State launches online voter registration system

Published 6:35 pm Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Registering to vote is now just a mouse click away.

On Wednesday, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett announced the official launch of the state’s new online voter registration system. The system, according to Hargett, offers a convenient way for voters to register to vote or change their address if they have moved. County Election Commissions will securely receive the voter registration information faster than using traditional paper registration.

The new system will allow a citizen with a driver’s license or photo identification issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security to register to vote online. Each submission through the registration website is checked against the Department’s database while securely obtaining the electronic signature already on file with the state from their license or identification card. The drive to make online voter registration a reality was spearheaded by State Sen. Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and State Rep. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga).

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“This system meets people where they already are: online. It will improve accuracy and efficiency for voters and election officials by ensuring there are fewer errors and more accurate voter rolls,” Secretary Hargett said. “I would like to thank Sen. Yager and Rep. McCormick for their leadership in making this system a reality for Tennesseans.”

For those who have already downloaded and are using the GoVoteTN Voter App for smartphones, the app will link them in to the registration process. The app allows voters the chance to view and mark sample ballots, locating their polling place, view a candidate list for an upcoming election, access online election results, among other features. The app is free and available for both iOS and Android mobile devices.

The online system will also help streamline the process for a voter who needs to change their address or update their registration.

“Online voter registration is a great tool to register new voters,” Carter County Administrator of Elections Tracy Harris said. “This will help young people register for the first time as well as the elderly, disabled or our service members who need an easier way to register.”

Online registration will also cut down on the number of voter registrations which are rejected and must be returned to the voter, Harris said.

Currently, if a voter sends in a registration form that is incomplete or the information is not readable by Election Office staff, Harris said the form is rejected. Staff members then mail a new registration form to the person who tried to register to vote with a request from them to complete the new form with the missing information.

According to Harris, the online process requires residents to complete each section of the application before it can be submitted.

“That will cut down on the number of rejected applications,” Harris said.

The online system also has other benefits for Harris and her staff, including detection of attempted voter fraud.

“What’s really good about it is we are working with Homeland Security for this and they will filter out people attempting to register with incorrect information,” she said.

For those who may not be tech savvy, or who would simply prefer the older method, Harris said the paper voter registration forms are still available and can be used.

For more information on Tennessee’s new online voter registration, to register to vote, or to check the status of your voter registration, visit the state website at