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Restoration of Voting Rights :
Tennessee Constitution provides that the Tennessee legislature may deny the right to vote to persons convicted of “infamous” crimes. Pursuant to this provision in the Tennessee Constitution, the Tennessee legislature has excluded individuals convicted of various felonies from the right of suffrage.
Related : Tennessee Secretary of State Absentee Voting : www.electionin.org/557.html
However, the legislature has also established conditions and procedures through which individuals who have lost their voting rights may regain them. The manner in which a person may restore a lost voting right depends upon the crime committed and the year in which the conviction occurred.
Restoration of Voting Rights Form :
The restoration of voting rights form may be used to restore an individual’s voting rights for a felony conviction on or after May 18, 1981.
Note: For each felony conviction imposed on or after May 18, 1981, whether it is a federal conviction, a state conviction within Tennessee or a state conviction from another state, a separate restoration of voting rights form must be completed for each felony conviction with a different docket/case number.
The form must be completed by an agent, such as a probation/parole officer or criminal court clerk, who has the authority to provide the required information regarding the individual’s conviction, final release date and information regarding restitution or court cost.
The person convicted of the felony offense may not complete the restoration of voting rights form. Once the form(s) are completed, the form(s) must be submitted to the local county election commission office in the county in which the individual resides.
The restoration of voting rights form only restores an individual’s voting rights. An individual’s citizenship rights must be restored through a court order.
Voter Eligibility :
To be eligible to vote in Tennessee, you must be a citizen of the United States. You must be (18) years of age or older on or before the date of the next election. You must be a resident of Tennessee.
View Guidelines for Determining Residency and special considerations for Homeless Persons Residency and Non-resident Property Owners. You must not have been convicted of a felony, or if you have, your voting rights must have been restored. View Restoration of Voting Rights.
In order to participate in an election, a qualified voter must be properly registered no later than thirty (30) days before the election. The election commission office will process any by-mail voter registration form that has been postmarked at least thirty (30) days before the election. T.C.A 2-2-109.
What ID is required when voting? :
All voters must present a federal or Tennessee state ID containing the voter’s name and photograph when voting at the polls, whether voting early or on Election Day unless an exemption below applies. The information on this website is provided to ensure that all Tennessee voters have access to information about the law.
What IDs are acceptable? :
Any of the following IDs may be used, even if expired :
** Tennessee driver license with your photo
** United States Passport
** Photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
** Photo ID issued by the federal or Tennessee state government
** United States Military photo ID
** Tennessee handgun carry permit with your photo
What IDs are not acceptable? :
College student IDs and photo IDs not issued by the federal or Tennessee state government are NOT acceptable. This includes county or city issued photo IDs, such as library cards, and photo IDs issued by other states.
Who is exempt? :
** Voters who vote absentee by mail (view requirements here)
** Voters who are residents of a licensed nursing home or assisted living center and who vote at the facility**
** Voters who are hospitalized
** Voters with a religious objection to being photographed
** Voters who are indigent and unable to obtain a photo ID without paying a fee