Tennessee voting issues
This page is part of the Election Protection Wiki,
- 1 Election and registration information
- 2 Governmental election authorities
- 3 Election threats
- 4 State and local non-governmental election organizations
- 5 Articles and resources
Election and registration information
Voter ID Requirements
Identification Requirements for First-Time Voters That Registered by Mail ANY ONE of the following items:
- A current VOTER REGISTRATION CARD
- A current TENNESSEE DRIVER’S LICENSE
- A PHOTO ID which includes the voter’s name and signature
If the voter has NONE of the above items, he/she will still be able to vote if they have any one item from Column A PLUS any one item from Column B.
Column A: Show ANY ONE of the following:
- Current & valid photo I.D. of any kind, either government- issued or private, not containing a voter’s signature
- Current utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government check
- ANY OTHER government document(s) that show the voter’s NAME and ADDRESS.
Column B: Do EITHER ONE of the following:
- Show ANY document with the voter’s NAME and SIGNATURE (Examples: Social security card, credit card with a signature, any other document which has the voter’s name and signature.)
- SIGN an official AFFIDAVIT OF IDENTITY form provided by the polling place officials
For the 2008 election Tennessee used the following voting machines. For a county-by-county list of the specific machines (and the source for this section) see Verified Voting's Verifier tool.
- Main article: Voting machines
Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) machines without a paper trail:
Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) machines with a paper trail:
Optical scan machines:
- Premier Election Solutions's (Diebold) AccuVote-OS voting machine
- Election Systems & Software's Model 100 voting machine
Tennessee Department of State Division of Elections
- Website: http://www.state.tn.us/sos/election/
- 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
- 9th Floor, Snodgrass Tower
- Nashville, TN 37243-1102
- Phone: (615) 741-7956
- For an extensive log of voting machine problems, see the VotersUnite! report on election incidents.
Felon voting rights
"Tennessee law is particularly complicated because eligibility depends on the year of conviction as well as the type of offense. Depending on these factors, some people never regain the right to vote, while others do only after satisfying a series of requirements that make them eligible to apply for what is known as a “Certificate of Restoration,” a prerequisite to registering to vote. Interviews conducted in 2007 revealed that 63% of local election officials interviewed could not provide the specific years and offenses that would permanently disenfranchise individuals. In addition, not one of the 95 election officials interviewed was able to list the four key requirements that individuals must satisfy before they can apply for a Certificate of Restoration."
"[I]ndividuals with out-of-state or federal felony convictions can vote if their voting rights were restored in another state or if they meet the Tennessee requirements. However, in interviews in 2007, 90% of local officials failed to respond correctly regarding the voting eligibility of a person convicted of a federal felony. More specifically, 54% of officials did not mention any specific restriction, 27% cited one or two of the five restrictions, and 9% stated they did not know the answer. Seventy-five percent of the Tennessee officials provided incorrect answers regarding the voter eligibility of a person convicted of felony in another state."
"A recurrent problem was the refusal or unwillingness of election officials to answer basic questions about the state election law.[...]Some interviewers received some deeply troubling responses from officials. In Tennessee, six county election officials indicated that they would not offer assistance, either directly or through a referral, to a formerly incarcerated individual having difficulty obtaining the Certificate of Restoration required to restore voting rights. One Tennessee official said individuals with felony convictions “shouldn’t be allowed to vote.” Another said, “not if I can catch them.” And another stated, “I uphold the good people, and criminals can take care of themselves. . . I’m not going go bend over backwards to help a felon.”"
- Main article: Felon disenfranchisement
State and local non-governmental election organizations
Gathering to Save Our Democracy
Description: We are a grassroots group of Tennessee citizens who are working to ensure that all elections are transparent and verifiable.
League of Women Voters
LWV of Tennessee, Ms. Judy Poulson, President
- PO Box 158369
- Nashville, TN 37215-8369
- Phone: 615-297-7134
- Fax: 615-385-2157
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Blount County
- Jefferson County
- Knoxville-Knox County
- Memphis-Shelby County
- Murfreesboro/Rutherford County
- Oak Ridge
- Northeast Tennessee
Articles and resources
- The main page on election protection and reform organizations.
- All articles in the Election Protection Wiki project.
- For election day: Things citizens can do to monitor elections and If you are told you cannot vote.
- GoVote.org locates your polling place and other voting information.
- Google map polling locations locates most polling location, may be missing or out of date.
Election Protection hotlines
- 866-OUR-VOTE (National Election Protection Hotline)
- 888-VE-Y-VOTA (Español)
- 800-966-5946 (AALDEF, Asian languages)
- 866-MYVOTE1 (Tom Joyner Hotline - VoterAction, NAACP National Voter Fund)
- 877-523-2792 (ACLU Voting Rights Project Hotline)
- 877-US4-OBAMA (Obama campaign Voter Hotline)
- 866-976-VOTE (McCain campaign Honest and Open Election hotline - leave a message)
- 877-GOCNN08 (CNN Voter Problem Tipline)
- 888-VOTE-TIP (VelvetRevolution Election Protection Hotline for fraud)
- 567-258-VOTE (Twitter Vote Report key in report or leave audio message)
- ACLU's "Know Your Voting Rights - State by State" -- printable brochures summarizing your voting rights, for most states.
- One-page know your rights summaries for 27 states from the AFL-CIO.
- Click here to see the voter ID requirements in all states. From the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Election officials, election reform groups, and elected officials
- Why Tuesday? offers a page for Tennessee that helps locate Tennessee's elections officials, election reform groups, and elected officials, as well as a page titled Find a group in your area that lets you find similar information for other states.
- Click here to request an absentee ballot. Go Vote Absentee is a project of the Women Donors Network.
- Information for voters with disabilities from NDRN.
Student voting rights
- See Tennessee Student Voting Rights for a guide to student voting rights in Tennessee. See Student Voting Rights for a guide to other states. From the Brennan Center for Justice.
- See how organizations you trust recommend you vote on ballot measures and other statewide contests at TransparentDemocracy.
- Help in other languages from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 中文, 日本語, 한국어, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt, Español
- Verified Voting's Tennessee page, which provides detailed information on voting equipment in use in every county in Tennessee.
- Election Law @ Moritz's Tennessee page, which provides detailed information on election law developments in Tennessee. See map page to see the information for election developments in any given state.
- Election Law @ Moritz's Tennessee general information page, which provides information on Tennessee election authorities, post-election processes, and other topics. See map page to see this information for any given state.
Disability-related voting assistance
Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee is sponsoring a toll-free hotline for individuals with disabilities who encounter disability related problems at Tennessee polling locations during early voting or on Election Day. The hotline will be open from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CST each Monday through Friday during early voting (October 15, 2008-October 30, 2008), and 7 a.m.-7 p.m. CST on Election Day (Tuesday, November 4, 2008). The hotline is set up to receive both voice and TTY calls. Voters in the Nashville area can contact (615) 298-1080 (TTY: (615) 298-2471) and voters throughout the rest of Tennessee can call toll-free 1-800-287-9636 (TTY: 1-888-852-2852).
- From a news report, Election Day Help Available For Voters With Disabilities, MyEyewitnessNews.com, October 15, 2008.