Lebanon, TN – December marks the beginning of the 2024 election cycle with several important deadlines and dates. Preparation for three elections in 2024 are well underway at the Wilson County Election Commission.
December 14th at Noon is the qualifying deadline for Republican, Democratic and Independent candidates to file their petitions to be included on the March 5th, 2024 Wilson County Primary ballot. (Qualified Independent candidates will only appear on the August 1, 2024 Wilson County General Election ballot). Candidates qualifying on or before December 14th at Noon may withdraw by Noon on December 21st and not have their name appear on the ballot.
The local Wilson County Republican and Democratic Parties called for a Republican and Democratic Primary for all eligible Wilson County offices on the March 5, 2024 ballot. The local primary will include Wilson County Property Assessor, School Board members for Zones 1, 3, 5 and 7 and an at-large member of the Lebanon Special School Board.
The Wilson County Republican and Democratic Primaries are being held in conjunction with the March 5th, 2024 Republican and Democratic Presidential Preference Primaries. Presidential election years offer an opportunity for Wilson County political parties to hold their primaries in March rather than in May and have the expenses of the election reimbursed by the state saving Wilson County the cost of an election.
Primary elections are nominating elections that are established and administered according to state law. Tennessee Code defines “primary election" as an election held for a political party for the purpose of allowing members of that party to select a nominee or nominees to appear on the general election ballot. Those eligible to vote in primaries are voters who are bona fide members of or affiliated with the political party in whose primary they seek to vote; or voters who, at the time they seek to vote, declares allegiance to the political party in whose primary they seek to vote and states that they intend to affiliate with that party. Voters who are not affiliated with either party and consider themselves Independents don’t participate in the primary election. They have their vote counted in the August General Election.
The winner of the party primary election goes on to represent their party in the general election. The general election is the election where all voters- Republican, Democratic and Independents- make the final choice between the party and Independent candidates for a specific office. The winner of the general election will take office on September 1, 2024.
December, also, marks the first day to request an absentee ballot for the March 5, 2024 elections. Beginning on December 6th eligible Wilson County voters may submit their absentee requests. Tennessee law allows for absentee voting only under certain circumstances. Eligibility for absentee voting is determined by state law. Applications and more information about absentee voting is available at www.wilsontnvotes.gov/absentee-voting/ or by contacting the Election Commission.
On December 9th those wanting to gain an in depth understanding of how elections are administered in Wilson County are invited to attend a one-day Election Institute at the Wilson County Election Commission office. Since 2018, the Election Commission has hosted 6 Election Institutes with over 180 participants. The class covers every aspect of elections in an informal interactive setting. Information and the sign-up form can be found at https://www.wilsontnvotes.gov/election-institute.
“We encourage anyone with an interest in learning how we plan, prepare and conduct elections in Wilson County to take an active part in the election process and attend the Election Institute on December 9th.” said Tammy Smith, Administrator of Elections.
Stay informed about elections through a trusted source by signing up for Election text notifications from the Wilson County Election Commission. Accurate election related information is available by texting “WILSONTNVOTES” to 91896. You will have access to election related alerts and authoritative answers to election and voting questions from a source you can rely on.
For questions about election related issues or to learn how you can be involved contact the Wilson County Election Commission by calling 615-444-0216, emailing info@WilsonTN Votes.gov, online at www.WilsonTNVotes.gov or in person at 230 E Gay St in Lebanon.