How Are Voter Rolls Purged In Tennessee?

Local News

A U.S. Supreme Court decision this week defined rules for taking people off voter rolls in Ohio, but what about such laws in Tennessee? State capitol newsroom reporter Chris Bundgaard spoke with Tennessee’s top election official about the question.

State Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins told us how someone may be taken off or purged from voter rolls.

“If they remain on inactive status for two election cycles then that individual will be purged,” said Goins.

In short, those words from the state’s election coordinator mean that if you don’t cast a ballot in any election for those two straight election cycles, which amounts to 4 years, you will be taken off voter registration lists. But that’s only after a failure to respond to requests from election officials about whether or not you have moved out of state.

Driver’s license changes or U.S. Postal records help state election officials determine who has moved. Avoiding removal from voters remains simple, says Goins.

“And so if they have any activity at all, meaning they sign a petition, they contact the election commission, then that person will be put back to active status,” says Goins.

State election officials say they have staffers who also remove felons and those who have passed away from voter rolls.

It’s information that a lot of people may be asking as Tennessee heads into a critical election cycle that includes a Governor’s race. And early voting for the statewide august primary begins in a month on July 13th.

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