Early voting for Nashville’s August 3 Metro Election came to a close on Saturday, July 29. Over the two-week period, just 11.6% of registered voters cast their ballots across Davidson County. Such low voter turnout signals the need for a much higher turnout on Thursday, August 3. With only days away from the election, it’s up to Nashville to recover from its slow start and turn out to elect the city’s next mayor and Metro Council.
Early voting got off to a slow start in Nashville. After the polls opened on July 14, the first week of early voting saw just 17,150 people cast their ballots. By July 25, that number had risen to 33,250. By the end of early voting, 57,461 people had cast their votes for Nashville’s next mayor and Metro Council.
To put those numbers in perspective, Nashville is home to 497,219 registered voters, plus thousands of residents who are not registered to vote.
Jeff Roberts, Davidson County’s Elections Administrator, told WKRN that about 150,000 people usually vote in Nashville’s mayoral elections. Davidson County is currently a long way from that goal. To get there, Nashville voters will need to turn out in full force on Thursday. During the last mayoral election in 2019, only about 3,500 more people voted on election day than during the early voting period.
What matters isn’t just numbers, though. It also matters who shows up to vote, and so far in the Metro General Election, more older than younger Nashvillians have cast their ballots. As of July 25, the biggest group of people who voted were those aged 65 and older.
The following data set shows how many people of each age group voted as of July 25:
18 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 49
50 to 64
Almost half of the people who participated in early voting at this point were 65 years old or older, while only about 2% of those who voted were between 18 and 24 years old. This means that older Nashville residents could have a much greater say in the future of Nashville’s government than younger residents. This trend makes it especially important for young voters to cast their ballots on August 3.
Voter turnout is a key indicator of civic engagement, and can have a real impact on the future of Nashville. On August 3, Nashvillians will decide who the Music City’s next mayor will be — a choice that will affect issues ranging from the prospective stadium deal to education to economic growth. Nashville residents will also elect their next vice mayor and Metro Council, including five at-large members and 35 district representatives.
High voter turnout means that more Nashville residents have a say in who represents them. Better representation means stronger leadership for a diverse and thriving community.
The best way to increase voter turnout is to make a plan to vote on election day and encourage others in Nashville to vote as well. Here are some easy steps to help you get ready to vote on Thursday, August 3:
Decide who to vote for! Explore Good Party’s independent voter guide to learn about people-powered candidates running in your district, and think about which candidates best support your vision for the future of Nashville.
Nashville has four Good Party Certified candidates running for Metro Council:
These candidates are all running non-partisan, grassroots-supported campaigns. Check out their candidate pages above to learn about the issues they are most passionate about and what inspires them to lead Nashville forward.
You can also view a full sample ballot here to see all the candidates running for mayor, vice mayor, and Metro Council. If you’re not sure which district you are in, you can enter your address here to locate your district.
The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 3. There are polling places across Nashville, so enter your address here to find yours. Find your polling place and make a plan for when you can go vote! Even if you have to rearrange your schedule, voting is worth the extra time and commitment.
Also plan ahead and bring a correct form of identification with you to the polls. Any of these kinds of ID are acceptable to vote:
Tennessee driver’s license with your photo
United States passport
A photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
A photo ID issued by the federal or Tennessee state government
United States military photo ID
Tennessee handgun carry permit with your photo
Once you’ve made a plan to vote on August 3, reach out to friends and family and help get out the vote! Consider carpooling to your polling place or giving a neighbor a ride. Ask your family members if they are ready to vote. Share about voting on social media — whether you’re sharing your excitement or resources to help your followers get ready for election day.
Democracy thrives in community! Multiply your impact by helping the people around you prepare for August 3.
Nashville has gotten off to a slow start with early voting this year — and more older than younger Nashville residents have cast their ballots. There’s still time to increase voter turnout and make sure that Nashville has fair and equitable representation for the next four years. You can make a real difference in shaping the city’s future. Just choose who to vote for, make your plan for August 3, and then spread the word about the importance of voting in Nashville!