The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Elections

Reference Number: MTAS-182
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: September 19, 2017
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Elections - State Provisions
In 1972, the General Assembly enacted a comprehensive law to regulate all elections T.C.A. Title 2. Its apparent intent was to override provisions in private act charters and other conflicting general laws relating to the conduct of municipal elections, including certain provisions in T.C.A. Title 6, Chapter 53, that pertain to municipal elections. Title 6, Chapter 53, has been amended several times since 1972, however, and some of those amendments apply to current municipal elections and appear to be legally sound. For that reason, both T.C.A. Title 2 and Title 6, Chapter 53, should be consulted and reconciled with respect to questions regarding municipal elections.

The introductory provisions of T.C.A. Title 2 include the following:

  • "The purpose of this title is to regulate the conduct of all elections by the people so that ...internal improvement is promoted by providing a comprehensive and uniform procedure for elections ..." (T.C.A. § 2-1-102(3)); and
  • "All elections for public office, for candidacy for public office, and on questions submitted to the people shall be conducted under this title" (T.C.A. § 2-1-103).

The statutes outline the procedures and conduct of all city elections, and municipal officials should seek guidance from these laws and from those governing county election commissions.

Responsible: