Nashville runoff: What to know, how to vote on election day Thursday

Nashville is about to decide its next mayor.

On Thursday, voters will cast their ballots in runoff elections for Nashville mayor and a handful of Metro Council seats. There is also one state House seat on the ballot.

Nearly 69,000 residents already voted during the early voting period, which ended Sept. 9.

Here's what you need to know before casting your ballot.

Things to know before heading to the polls

Is it too late to register to vote in Nashville's runoff election?

Yes. Registration for the runoff election ended Aug. 15. If you're not sure of your registration status, you can check that here.

Where do I vote in Nashville?

Residents must vote at their designated polling place. You can find your polling location here.

When do polls close in Nashville?

Polls open at 7a.m. in Nashville and close at 7 p.m.

Do I need a photo ID to vote in Nashville?

Yes. Voters in Tennessee must bring a valid photo identification card, which can include a driver's license or photo ID issued by the state of Tennessee, a U.S. passport, a U.S. military photo ID or a Tennessee handgun carry permit that includes a photo.

College student IDs, city- or county-issued IDs, and out-of-state photo IDs are not accepted.

You do not need to bring your voter registration card to vote.

Can I leave work to vote in Nashville?

Employers are required to give their employees paid time off to vote provided they have been given notice.

Sharon Cheek walks out of Casa Azafran after early voting during the mayoral election at Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023.
Sharon Cheek walks out of Casa Azafran after early voting during the mayoral election at Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023.

What races will be on my ballot?

All ballots will include the races for mayor and the four at-large Metro Council seats unfilled in the general election. At-large councilmembers represent the county as a whole rather than a specific district.

There are also Council runoffs in Districts 4, 11, and 29. District 4 is in southern Davidson County next to Brentwood, District 11 is in the Old Hickory and Hermitage area, and District 29 is in Antioch. Check your Council district by entering your address here.

Voters in Tennessee House District 51 will also decide their next representative in a special election. House District 51 covers downtown Nashville and a stretch of northeast Davidson County. You can find your state political district information by entering your address here.

Comparing Nashville's candidates for mayor

Though the race is nonpartisan, Freddie O’Connell and Alice Rolli sit at odds on the political spectrum. O’Connell, a progressive candidate supported by local union groups, secured 27% of the vote in the general election. Rolli, a conservative candidate with the endorsement of the Davidson County Republican Party and the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police, claimed 20%.

O'Connell's campaign has highlighted his deep knowledge of Metro government and policy, which stems from his eight years serving as District 19's Metro Council member. Rolli touts her experience as a business leader and educator and her connections to state lawmakers as uniquely qualifying for the mayoral seat.

Read in-depth profiles of each candidate here: Freddie O'Connell and Alice Rolli.

Compare the candidates' platforms at a glance here.

Compare the candidates' questionnaire responses here.

Here's an analysis of how the race may unfold.

Mayoral candidates Alice Rolli and Freddie O'Connell face their final competition in the runoff election on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023 in Nashville, Tenn.
Mayoral candidates Alice Rolli and Freddie O'Connell face their final competition in the runoff election on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023 in Nashville, Tenn.

Mayoral candidates on the issues:

Other helpful links:

Who are the at-large Metro Council candidates?

The city's five at-large councilmembers serve the county as a whole. Incumbent At-large Councilmember Zulfat Suara won her seat outright in the general election. Eight candidates made the runoff for the remaining four seats.

Metro Council At-Large Candidates in the 2023 runoff election on Sept. 14. Top, from left to right: Incumbent Burkley Allen, Chris Cheng, Quin Evans Segall, Howard Jones. Bottom, left to right: Olivia Hill, Delishia Porterfield, Russ Pulley, Jeff Syracuse.
Metro Council At-Large Candidates in the 2023 runoff election on Sept. 14. Top, from left to right: Incumbent Burkley Allen, Chris Cheng, Quin Evans Segall, Howard Jones. Bottom, left to right: Olivia Hill, Delishia Porterfield, Russ Pulley, Jeff Syracuse.

Voters can select up to four at-large candidates on the runoff ballot.

Read an analysis of the race (and its fundraising) here. Compare the candidates' questionnaire responses in this scorecard.

Here are the eight candidates that will be on the ballot, in alphabetical order:

Who are the candidates running for district Metro Council seats?

Three district Council seats will be decided in the runoff. Get an inside look at how those races are unfolding here. Compare the candidates' questionnaire responses here.

District 4

District 11

District 29

Who's running for House District 51?

A visitor closes his umbrella before entering the Howard Office Building, in Nashville Tenn., a voting poll is located at the metro building to vote in the local election, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023.
A visitor closes his umbrella before entering the Howard Office Building, in Nashville Tenn., a voting poll is located at the metro building to vote in the local election, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023.

The only statewide office on the ballot, the House District 51 seat opened up after the unexpected death of Rep. Bill Beck, D-Nashville. Metro Council selected former Council member Anthony Davis in June to temporarily serve in the seat, but he lost in the Democratic primary on Aug. 3.

Candidates for the seat include, in alphabetical order:

Evan Mealins is the justice reporter for The Tennessean. Contact him at emealins@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanMealins.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville runoff: What to know, how to vote on election day Thursday