State, local officials promoting voter registration ahead of election

Published 5:28 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2018

With three elections coming up this year, local and state officials are encouraging local residents to register to vote.

This past fall, Tennessee rolled out its new online voter registration system which allows residents to fill out new voter registrations or to update their current registration due to a name or address change.

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Since the rollout in September, around 175 Carter County residents have taken advantage of the online service according to Carter County Administrator of Elections Tracy Harris. That number includes those registering for the first time as well as those updating their registrations.

According to Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, the online registration system offers a convenient way for residents to register or update their information.

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, according to Hargett. 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.

“This system meets people where they already are online,” Hargett said. “It will improve accuracy and efficiency for voters and election officials by ensuring there are fewer errors and more accurate voter rolls.”

January was a busy month for the Carter County Election Commission as staff hosted a voter registration drive at Milligan College.

“We always do them at Milligan in August and January,” Harris said.

The Election Commission also recently sent out registration information to all the local high schools. “We do that every January to get the seniors,” Harris explained.

Harris said she and her staff can visit the local high schools to explain voter registration and assist the students in completing the paperwork if the schools want them to.

In addition to the online registration, residents can still register to vote in person at the Election Commission Office or by mailing in a registration form. Residents can also register to vote at the Department of Safety (Driver’s License Office), the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library, the Carter County Court Clerk’s Office (where vehicles are registered), and at the Carter County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.

Harris said she had recently spoken with a local citizen about hosting a voter registration drive for their community.

“We’d be glad to work with anyone who wants to hold a voter registration drive,” Harris said.

The deadline to register in order to be eligible to vote in the upcoming Republican and Democratic Party Primaries for Carter County offices is April 2.

For more information on registering to vote or hosting a voter registration drive, contact the Carter County Election Commission at 423-542-1822 or by email to

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