Tennessee Responds to CLC’s Request to Clarify Voter Eligibility for People with Prior Felony Convictions.

Issues
Image
Voter registration form

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett agreed to update the state’s website to correct inaccurate information about voter registration laws for citizens with past felony convictions. Tennessee’s actions come after over six months of pressure from Campaign Legal Center (CLC).

Tennessee has agreed to do three things:

  • Post clear instructions about voting rights in election offices and Department of Motor Vehicles offices
  • Change the language on the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website
  • Make a request to the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) to place additional instructions on the federal voter registration form to clarify the eligibility of its citizens.

Read the instructions Tennessee is releasing.

Currently, the state’s registration form wrongly informs applicants that their felony convictions are disqualifying unless their voting rights have been restored. This information is misleading because many persons with prior convictions never lost their voting rights. Under Tennessee law, not all persons with a prior conviction are ineligible to register to vote.  

Secretary Hargett’s response comes after CLC sent a letter  informing the state that the registration forms were incorrect and not in compliance with the National Voting Rights Act (NVRA).

For more information on voting with a prior felony conviction visit RestoreYourVote.org.