Tennessee disenfranchises more than 451,000 of its residents for past felony convictions, about 9.1% of its total voting age population. These individuals remain unable to vote for life unless they are able to restore their voting rights.
Over 14 years ago, the Tennessee Legislature created a pathway to voting rights restoration, providing that residents who meet certain criteria must be issued a Certificate of Restoration of voting rights (COR) upon request. However, statewide officials have failed to implement adequate procedures, leading to a rights restoration process that is unequal, inaccessible, opaque, and inaccurate. CLC, along with its partners including Free Hearts Tennessee, has filed suit to create a COR process that actually allows Tennesseans to restore their voting rights.