Written by Aubri Dancek and Bailey DuBose
Hamilton County’s general election will be held on Nov. 3 with early voting starting on Oct. 14. It will involve voting for candidates in federal, state and local races.
According to the Tennessee Secretary of State’s 2020 Election calendar, the registration deadline to vote online, in-person and postmarked by mail is Oct. 5. Early voting will be held from Oct. 14 to 29. The first day to request an absentee ballot was Aug. 5, and the deadline is Oct. 27.
On the general election ballot, Hamilton County residents will be voting for president and vice president of the United States, U.S. senators and House of Representatives District 3 representative. Parts of Hamilton County will vote for Tennessee Senate District 10. Tennessee House of Representatives voting is specific to each district, which includes: District 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30. Residents also will vote for commissioners, city councilors and ordinances specific to their municipalities. The sample ballot specific to an individual resident is available on the Hamilton County Election Commission website.
In order to vote by absentee ballot, residents of Hamilton County must meet the eligibility requirements listed on the website previously mentioned. Some of those include: If a resident is aged 60 or over, hospitalized, ill or physically disabled and unable to appear at a polling place. Other notable requirements include if the voter or their spouse is a full-time student in an accredited college or if they attend a university outside of their registered county.
If the resident is eligible, they must submit a written request containing personal information that can be found on the Election Commission website. Residents can use the absentee ballot form to make sure all required information is provided. The written request can be sent by mail, fax or email. Requests must be submitted to the local county election commission office by the seventh day before Election Day. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 27.
In order for the ballot to be counted on Election Day, the local county election commission must receive it by mail no later than the close of the polls.
The Hamilton County Election Commission encourages residents to ensure that their addresses on their registrations are current before voting. Residents can check their address status by using the lookup tool on the Election Commission website.
Hamilton County’s early voting polling sites are located at the County Election Commission office, Brainerd Rec Center, Collegedale City Hall and the Hixson Community Center. According to the Hamilton County Election Commission’s website, all polling sites will be following COVID-19 procedures. If a resident chooses to vote early, the resident may vote at any early polling site in Hamilton County. If voting in-person, residents are encouraged to cast their ballots on one of the 14 early voting days. If a resident chooses to vote in-person on election day, Nov. 3, the resident must vote at their assigned location. Voters can find their assigned polling location using the voter lookup tool, according to the Hamilton County Election Commission website. When voting in-person, a Tennessee or federal government issued photo ID is required. Some examples that can be used are a driver’s license, a U.S. passport or a military photo ID.