Article 4, §2 of the 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.
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.
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.