The Equity Alliance Presents College Students with the Information they need to Vote in the upcoming Tennessee Elections on August 2nd and November 6th

posted by Carjamin Scott from The Equity Alliance on July 2, 2018, at 10:56 p.m. CST

Voting as a College Student
Voting as a college student can be tricky. Here’s some information on what to do.

How to Register to Vote
College students should register to vote in the county/state of your permanent residence address (the address you consider to be your permanent home while enrolled). Students do not lose their residence solely by attending college away from home. If your permanent address is out-of-state, you may use your campus address to register to vote in Tennessee. Once you decide to register, you now become a resident of Tennessee. You are allowed to use your campus address on the voter registration form. No photo identification is required to register to vote as an out-of-state student. If you have taken actions to make your school address your permanent residence address (moving your car registration, driver license, etc.), then you should register in the applicable county/state using your school address.

Where to Register to Vote and Update Voter Registration Cards featuring Slim & Husky’s and these other locations.

The Equity Alliance, a new 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused on building informed and engaged minority voters, is hosting a voter registration drive Thursday, July 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the popular pizza spot, Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria.

Patrons who register on the spot will be entered to win a free Slim and Husky’s pizza.

Capitalizing on the long wait line, volunteers from The Equity Alliance will also conduct a three-question survey asking about previous voting behavior.

“There is a culture and mentality in the African-American community of believing that one’s vote does not matter,” said Board President Charlane Oliver. “We are interested in learning what factors drive this behavior, and how can The Equity Alliance improve our efforts to change the mentality around voting as a mechanism for social change.”

Tennessee currently ranks 50th in voter turnout and 40th in voter registration, according to nonpartisan think tank Think Tennessee.

In Tennessee, voters can be purged from the voter rolls if he or she fails to respond to notices to update their registration record over a period of two consecutive November elections. This can disproportionately lead to voter suppression in communities of color where there is a history of frequently changing addresses.

Patrons will have the opportunity to update their voter contact information during the voter drive. The event will end at sundown.

Additional Voter Registration Events

Friday, 6/15 – 3:30-9:30 PM (2 hr shifts)
Jefferson Street Jazz Festival (SoBro Bridge Mixer Downtown)

Saturday, 6/16 – 10 AM – 2 PM
The 200 Man Stand (Hadley Park)

Saturday, 6/16 – 2:30-8:30 PM (2 hr shifts)
Jefferson Street Jazz Festival (Bicentennial Mall)

Sunday, 6/17 – 7 AM / 9 AM / 11 AM
First Baptist Church South Inglewood (2 services)

Sunday, 6/17 – 7:30 AM / 9:30 AM / 11:30 AM
Watson Grove Baptist Church (2 Services)

Saturday, 6/23 – 11:30 AM-6:00 PM (3 shifts)
City Gear Community Block Party (Madison, TN)

Sunday, 7/8 – 7 AM / 9 AM / 11 AM
First Baptist Church South Inglewood (2 services)

Sunday, 7/15 – 7 AM / 8:15 AM / 9:30 AM / 11:15 AM
Mt. Zion Baptist Church (4 services, Antioch and Old Hickory Blvd locations)

Sunday, 7/22 – 7 AM / 8:15 AM / 9:30 AM / 11:15 AM
Mt. Zion Baptist Church (4 services, Antioch and Old Hickory Blvd locations)

Sunday, 7/22 – 10:30 AM-1:00 PM
John Wesley United Methodist (1 service)

Thursday, 7/26 – 9 AM-3:30 PM
New Teacher Academy (Overton High School)

Friday, 7/27 – 9 AM-3:30 PM
New Teacher Academy (Overton High School)

Sunday, 7/29 – 10:30 AM-1:00 PM
John Wesley United Methodist (1 service)

For more information, contact The Equity Alliance.

Out-of-State Students
If your permanent residence address is out-of-state, you should go to an ROTC office or military recruitment office. If you need to register in person (in order to obtain an absentee ballot), but will not return to your home state before the registration deadline, go to an ROTC office on a college campus or military recruitment office to submit an in-person registration. The ROTC/Recruitment Office will mail your voter registration application to your local county election office marked as ‘in-person.’ You must be cautious of any college scholarships you receive that requires you to be a resident of your home state. You could lose those scholarships! For this reason, the Election Commission encourages students to register in their home state
whenever possible, but it is your choice.

Going to the Polls
You cannot go vote at your polling place with an out-of-state driver’s license. You must bring a federally-issued government ID, such as a passport or military ID. A college ID is not an acceptable form of identification to vote in Tennessee. If you are a registered voter and do not have a government-issued photo ID, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security will provide you with a photo ID at no charge. Visit the Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s website to learn more:

Voting Absentee
If a student or their spouse is outside of the county during the time of the election, they have the option of completing an absentee vote. If you registered to vote by mail, you must vote in person the first time you vote. If this is not your first time voting, you may request an absentee ballot and vote by mail. You can find the Absentee Ballot Request Form online at You must request an absentee ballot by July 26, 2018 to vote in the August 2 Primary/General Election.

Poll Watch: If you are being turned away
Being turned away at the polls CAN and DOES happen. If you are turned away, stay calm, and contact the following IMMEDIATELY before leaving the polling location:

Tennessee Secretary of State

ACLU Tennessee

Election Protection
866-OUR-VOTE (687.8683)

US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Voting Section

About the Equity Alliance
The Equity Alliance proactively advocates for African Americans and other communities of color to have a fair and just opportunity at realizing the American dream. They are a Nashville-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization that seeks to equip citizens with tools and strategies to engage in the civic process and empower them to take action on issues affecting their daily lives.

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie.


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