With this new election year, things have changed with the way voting works. What do you need to bring? Where do you go? If I’m disabled what can I do? In this article, all those questions and more will be answered.
The dates everyone needs to know starts with the first day of in-person Early Voting that will be on Wednesday, October 17th and the last day will be Thursday, November 1st. Then, on Tuesday, November 6th, Davidson County polls will open. Other dates for absentee voting, mail-in ballots, and notifying the Election Commission if you are elderly or disabled can be found at http://www.nashville.gov/vote/keydates.asp.
In Tennessee, most polling places are open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. All polls will be open from 10 to 13 hours to any given day during the election.
If you want to find out more information about where to vote and what hours the polling station will be open, visit http://findwhereivote.nashville.gov/ where you can type in your address and it will tell you the information about your polling location.
When you arrive at your polling location, there are new items that you will need to be able to vote. According to http://www.vote411.org, you will need a valid photo ID. Valid photo ID’s include:
‘Tennessee driver’s license with your photo, United States Passport, Photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Photo ID issued by the federal or any state government, United States Military photo ID, or a State-issued handgun carry permit with your photo.’
If you are using a mail-in ballot, are a resident of a nursing home/retirement center, are hospitalized, have a religious objection to being photographed, or are indigent and unable to obtain a photo ID without paying a fee are exempt from this process.
The only IDs unacceptable as a photo ID are college student IDs or photo IDs not issued by the federal or state government.
Last but not least are the voting machines and provisions for voters who are disabled. The two types of voting machines are the Optical Scan in which you will receive a card or sheet of paper with the candidates names on it which with a pen or pencil you will mark you choice. Afterwards, a poll worker will either assist you or you will insert your card or paper into a computer device that will check your votes right there at the polling location.
The second being the Direct Recording Electronic or DRE which is a computer based system with your ballot choices on a big screen that you will pick from.
If you are disabled,you are allowed to bring someone with you to help you with the voting process or you can have the poll workers assist you which will always consist of two people, one from the two political parties.
For more information you can visit http://www.vote411.org and http://www.nashville.gov/vote/ for more information.