Secretary of State Tre Hargett Presents Middle Tennessee State University with Tennessee College Voter Registration Competition Award



NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Secretary of State Tre Hargett presented Middle Tennessee State University with an award for winning the annual Tennessee College Voter Registration Competition in the four-year public school category. 

“The continued commitment of MTSU students to register their fellow students to vote is evident by their work to earn the top spot in the competition for a third time,” said Secretary Hargett. “The first step to making your voice heard on Election Day is registering to vote. I hope the newly registered Blue Raiders put their voter registrations to use by becoming lifelong voters.”

The Secretary of State’s 2023 Tennessee College Voter Registration Competition was held during National Voter Registration Month in September. Thirty-eight of Tennessee’s 2- and 4-year colleges, universities and technical colleges across the state participated in this year’s contest.



“I continue to be so proud of our student leaders, with the support and guidance of our American Democracy Project, for their stellar voter registration efforts resulting in this recognition from Secretary Hargett,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee. “And I applaud his office’s initiative through this friendly annual competition to get more college students involved in this important civic responsibility. Part of our True Blue Pledge encourages our students to ‘be engaged in the life of the community’ and voting remains a critical part of that endeavor.”



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In addition to Middle Tennessee State University, TCAT Pulaski won in the Tennessee College of Applied Technology category, Cumberland University earned the top spot in the private school category and Pellissippi State Community College won in the two-year community college category in this year’s Tennessee College Voter Registration Competition.

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The winning schools were selected based on points earned by registering students to vote, creating a voter registration campaign for their campus and promoting voter registration on social media using #GoVoteTN along with their campus-specific hashtag.

Election Integrity 

“In Tennessee it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat. Thanks to the election laws passed by the General Assembly and administered by the 95 County Election Commissions, Tennessee is ranked number one in the nation for election integrity by The Heritage Foundation.”


How Tennessee Is Protecting the Ballot Box:
  • Voting machines used in Tennessee are not connected to the internet.
  • Bipartisan county election commissions must ensure voting machines are publicly tested before every election.
  • Ineligible voters are removed from voter rolls through mandated list maintenance procedures.
  • All elections are administered locally and overseen by a bipartisan county election commission.
  • Tennesseans must present a valid Tennessee or federally issued government photo ID to vote. IDs issued by other states, private organizations, and college student IDs are not acceptable.
  • Tennessee law does not allow Election Day registration.
  • Voters must request a ballot and meet one of fourteen qualifying conditions to vote absentee by-mail.
  • Election officials match the signature on the absentee by-mail ballot envelope with the one on file in the Elections office.
  • Absentee by-mail ballots are watermarked.
  • Bipartisan counting boards count absentee by-mail votes.
  • Absentee by-mail ballots cast during early voting are not counted until Election Day.
  • Bipartisan poll officials help tabulate election results at polling locations.
  • Election Day totals are unofficial. All county election commissions must verify election results before they are certified.
  • Tennessee law does not allow out-of-state poll watchers or foreign election observers.
  • Tennessee law places strong restrictions on private funding of election administration.
  • Committing voter fraud is a felony in Tennessee.

 For more information about the Secretary of State’s civic engagement initiatives, visit