Ballot Basics: Aug. 4 Election Day

By , Daily Memphian Published: August 04, 2022 4:00 AM CT
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Here is everything you need to know about voting on Election Day in Shelby County.

This is called the “big ballot” for a reason. It is the longest ballot of any election cycle in Shelby County politics thanks largely to several dozen nonpartisan judicial races that come around once every eight years.

Here is the total ballot.


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If you voted in the May primaries, this will not be as quick as that was. 

Shelby County Elections Administrator Linda Phillips says the goal is an average of eight minutes for a voter to complete making their choices in this election given the offices on the ballot.

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She has also said voters who are prepared or bring notes with them are coming closer to that average than those who walk in to vote with no preparation.

That may lead to some lines at your polling place just as there were during early voting.

This ballot is a combination of a county general election, state and federal primaries, Arlington municipal elections and a Memphis referendum.


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The combination means an election official will ask you whether you want to vote in the Republican primary or the Democratic primary.

If you choose one, it is to vote in the state and federal primaries.

You don’t have to vote in a primary. You can instead vote only in the general elections.

If you vote in a primary, your ballot also includes the general election races.

In primary elections, you can only vote for candidates of the party you choose.


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Some of the primary races will have only one candidate or no candidate for that party.

The winning candidates in the primary races advance to the November state and federal general election ballot.

You may have heard that you can ask for a paper ballot to hand mark instead of using the touch screen machines.

That choice is not available to voters until the November election as part of the change to a new voting system that offers hand-marked paper ballots as an option.

If you vote a paper ballot this time, it will likely be as a provisional ballot because of problems with your identification or voter registration status.

No voter will see every one of the races on the sample ballot above. Some vary by what district you live in and what primary, if any, you choose to vote in along with the general election.

Do not go to vote Election Day if you voted during the early voting period July 15-30.

If you are an early voter by habit in past elections, remember that you have to vote at the precinct you are registered in on Election Day. You cannot go to any voting site as was the case during early voting.

Here are the forms of identification required to vote by state law.

This is where it gets more complex.

The Shelby County Election Commission has overhauled precinct boundaries for the first time in two decades and renumbered precincts for the first time since the Crump era of politics to line up with the numbering system used in the rest of the state for some time now.


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That system is by what County Commission district in which you live.

Your polling place of many years may have changed.

Your County Commission district, Memphis-Shelby County Schools board district, state House district, state Senate district and U.S. House district may also have changed as well because of the once-a-decade redistricting process.

Go to this lookup feature by the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office to verify all of this information and be sure about where you vote on Election Day and what districts you are in.

The govotetn website is also an app that will show you the specific ballot you will have, down to the specific district races and the names of the candidates.

If your district races on the touchscreen machine ballot don’t match what you’ve found above, stop and call for an election official. Do not cast your vote and then call for help.

A way to review this is at the end of making your selections but before you hit the button that casts your vote.

Between those two parts of the voting process, the touch screen will show the choices you have made for you to review including your district races.

That is perhaps the best time to check your district numbers to make sure they match what you looked up on the state’s website or app.

You are allowed to use your phone or any digital device in casting your ballot. You can also use any notes you have made or any endorsement ballot you might have received.

After you have cast your ballot and the polls close at 7 p.m., watch The Daily Memphian website for the complete election returns and results. Follow @bdriesdm on Twitter for live coverage of the returns as well.

Topics

August 2022 election big ballot

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Bill Dries

Bill Dries

Bill Dries covers city and county government and politics. He is a native Memphian and has been a reporter for more than 40 years.


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