Restore My Right to Vote

If you have been convicted of a felony, defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 40–20–112, then you have lost your right to vote. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 2–19–143, 40–20–112.  However, the Tennessee State Legislature has also established conditions and procedures through which individuals who have lost their voting rights may regain them.

Section 2–2–139 allows you to restore your right to vote if you:

  1. Have been pardoned and your rights have been restored;
  2. Your rights have been restored; or
  3. An appellate court (for example, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals) has reversed the conviction(s).

If you are eligible to have your voting rights restored, you must get the Certificate of Restoration of Voting Rights filled out by one of the agencies listed on the form. 

The local telephone number for the State of Tennessee’s Community Supervision Field Office in Knox County is 865-582-2000.  This field office serves Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hancock, Jefferson, Knox, Sevier, and Union Counties.  Please keep in mind this form will only restore your voting rights; it does not restore all rights taken away by a felony conviction.

Some felony convictions will prohibit you from having your voting rights restored.  Determining what convictions prevent you from having your rights restored can involve a complex tapestry of cases if your conviction was prior to July 1, 1986.  If your conviction occurred on or after July 1, 1986, then the list of convictions that prohibits restoration of voting rights can be found at Tenn. Code Ann. § 40–29–204.  If your conviction was after July 1, 2006, the convictions that will keep you from getting your voting rights restored are; voter fraud; treason; murder; rape; felony convictions under Title 39, Chapter 16, parts 1, 4, or 5; or any sexual offense or violent sexual offense under Tenn. Code Ann. § 40–39–202.

If your conviction is not one that prohibits restoring your voting rights, you must wait until the expiration of the maximum sentence for your convicted offense, even if you did not serve the maximum sentence.  You must also pay all restitution and court costs, unless the court found you to be indigent at the time of application, before you can have your voting rights restored.  You must also be current in your child support obligations. Tenn. Code Ann. § 40–29–202.

If you have questions about whether you are eligible to have your voting rights restored, you may wish to contact an attorney.  The Knoxville Bar Association provides a lawyer referral service to members of the public.

This website is provided as a courtesy by the Knox County Democratic Party. It is not meant to give legal advice; instead, this webpage simply provides a summary and reference point for laws addressing Tennessee elections. Voting laws are subject to change. Only a licensed attorney may provide legal advice.

  • Featured event

    Truman Day 2019

    We would love for you to join the Knox County Democratic Party for our annual fundraiser and celebration of Democratic values on May 31st, 2019. Please come enjoy a sit-down dinner with your local Democrats. Come early and enjoy a cocktail hour during check-in, so you can meet and mingle with your blue neighbors. Doors open at 6pm. 

    Tickets are $65 until May 20th. After, tickets will be $70.

    Click here to order you ticket now!

    Proceeds from Truman Day go toward our ambitious 2019 fundraising goals, which we will use to support our candidates, protect our Democratic seats, and flip more of those seats in 2020!

    May 31, 2019 at 6:30pm
    The Foundry On the Fair Site
    747 World's Fair Park Dr
    Knoxville, TN 37902
    United States
    Google map and directions
    $65.00 USD · 10 rsvps


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