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Register to Vote

Join in.

Make your voice a part of the political process. Below you will find a message from the University on voter registration, followed by a list of helpful links we’ve compiled to aid you in registering to vote and learning more about the process in general. Should you need any help or have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact OACS. | | 615-343-7878 | Rand 305

Meet Emma Stewart, OACS Voter Registration Ambassador

Emma Stewart is a senior at Vanderbilt University double majoring in Political Science and History. Born and raised on the Kansas side of Kansas City, Emma discovered her love for government, public policy, and law on her high school debate team. Emma has spent her time at Vanderbilt studying a wide variety of policy areas and is passionate about civic engagement, voting rights, affordable housing, economic development, and Middle East politics and culture, to name a few. Emma served as an intern for United States Representatives Kevin Yoder (R-KS) and Jim Cooper (D-TN) during her summer as a member of the OACS Vanderbilt Internship Experience in Washington, D.C. cohort. Last spring, she interned for Mayor of Nashville and Davidson County Megan Barry. Emma spent her most recent summer studying human rights and teaching English to sub-Saharan refugees, migrants, and asylum-seekers at Fondation Orient Occident in Rabat as part of the OACS Global Service program in Morocco. Emma currently works in OACS, focusing on creating a structure for a long-term voter engagement effort targeted toward Vanderbilt’s out-of-state student population.

Students and organizations interested in hosting a voter registration drive can reach out to Emma at to request support with logistics, marketing and outreach, voter registration training, voter registration drive supplies, and more.

Message from the University

Dear Vanderbilt University Students:
Vanderbilt University strongly encourages its students to register to vote and participate in the democratic process.  Federal law requires that the university provide Tennessee voter registration information to students in attendance at Vanderbilt.  The voter registration form and instructions for the State of Tennessee are available. Copies of the form may also be obtained from the Office of Active Citizenship and Service (Rand 305), the front desk at the Sarratt Student Center, and the front desk at the Commons Center. Please note that the deadline for voter registration in Tennessee is thirty days before an election.

Voter Registration FAQs

Am I registered to vote in Tennessee?

How do I register to vote in Tennessee? In Tennessee, a qualified voter must be properly registered no later than thirty (30) days before the election. The election commission office will process any by-mail voter registration form that has been postmarked at least thirty (30) days before the election.

To qualify to vote in Tennessee you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • A resident of Tennessee
  • At least 18 years old on or before the next election
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony, or if you have, your voting rights must have been restored

Qualified voters may pick up a Tennessee registration form at any of the following locations:

  • Office of Active Citizenship & Service (305 Rand)
  • Jean and Alexander Heard Library (419 21st Ave. S.)
  • Commons
  • Sarratt Information Desk
  • Office of Religious Life (401 24th Ave. S.)

– OR –

Vanderbilt University is located in Davidson County. The Davidson County Election Commission address is: P.O. BOX 650 Nashville 37202-0650

– OR –

How can I register to vote in a state other than Tennessee? Individuals who wish to register to vote in a state other than Tennessee can contact the local Election Commission or Secretary of State office to request a state-specific form, or use the Federal Voter Registration form. State-specific requirements and deadlines are also included in the Federal Voter Registration form file.

What if my schedule prohibits me from voting on Election Day? You might consider taking advantage of early voting! In Tennessee, early voting begins 20 days before an election and ends five days before the election.

Where can I go to vote? You can use the Voter Registration Look Up website to find your polling location and early voting locations.

What do I need to bring with me when I go to vote? In the State of Tennessee, all voters must present a federal or Tennessee state ID containing the voter’s name and photograph when voting at the polls, whether voting early or on Election Day. Click here to learn more about voter ID requirements.

How can I cast my ballot if I plan to vote in another state? If you prefer, you may request an absentee ballot that will allow you to cast your vote in your home state. To request an absentee ballot, contact your local election commission. Please note:

  • Absentee ballots often must be submitted in advance of an election – allow for plenty of time to request your absentee ballot
  • Some states require that your absentee ballot be witnessed and signed off by a notary or other witnesses

Other resources:GoVoteTN App. Highlights of the app include:

  • Early voting and Election Day polling locations and hours of operation.
  • Candidate list for upcoming election.
  • Ability to mark sample ballots for upcoming election.
  • Navigation to early voting and Election Day polling locations.
  • County election commission information.
  • Access online election results through the application.

Students who will vote in Tennessee should be aware that the Tennessee photo identification requirement specifies that university identification cards will not be accepted at the polls.  Tennessee residency requirements may be found here. If you are an out-of-state resident, the United States Election Assistance Commission provides information regarding voter registration and absentee voting, as well as links to all state election commission sites. Voter registration information and requirements also may be found here. Registering to vote in Tennessee will in no way affect your federal financial aid or any other grants or scholarships that do not have a specific residency requirement. However, there are some sources of financial aid or scholarships and grants that are conditioned upon residency in another state.  If you receive any sort of financial assistance that is limited to residents of a state other than Tennessee,registering to vote as a resident of the State of Tennessee may affect your residency status for purposes of that out-of-state financial assistance.  Students receiving such assistance should review the residency requirements under their out-of-state financial aid or scholarship and grant programs before registering to vote in Tennessee.

Should you have questions or need help, the Office of Active Citizenship and Service is located in Rand 305 and we would be pleased to assist you.