayor runoff, here are four ways to get involved between now and the Nov. 6 midterm election.
1. How and when to register for elections
The general rule for voter registration in Tennessee is 30 days prior to an election. That means while it's too late to register in time for the vice mayor runoff on Thursday, Sept. 6, you have until Tuesday, Oct. 9, in order to vote in the Nov. 6 midterm election.
To make the process easier, the state launched an online voter registration system last year to complement in-person and mail-in registration. The system also allows you to update information like change of address instantly. However, Tennesseans must register online or use a paper form at least 30 days before any election to participate.
2. How to work the polls during election season
Whether you want to be a government employee for a day, earn some extra cash or just want the experience, the Davidson County Election Commission are always looking for residents to work as poll officials on election days.
The all-day commitment requires you to work 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., or until the last voter has voted and all precinct work is completed. The commission will assign you one of five positions at a polling location, including officer, change of address clerk, machine operator, precinct registrar or an assistant position.
3. How to get involved with the local Democrat and Republican parties
If you’re looking for ways to be more involved in your political party of choice this election season, the Davidson County Democrat Party and Davidson County Republican Party are the county’s main political organizations.
Interested in getting involved at the state level? The Tennessee Republican Party, Tennessee Democratic Party and Libertarian Party of Tennessee offer members the chance the attend regular meetings, work on campaigns and volunteer at events throughout the season.
If you would rather get directly involved with a campaign, visit the candidate’s website for more information. From there, you can often sign up to host an event, distribute yard signs, knock on doors, make calls and more.
4. How to prepare for Election Day
Not sure what to take with you on Election Day? Just remember to have a valid photo identification, which can be a driver's license or photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Photo IDs issued by Tennessee state government or the federal government are acceptable even if they are expired.
For more information and to keep up with election updates, visit the Davidson County Election Commission at nashville.gov/Election-Commission.
What to know before you go
According to the Secretary of State of Tennessee, mid-morning and mid-afternoon are usually slower times at polling locations, while early morning, noon and 5 p.m. are peak times as people typically vote before work, after work or on their lunch breaks.
Voters can download the GoVoteTN app, available in the App Store or Google Play, to view voter-specific information. Voters can find polling locations, view and mark sample ballots and more. The platform is also available at GoVoteTN.com.
Dylan Skye Aycock is a Nashville-based journalist and photographer. As a reporter for Rover, Aycock follows transportation, housing and retail trends, as well as other hyperlocal and city-wide issues that affect residents in Green Hills and Belle Meade.
She previously contributed written and visual content to The Murfreesboro Pulse, American Songwriter Magazine and The Tennessean. Aycock earned a journalism degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where she honed her craft as editor-in-chief of Sidelines, the university's student-run publication. When she's not out on assignment or live-tweeting city council meetings, you can find her discovering new local spots or catching a show at one of Nashville's many music venues.