Felons - Restoration of Voting Rights
Getting Your Voting Rights Restored
If you have been convicted of a felony, you are still eligible to register and vote in Tennessee, as long as the conviction was not for murder, rape, treason, or voter fraud. However, you must go through the process of getting your voting rights restored before you can be allowed to register and vote.
*Please note that if you intend to run for elected office, simply restoring your voting rights is not sufficient, you must also have your Citizenship Rights Restored. Please see the section on Qualifications for Office for more information.
If your conviction was after May 18, 1981 you can get a Certificate of Restoration (PDF) completed by your local Probation and Parole Agent or you may petition the Circuit Court to restore your rights. Convictions prior to May 18, 1981 may check the table at the bottom of the page or contact our office for instruction.
Step by Step Instructions for Restoration of Voting Rights via Certificate of Restoration:
1. Get a "Certificate of Restoration of Rights" form. This can be obtained from our office or from the above link. It can also be obtained from the TN Board of Probation and Parole. The Probation and Parole office is the first place you will need to take the form, so it may be easier to obtain the form from them. It should be noted that the applicant never signs anything or fills out anything on this form. The representatives of the agencies will complete all of the information on the form.
2. If the charge was tried in a state (or circuit) court, take the form to the TN Board of Probation and Parole which is located at 1661 Hollywood Drive, Jackson, TN 38305. Their phone number is: 731-984-9801. Anyone in that office will be able to guide the applicant through the process.
If the charge was tried in a federal court, take the form to the U.S. Probation and Parole Office at 109 South Highland Avenue, Jackson, TN 38301 which is located in the Ed Jones Federal Building, Room 101. Their phone number is: 731-421-9240.
3. If the charge was tried in federal court, the U.S. Probation and Parole Office may also complete the bottom section of the restoration form.
If the charge was tried in a state (circuit) court, take the form to the Circuit Court Clerk in the county where the conviction occurred. In Madison County, that office is in the Criminal Justice Center at 515 South Liberty Street, Jackson, TN 38301.
If the charge was in another state, the TN Board of Probation and Parole officials will assist you in finding the correct court where the form should be sent.
4. Once you complete this paperwork you will need to bring it to our office. We will then send the paperwork to the Division of Elections in Nashville who will review it and then send back confirmation that you can register to vote. Once we get that approval, we can register you to vote. The process can take around two weeks. Special Note: the approval process in Nashville does consider whether or not any child support payments are current. If they are not, your application for voter registration could be denied.
IMPORTANT: If there is more than one felony conviction in a person's records, then all convictions with their dates must be noted on the form by the TN Board of Probation and Parole. It is also acceptable if the Board completes a separate form for each conviction, but it is not necessary if they list all convictions on one form.
To know which procedure you must complete, view the following table.
Crimes Forfeiting the Right to Vote
Restoration Document Needed to get Rights Restored
|After May 18, 1981||All felonies
||Certificate of Restoration|
|January 15, 1973 - May 17, 1981||None||None|
|Before January 15, 1973||One of the following convictions: (note: the judgement must find the person infamous)
-Abusing a female child
-Arson and felonious burning
-Destroying a will
-Incest, rape, sodomy, or buggery
-Perjury, subornation of perjury
|Either one of the following:
-Conviction Judgement absent a
finding of Infamy
-Circuit Court Judgement
-Reversal of Conviction on Appeal