By Nancy DeKalb
The upcoming Metro General Election has more impact on the day-to-day lives of Nashvillians than any other election.
On Thursday, August 6, Davidson County voters will go to the polls to elect a new Nashville mayor, vice mayor, five at-large Metro council members and about half of the Metro council. These elected officials will drive the future of our city. And, with some close races predicted, every vote will count.
Here are four things you can do to make sure your vote counts:
1. Get Registered to Vote
July 7 is the last day to register to vote in the August 6 Metro General Election. If you’re a Davidson County resident, a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years old, fill out a voter registration form found on the Davidson County Election Commission site (www.nashville.gov/vote) and mail or hand-deliver the completed form to the Election Commission office.
First-time voters who didn’t register in-person with the Election Commission are required to vote in-person during Early Voting or on Election Day. You will be asked to show a current Tennessee or federally issued photo ID.
2. Update Your Name or Address
If you’ve recently moved within Davidson County and have an address or name change (i.e. marriage, divorce), update your information with the Davidson County Election Commission now.
You can change your Voter Registration address in person, by mail or by email. Or, simply write your new address on your current voter registration card, sign it and mail it to the Davidson County Election Commission, P.O. Box 650, Nashville 37202. A new card will be mailed to you.
3. Vote Early
Why wait when you can vote early and avoid the lines? Early voting starts Friday, July 17 through Saturday, August 1 (includes three Saturdays). During Early Voting, you can vote at your convenience at Early Voting locations. On Election Day, you must vote at your assigned voting location.
4. Apply to be a Poll Official
It takes about 1,300 Poll Officials to staff 160 Davidson County voting locations on Election Day. To serve as a Poll Official, you must be a registered Davidson County voter. Poll Officials are paid $150 for each Election Day worked and $30 for participating in the mandatory training. Interested? Apply here or call 615-862-4372.
Be an educated voter. Learn about the various candidates and amendments. Review the sample ballot, mark it and take it with you when you go to vote. Know where your assigned voting location is. Make your vote count.
A Midwesterner by birth and Southerner by marriage, DeKalb serves on the boards of Nashville Adult Literacy Council, All About Women and Women’s Political Collaborative. She is a member of the Urban Land Institute Nashville District Council management committee. She has also done extensive work with the Davidson County Election Commission.