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On the Ballot: What voters need to know for Memphis Election Day 2023

By , Daily Memphian Updated: October 04, 2023 4:45 PM CT | Published: October 04, 2023 12:35 PM CT

Election Day is tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 5. Here’s what you need to know about this Memphis municipal election, when voters will select City Council members and a new city mayor.

Get to know the candidates with The Daily Memphian’s comprehensive voter guide, which features profiles on who’s running and video from two mayoral debates.


How can I see election results for Memphis mayor 2023?

All the results will be posted to The Daily Memphian website on a rolling basis, as soon as precincts begin reporting. You can also follow our live blog for more Election Day coverage, or check for updates on The Daily Memphian’s Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter) and Instagram pages.

The Daily Memphian will continue to offer free election coverage to all readers until 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 9. 

Expect frequent updates tomorrow with voting numbers and reports from polling locations, plus post-election analysis and interviews with the candidates after the results are in — the winners and the losers. 

All of this coverage can be found at one central link, so bookmark the page and check back frequently. 

How do I vote, and who is running?

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5. If you’re in line at 7 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.

Double check your polling location, especially if you have not voted in a few years. Precinct locations have changed. Find yours at

Voters who live within the city limits will elect a new Memphis mayor and 13 Memphis City Council members. Here is the official sample ballot.

Memphis municipal elections are non-partisan, which means there weren’t party primaries and candidates’ political party affiliations are not noted on the ballot. This could change in time for the 2027 city election, though.

Will there be runoff voting?

Memphis does not have runoffs in mayoral elections nor in the Super District races. In those contests, candidates who receive the most votes win.

However, there is a chance for runoffs in City Council districts 1-7 in the event that no candidate earns 50% plus one or more of the votes. In that case, the top two candidates will face each other in a special election on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023.

What’s the latest from the campaign trail?

Four mayoral candidates spent a combined total of $1.76 million this summer, and the attack ads have flowed through the mail, on the radio and online in the last few weeks.

The Van Turner campaign’s attack ads focus on Sheriff Floyd Bonner’s inability to curb the city’s crime rate and on past sexual allegations against Bonner. Other ads from his campaign claimed Bonner and Young have ties to Republican causes, while touting Turner’s Democratic affiliations.

Attack ads blanket the airwaves in the home stretch of Memphis mayor’s race

Bonner’s campaign criticized Young’s stance on crime in a radio ad in September while Young claimed his opponents are “career politicians.”

An early September poll from TN Prospers and Hart Research showed Paul Young and Floyd Bonner Jr. nearly tied for the top two spots in the mayoral race. 

As for the Memphis City Council races, two candidates in the contentious, expensive District 5 race — Philip Spinosa and Meggan Kiel — had each raised more than $100,000 for their campaigns, more than some of the Memphis mayoral candidates.

Six candidates will vie to replace Frank Colvett in District 2, which covers East Memphis and parts of Cordova and Hickory Hill. Eight-year council veteran Patrice Robinson will leave her seat in District 3 to one of five candidates

Why is this election notable?

First, early voting numbers are the highest since 2007, but whether that’s because voters are more engaged in this election or more opted for the ease and flexibility of early voting remains to be seen.

Second, Memphis hasn’t had a mayor reach the end of their term and not seek reelection since 1971 when Henry Loeb declined to run for a third term after his second term was marked by the Memphis sanitation strike and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Loeb was eligible to run again because Memphis mayors can serve up to two consecutive terms. He served two nonconsecutive terms, 1960-1963 and 1968-1971.

He was succeeded by J. Wyeth Chandler.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is reaching the end of his second term. He would not be eligible to run again until 2027.

The new mayor and new or reelected City Council members will be sworn in on Jan. 1. 


2023 elections 2023 Memphis Mayor's race elections
Holly Whitfield

Holly Whitfield

Holly has more than 13 years of experience in publishing and digital content, including 10 years at the helm of the I Love Memphis Blog. She began her career at The Commercial Appeal and is author of Secret Memphis.


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