Eligibility to Vote after a Felony Conviction

If you have had a felony conviction, your eligibility to register and vote depends upon the crime you were convicted of and the date of your conviction. For more information about this process, call our office at 1-877-850-4959 or visit our website at

If your conviction has been expunged, you may answer “No” when asked if you have a felony conviction on the voter registration form.

Conviction on or after May 18, 1981

All convictions for a crime that is a felony in Tennessee, whether by a Tennessee court, a court 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.

However, you are never eligible to register and vote if you were convicted of specific felonies within specific date ranges:

After July 1, 1986

  • Voter fraud
  • Treason
  • First-degree murder
  • Aggravated rape

After July 1, 1996, to June 30, 2006

  • Voter fraud
  • Treason
  • Any degree of murder or rape

After July 1, 2006

  • Voter fraud
  • Treason
  • Any degree of murder or rape
  • Certain felonies involving bribery, misconduct involving public officials and employees, or interference with government operations
  • Sexual offenses or violent sexual offenses that are felonies where the victim was a minor

Conviction between January 15, 1973, and May 17, 1981

 All persons who were convicted during this time period are eligible to vote. You do not need to have your rights restored, but the Division of Elections will need to verify you were convicted during this time period.

 Conviction prior to January 15, 1973 

You still have the right to vote unless you were convicted of one of the following crimes:

  • Abusing a female child
  • Arson and felonious burning
  • Bigamy
  • Bribery
  • Burglary
  • Felonious breaking into a business house, outhouse other than a dwelling house
  • Felonious breaking and entering a dwelling house
  • Larceny
  • Horse stealing
  • Robbery
  • Stealing bills of exchange or other valuable papers
  • Receiving stolen property
  • Counterfeiting
  • Forgery
  • Destroying a will
  • Incest
  • Rape
  • Sodomy
  • Buggery
  • Perjury
  • Subornation of perjury

Even if you were convicted of a crime listed above, you still have the right to vote if you can show that at the time of your conviction the judge did not render you “infamous,” if your conviction was reversed on appeal or expunged, if you received a full pardon, or if you have your voting rights restored.



PHONE: 423-942-2108 FAX: 423-942-1082

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