What Election Day Voters Need to Know

Nov 3, 2020

Knox County saw long lines throughout early voting, election officials warn voters to expect the same on Election Day.
Credit Heather Duncan

More than half of the record 4.4 million registered voters in Tennessee have already cast their ballots, according to Secretary of State Tre Hargett's office. For the more than two million people who haven't voted yet, most East Tennessee polling locations, including all Knox County locations, open at 8 a.m. Tuesday. 

Anderson, Campbell, Cocke and Grainger County's polls open at 9 a.m. All polling locations close at 8 p.m. EST. A full list of polling hours is available here. Voters must show federal or state photo identification to vote. School IDs do not qualify.

 

What to do with an absentee ballot

 

For those voting by mail, ballots must be received by your local election commission by the close of polls Tuesday. Ballots dropped off by hand at the election commission won't be counted; all ballots must be received by mail. There is one post office location per county where absentee voters can drop their ballots before 3 p.m. Tuesday.

 

Voters can check the status of an absentee ballot on the Secretary of State's website. Those who requested an absentee ballot, but now wish to vote in person, can still go to the polls and cast a provisional ballot.

 

Voting While Quarantined

 

Knox County voters who have tested positive for COVID, are experiencing COVID symptoms, or are currently in quarantine can vote in person Tuesday at the Knox County Health Department between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

 

Any voter who plans to do this must call the Knox County Election Commission at (865) 215 - 2480 before going Health Department so officials can prepare a ballot. Health department staff will be assisting in this voting process and thus will not be providing regular COVID testing Tuesday. 

 

If you have problems casting a ballot

 

Tennessee's Secretary of State's office has set up an official Election Day hotline to answer voting questions at (877) 850 - 4959. Local election commissioners also have phone lines open. Find contact information for your county election commission here.

 

WUOT News is partnering with ProPublica’s Electionland to report on voting problems in East Tennessee. Text VOTE to 81380 to report voting problems to ProPublica's tipline.

 

Tennessee races to watch

All nine of Tennessee's U.S. House of Representatives seats are on ballots today, including the East Tennessee 2nd district race between Republican incumbent Tim Burchett and Democrat Renee Hoyos.

 

All 99 state House seats are on the ballot, though 41 Republican seats and 19 Democratic candidates have no major party opposition, according to reporting by the Associated Press. Democrats hope to flip at least one House seat, including in Knox County's District 18

About half of state Senate seats are up for election. There's been a Republican supermajority in the General Assembly since 2011.

Election coverage on WUOT begins at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday.