Maintaining the Voter Registration Rolls

Tennessee law regulates when a voter must be removed from the registration rolls.  Under TCA § 2-2-105 & 106, a voter registration is permanent unless the voter:
  • Asks to be removed from the rolls in writing.
  • has a name change for any reason except marriage or divorce and fails to tell us within 90 days.
  • Dies.
  • Is convicted of a felony.
  • Moves outside the county or has registered to vote in another jurisdiction.
  • Fails to respond to written notice as a result of an address verification notice  AND fails to vote in two subsequent consecutive regular November elections.

Postal Stamp on Vote

Address verification is authorized under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and here is how it works:
First, there has to be objective evidence that a voter has moved.  We don’t randomly decide a voter has moved.  There are only three things that fit the criteria of objective evidence. 
  • We mailed something to a voter that was returned as undeliverable.  This mail must have been returned – either as a result of a request from the voter, like submitting a new registration form or requesting a new registration card, or if a  uniform, non-discriminatory notice that was mailed to all voters in a similar situation.  For example, if the polling place for a precinct changes, we send a notice to every voter in that precinct;  those notices are uniform and  non-discriminatory. 
  • The United States Postal Service National Change of Address system suggests that you moved.
  • The Tennessee Department of Safety has a different, more recent address for you. 
If there is objective evidence, then the voter’s status is changed to inactive, and we mail a notice that can be forwarded to the voter’s new address.  It includes a postage pre-paid mailer the voter can use to either verify or correct his/her address.  If a voter responds, then their status is returned to active.
However, if the voter doesn’t respond and then fails to vote in the next two regular November elections, the voter will be removed from the list of registered voters.

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