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Lebanon, TN –Wilson County voters will have several opportunities to express their opinions at the polls in 2016.  There are three scheduled elections for the year beginning with the March 1st Presidential Preference Primary. This election will be the Tennessee Republican or Democratic Primary Election to choose candidates and/or party delegates to their respective conventions.

A Primary Election is a nominating election. Voters participating in a Primary Election consider themselves Republicans or Democrats- there are no Primary Elections for Independents. Tennessee is an Open Primary state and voters do not register as members of a political party. Tennessee has two recognized parties – the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. In order to vote in the primary, voters are required to choose which party primary they wish to vote in. Of course, voters may vote in only one party primary election.


Tennessee law says that, “A registered voter is entitled to vote in a primary election for offices for which the voter is qualified to vote at the polling place where the voter is registered if: The voter is a bona fide member of and affiliated with the political party in whose primary the voter seeks to vote; or, At the time the voter seeks to vote, the voter declares allegiance to the political party in whose primary the voter seeks to vote and states that the voter intends to affiliate with that party.”


The Tennessee Republican Party and the Tennessee Democratic Party have their own rules about how someone becomes a presidential delegate. The Republican presidential delegates are decided by election and the Democratic presidential delegates are decided by party rules.


The Republican ballot has 14 certified presidential candidates and the Democratic ballot has 3 certified candidates. Republican primary voters will vote for one of the presidential nominees, up to 14 at- large and three 6th congressional district delegates to the National Republican Convention. Democratic primary voters will vote for one of the three certified presidential candidates on the ballot.


“With all the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates and with 177 Republican delegate candidates, the ballot is a long one. To make the voting experience better, voters are encouraged to take time before coming to vote to familiarize themselves with the ballot. A sample of the Republican and Democratic ballot are available on our website,,” said Phillip Warren, Administrator of Elections.


The last day to register to vote in the March 1st Presidential Preference Primary is February 1st . Early voting begins on February 10th at all four convenient Early Voting sites in Wilson County.


The Election Commission is eager to answer your voting and election related questions. To learn more about elections, voting and how you can be involved contact the Wilson County Election Commission at 615-444-0216 or online at