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Think tank’s five-part series includes guidance for Tennessee voters ahead of 2024 municipal, state, and federal elections

NASHVILLE – A new five-part voter education series released today by nonpartisan think tank ThinkTennessee offers guidance on Tennessee’s election laws to ensure voters can successfully participate in Tennessee’s 2024 elections. The 2024 Tennessee Voter Education Series is comprised of five policy briefs on critical aspects of the voting and elections process in Tennessee, including voter registration, casting a ballot, absentee voting, voting rights restoration, and election integrity. Each brief was developed specifically to be relevant in all 95 Tennessee counties.

While federal laws set certain national regulations for elections across the country, elections are administered at the state level and states have significant latitude in determining various voting and elections policies. As a result, policies regarding voter registration eligibility and how voters can cast their ballots vary from state to state.

This fall, Tennessee voters will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of municipal, state, and federal elections, including a transit referendum in Nashville and races for the Tennessee General Assembly, U.S. Congress, and president. The combination of elections creates an urgent need for more resources to help Tennessee voters understand the state’s election and voting policies.

“The voice of Tennessee voters will be critical this year,” said ThinkTennessee President Erin Hafkenschiel. “However, as the evidence in our 2022 After Action Election report showed, many Tennesseans are not aware of our state’s specific election laws and procedures, like when the voter registration window closes or what systems are in place to maintain the integrity of our elections. This series will provide critical answers to those questions and more, ensuring that every Tennessean who is eligible to cast a ballot can do so and trust that their vote will be counted as cast.”

The 2024 Tennessee Voter Education Series is broken into five sections:

  • Part I: Voter Registration: This brief describes what Tennesseans should know about voter registration, including who can and cannot register, when, where, and how to register, and when to update one’s voter information.
  • Part II: Casting Ballots: This brief describes the various types and timing of elections in Tennessee. It also describes where, when, and how ballots may be cast, as well as the do’s and don’ts of polling place procedures.
  • Part III: Voting Absentee: This brief describes who is and is not eligible to vote absentee in Tennessee, as well as how to request and cast an absentee ballot. It also provides an overview of how absentee ballots are reviewed and counted once cast.
  • Part IV: Restoring Voting Rights: This brief describes who is eligible to have voting rights restored and the process for doing so in Tennessee. It also details how to register to vote once voting rights have been restored.
  • Part V: Election Integrity: This brief describes the steps and processes Tennessee uses to ensure the integrity of elections, including the verification of voter eligibility, in-person ballots, and absentee ballots.

Voter education was identified as a critical need in ThinkTennessee’s 2022 After Action Election Report. That report drew on data from three sources – Tennessee calls to a national election protection hotline, information shared by county election administrators, and examples from other states – and highlighted additional voter education efforts as one of four core strategies to increase voter turnout in future Tennessee elections.

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