Some Voting Q and A from Ruth Holloway, Chair of Blount County Democratic Party

Written by F. Lee Erickson on November 7th, 2016

Q: Is there paid time off for voting?
Employees who begin their work day less than 3 hours after polls open and finish less than 3 hours before polls close are entitled to up to 3 hours paid leave to vote. The employee must request leave by noon the day before Election Day. The employer can set the time for leave to vote. (Tenn. Code 2-1-106. Absenteeism for voting.)

Q: What time are the polls open on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov 8th?
Blount County 8am – 8pm
TN Polling places are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central time and 8:00 am-8:00pm Eastern time on Election Day. Anyone in line at 7:00 p.m. Central or 8pm Eastern will be allowed to vote.
Q: What Is Required To Vote?
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.

The following IDs may be used, even if expired (unless you are a 1st time voter):
Tennessee driver 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 Tennessee state government
United States Military photo ID
Tennessee handgun carry permit with your photo

What IDs Are Not Acceptable?
College student IDs
Photo IDs not issued by the Federal Government or State of Tennessee
County or city issued photo IDs
Library cards
Photo IDs issued by other states

Who Is Exempt?
Voters who vote absentee by mail
Voters who are residents of a licensed nursing home or assisted living center and who vote at the facility
Voters who are hospitalized
Voters with a religious objection to being photographed
Voters who are indigent and unable to obtain a photo ID without paying a fee
Q: What If I Registered By Mail and am Voting in my First Election?
Federal law requires first time voters who register by mail to present a current photo identification with voter’s name and photo.
If your photo ID is expired you must also bring one of the following current documents showing the voter’s name and address:
Current utility bill
Bank statement
Government check
Other government document

Q: Is an Expired Photo ID Acceptable?
Yes, as long as you are not a 1st time voter.
The ID must be validly issued by the federal or Tennessee state government and contain the name and photograph of the voter.
Q: What If I Don’t Bring a Photo ID to My Polling Place?
If you don’t bring a photo ID, you will vote a provisional ballot. You will then have two (2) business days after Election Day to return to the election commission office to show a valid photo ID. Upon returning to the election commission office, the voter will sign an affidavit and a copy of the voter’s photo ID will be made to be reviewed by the counting board.
Q: What If I Don’t Have a Photo ID?
You may obtain a free photo ID to vote from the Department of Safety and Homeland Security at any participating driver service center across the state. You may use the “express service” line at the driver service center to obtain your photo ID to minimize wait times. Visit the Department of Safety and Homeland Security web site for more