To be able to vote in an election, voters must be registered at least 30 days before Election Day. With several elections coming up in 2020, we've been asked on multiple occasions who, how and where one can register to vote. Find more about Rutherford County's upcoming elections here.
If you have registered in the past, you can check your registration status at govotetn.com. The database will tell you if you are currently registered along with your Polling Location, Precinct and various districts in which you vote.
Who can vote in Tennessee?
To be eligible to vote in Tennessee:
• You must be a citizen of the United States.
• You must be (18) years of age or older on or before the date of the next election.
• You must be a resident of Tennessee.
How is residency determined?
To determine residency, the local Election Commission (in this case Rutherford County) defines a residence as the place where the person’s habitation is fixed and is where, during periods of absence, the person definitely intends to return. You can have only one residence.
A change of residence is made not only by relocation, but also by wanting to stay in the new location permanently.
The following factors may be considered:
• Is your stuff there?
• Where is your job?
• Do you own the property and pay taxes there?
• What address is on your driver's license?
If you are a student, say at MTSU, you can vote either at your parents' house or a permanent address here. If you want to vote in the 2020 elections here, you must register to vote here.
What if I'm homeless?
According to state law, you do not have to have a fixed address to vote. If you can describe where you usually stay or return to, then this becomes your permanent "address." It can be a shelter where the person stays or frequents, or even a street corner where you often rest. A physical description of the location must be given so that the election commission knows in which voting precinct to place you.
However, the election commission must mail voter registration cards. So, you do need a stable mailing address – a shelter or anywhere that agrees to receive your mail – to receive your voter registration card. Please note that absentee ballot materials may not be mailed to "general delivery."
If the voter registration card is returned as undeliverable to the election commission, the voter will be mailed a confirmation notice and placed on inactive status.
What if I have a felony?
It depends. If you have been convicted of a felony, your eligibility to register and vote depends upon the crime you were convicted of and the date of your conviction. If your conviction made you ineligible, you may regain your eligibility if your conviction has been expunged or if you have had your voting rights restored, unless you were convicted of a crime that rendered you permanently ineligible to vote.
If you wish to have your rights restored, the Rutherford County Election Commission can help you with the process.
How do I register to vote?
To register to vote, you must complete Tennessee's "Voter Registration Application." You can complete it either on paper (PDF) and mail it to your county election commission (it's pre-addressed) or online.
The easiest and quickest way is to fill it out online here because it reduces the chance that you'll leave a section blank. Once completed, a registration card will be mailed to your permanent address.
The election commission office will process any by-mail voter registration form that has been postmarked at least 30 days before the election.
You do not need to present a valid state identification card to register to vote because most voters register by mail. ID verification is done when a ballot is requested in order to cast your vote.
Where can I register to vote?
In addition to downloading and printing the Voter Registration Application, you can register in person at the following locations in Rutherford County:
County Election Commission Office | 1 Public Square South, Room 103, Murfreesboro
County Clerk’s Offices | 319 N. Maple St, Murfreesboro or 205 I Street, Smyrna
Linebaugh Public Library | 105 W. Vine St., Murfreesboro
Smyrna Library | 400 Enon Springs Rd, Smyrna
La Vergne Library | 5063 Murfreesboro Rd, La Vergne
Register of Deeds Offices | 319 N Maple St #133, Murfreesboro
Or during a transaction with one of the following:
• Department of Health (WIC program)
• Department of Human Services
• Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
• Department of Mental Health
• Department of Safety (DMV)
• Department of Veteran’s Affairs
What if I lost my Voter Registration Card?
To receive a duplicate voter registration card, you must make a request, in writing, to the Rutherford County Election Commission office that you have lost your original voter registration card. You can email your name, address, and date of birth to email@example.com to get a replacement card.