Do You Feel Convicted Felons Should Have Voting Rights?

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Do you feel that convicted felons should have the right to vote? CLICK HERE to e-mail WGNS your thoughts.

In Tennessee, all felony convictions, whether by a court in Tennessee or one in another state, or a federal court, cause you to forfeit your eligibility to vote. You may regain your eligibility to vote if you have your conviction expunged or if you have your voting rights restored.

The National Conference on State Legislatures reports that the Tennessee Constitution denies the right to vote persons convicted of an infamous crime (Tenn. Const. Art. 1, § 5). Any felony is considered an "infamous crime" and disqualifies a person from exercising the right of suffrage (T.C.A. § 40-20-112). Those convicted of infamous crimes may petition for restoration upon completion of the sentence or be pardoned by the governor (T.C.A. § 40-29-101, § 2-19-143). Proof of restoration is needed in order to register to vote (T.C.A. § 2-2-139).


The restoration of voting rights form may be used in Tennessee to restore an individual's voting rights for a felony conviction on or after May 18, 1981.

In our two most northern states, Maine and Vermont, felons never lose their right to vote--even when in prison.


For details on VOTING RIGHTS by Tennessee felons, visit the Secretary of State's website:

A few of the responses:

I think it's correct, the way it's set up. When you get a felony, that comes along with the punishment, you can have them restored. When people don't pay their Child support they get their license taken away, but they can get them back also. Punishment is Punishment. Consequences are Consequences. (from JB)

Yes they should lose their right until proven that they can be a normal law abiding citizen. (from DD)

Felons have relinquished their right to vote by their chosen illegal activities.Their rights should never be re-instated. (from JL)

Yes absolutely all citizens should have the right to vote (from CR)

Just because a person makes mistakes does not mean they are not American citizens. All Americans that aren't incarcerated and live in the US should be able to vote.(from #1423)

No. Convicted felons should LOSE their right to vote. If they break the law and are convicted they don't know how to "play by the rules". They shouldn't have any place to vote for people that make the laws that they choose not to obey. (from HL)

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