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         RESTORATION OF VOTING RIGHTS:
               A SUMMARY OF TENNESSEE LAW

In order to register and vote in Tennessee, any person who has been convicted of a felony must have his or her voting rights restored.  The following information provides a description of that process.

General Information:
  1. If the person seeks to restore his or her citizenship rights using a court order, then a certified copy of the original order must be filed with the county election commission office of residence.
  2. If the person seeks to restore his or her citizenship rights using a certificate of restoration, then the original certificate must be filed with the county election commission office of residence.
a.  The certificate must be completed by the pardoning authority or an agent or officer of
     the supervising or incarcerating authority and by an agent of the circuit/criminal court
     clerk;
b.  The certificate is not sufficient to restore a person's right to seek and hold
               public office.  The person must obtain a judicial order for those purposes.

     
3.  Persons convicted of a felony between January 15, 1973, and May 17, 1981, did not
           loose their voting rights and therefore do not have to do anything to have their rights
           restored, but would have to obtain a court order to seek and hold public office.  See
           Crutchfield B. Collins, 607 S. W. 2D 478 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1980).   

      4.  Upon submission of either a certified copy of a judgment or the original certificate of
            restoration to the county election commission office of residence, the county
            administrator of elections shall verify with the Coordinator of Elections that the person
            may be registered to vote.

      5.  The Coordinator of Elections will verify with the Department of Human Services (DHS)
           that the person either does not have a record of child support obligations, or the record
           reflects that the person is up-to-date on the child support obligation payments.

Specific Procedures based on Year of Conviction:

Persons convicted of a felony on or after May 18, 1981, must submit an original
Certificate of Restoration to their local county election commission office.

Persons found infamous in a judgment of conviction for abuse of a female child; arson
and felonious burning; bigamy; bribary; burglary; felonious breaking and entering a
dwelling house; felonious breaking into a business house, outhouse other than a dwelling
house; larceny; horse stealing; robbery; receiving stolen property; stealing bills of ex-
change or other valuable papers; destroying a will; incest; rape; sodomy; buggery; or
perjury; subornation of perjury before January 1973 must obtain a certified copy of a
court order.
 
Exceptions -  Persons convicted of any of the following, cannot have his or her voting
rights restored:
Between July 1, 1986, and June 30, 1996 - first degree murder, aggravated rape,
treason, or voter fraud;

Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 2006 - murder, rape, treason, or voter fraud;

On or after July 1, 2006 - Any of the above, or any degree of murder or rape or any
felony offense under TCA Title 39, Chapter 16, parts 1, 4, or 5; any sexual offense
undr TCA 40-39-202(17) or any violent sexual offense under TCA 40-39-202(25)
designated as a felony and where the victim of such offense was a minor.



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