Tomorrow is Election Day.
As we look forward to tomorrow’s election, here are some helpful tips and reminders for you to consider as you exercise your right to vote.
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Your Right to Vote
Every employee’s right to vote is protected by state statute: TCA 2-1-106.
Here is what the statute says:
2-1-106. Absenteeism for voting
(a) Any person entitled to vote in an election held in this state may be absent from any service or employment on the day of the election for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed three (3) hours, necessary to vote during the time the polls are open in the county where the person is a resident.
(b) A voter who is absent from work to vote in compliance with this section may not be subjected to any penalty or reduction in pay for such absence.
(c) If the tour of duty of an employee begins three (3) or more hours after the opening of the polls or ends three (3) or more hours before the closing of the polls of the county where the employee is a resident, the employee may not take time off under this section.
(d) The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent. Application for such absence shall be made to the employer before twelve o’clock (12:00) noon of the day before the election.
As a reminder, the TN Department of Human Resources Employee Handbook states the following about time off on Election Day:
Elections – Time Allowance for Voting
Any person entitled to vote in an election held in this state will be granted paid leave from work on the day of the election for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed three (3) hours, necessary to vote during the time polls are open in the county where the employee resides. If the work schedule of an employee begins three (3) or more hours after the opening of the polls or ends three (3) or more hours before the closing of polls in the county where the employee is a resident, paid leave will not be granted. Employees working from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and residing in counties where polls are opened until 8:00 p.m. are not eligible for additional time off from work. Employees working from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and residing in counties where polls are opened until 7:00 p.m. are eligible to request an absence of no more than thirty (30) minutes. Requests for leave must be made no later than 12:00 p.m. on the workday preceding the day of the election. The supervisor may designate the period of permissible absenteeism.
Questions about the voting process?
For questions regarding polling locations and hours, voters should contact their local election commission offices.
A list of election commission offices can be found at: http://tnsos.org/elections/election_commissions.php
If you have any questions or concerns about voting or the electoral process, call the state Division of Elections’ toll-free hotline number @ 1-877-850-4959.
Important Reminder about voting
Voters need to bring valid state- or federally-issued photo identification to the polls with them.
Any of the following IDs may be used, even if expired:
- 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
College student IDs and photo IDs not issued by the federal or Tennessee state government are NOT acceptable. This includes county or city-issued photo IDs, such as library cards, and photo IDs issued by other states.
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.