Tennessee adds to process for voting rights after felony conviction



(The Center Square) – Tennessee has added new restrictions to allowing residents with out-of-state felony convictions to regain voting privileges.

Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins wrote a person convicted of a felony must receive a pardon from a governor of the United States president or have their full rights of citizenship restored and then must have paid all owed restitution and assessed court costs along with being current on child support obligations.

The memo, posted by Democracy Docket, comes after the Tennessee Supreme Court recently ruled a person convicted of a felony outside Tennessee must fulfill the state’s process for restoring voting rights.

“Although the Court indicated that the holding in Falls v. Goins was limited to the facts before them, the application of the holding to other governing statutes requires the same interpretation to those convicted of a felony in both federal and Tennessee state courts because the statutory language that applies to in-state and federal felonies closely aligns with the statutory language at issue in Falls v. Goins,” Goins wrote.

The person must submit evidence of the pardon or restoration of full rights of citizenship on a new Certificate of Restoration of Voting Rights form and have it approved before voting rights will be restored.

The Tennessee memo comes as Florida is being sued for allegedly creating a system that impedes the process of voting rights being restored five years after the state’s residents voting for the restoration of voting rights for those who have felony convictions.

It was estimated the Florida law would allow 1.4 million to regain voting rights, but that hasn’t happened, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

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