2010 Tennessee Code
Title 2 - Elections
Chapter 7 - Procedure at the Polling Place
2-7-112 - Procedure for voting.

2-7-112. Procedure for voting.

(a)  (1)  A voter shall complete and sign an application for ballot, indicate the primary in which the voter desires to vote, if any, and present it to a precinct registrar. The application for ballot shall include a space for the address of the voter's current residence, and the voter shall write or print such address on the application when the voter signs the application for ballot.

          (A)  Using the computerized voter signature list or the electronic poll book, the registrar shall make a determination whether the voter's address is different from the address on the voter's permanent registration record or if the registration is in inactive status. If the voter has changed residence, or the voter's registration is inactive, the registrar shall follow the procedures for voting pursuant to §§ 2-7-140 and 2-7-141.

          (B)  To compare the voter's signature on the application, the voter shall supply evidence of identification specified in subsection (c).

          (C)  If, upon comparison of the signature and other evidence of identification, it is found that the applicant is entitled to vote, the registrar shall initial the application, note the date of the election, the number on the voter's ballot application, and the primary or general election in which the voter applies to vote.

          (D)  If the applicant's signature is illegible, the registrar shall print the name on the application.

          (E)  If a voter is unable to present any evidence of identification specified in subsection (c), the voter shall be required to execute an affidavit of identity on a form provided by the county election commission.

     (2)  The county election commission shall use either a computerized voter signature list or an electronic poll book that has been approved for use by the coordinator of elections. A computerized voter signature list shall include the voter's name, current address of residence, social security number or voter identification number, birth date and a space for the voter's signature, elections voted, application or ballot stub number, or both, and precinct registrar's initials. The electronic poll book shall contain the same information as on the computerized voter signature list in an electronic format and provide a place on its screen for the precinct registrar to record elections voted, application or ballot stub number, or both, the precinct registrar's initials and a place for the voter's signature.

          (A)  For those counties using the computerized voter signature list, the following procedures shall be followed:

                (i)  After completing the application for ballot, the voter shall sign the computerized voter signature list, and the registrar shall compare the voter's signature and information on the signature list with the information on the application for ballot; and

                (ii)  If, upon comparison of the information, the registrar determines that the voter is entitled to vote, the registrar shall initial the computerized voter signature list and shall give the voter the ballot application, which is the voter's authorization to vote.

          (B)  For those counties using the electronic poll book, the following procedures shall be followed:

                (i)  If a county uses an electronic poll book without an attachable printer, then:

                     (a)  After completing the application for ballot, the voter shall sign the voter signature list, and the registrar shall compare the voter's signature and information on the voter signature list with the information on the application for ballot; and

                     (b)  If, upon comparison of the information, the registrar determines that the voter is entitled to vote, the registrar shall initial the voter signature list and shall give the voter the ballot application, which is the voter's authorization to vote; or

                (ii)  If a county uses an electronic poll book with an attachable printer, then:

                     (a)  The application for ballot used by the county may be a preprinted application or an application generated by the electronic poll book;

                     (b)  After the application for ballot has been completed, the voter shall sign the application and the registrar shall compare the voter's signature with evidence of identification specified in subsection (c) supplied by the voter and compare information on the electronic poll book with the information on the application for ballot;

                     (c)  The voter shall sign the voter signature list; and

                     (d)  If, upon comparison of the information, the registrar determines that the voter is entitled to vote, the registrar shall initial the application and the voter signature list and shall give the voter the ballot application, which is the voter's authorization to vote.

     (3)  (A)  A person shall be entitled to vote a provisional ballot under the procedures of this section if the voter claims to be properly registered in the county and eligible to vote at the precinct in the election, but whose eligibility cannot be determined by the computer signature list or by examination of the permanent registration records on file with the county election commission.

                (i)  If the election official cannot determine that the voter's name should have been placed on the precinct's computer signature list, then the voter shall complete an original voter registration application. At the time of registration and pursuant to subsection (d), the voter shall present verification of the residential address under which the person desires to vote.

                (ii)  After the voter has completed the voter registration application and supplied verification of the voter's residential address, the voter shall complete an application for ballot pursuant to this section.

                (iii)  Upon completion of the application for ballot, the voter shall be given a provisional ballot and provisional ballot envelope. The provisional ballot envelope shall be of a different color from absentee ballot envelopes and shall bear a detachable slip that contains the provisional ballot affidavit. The provisional ballot affidavit shall contain the voter's printed name, social security number, date of birth, signature and any other identifying information deemed necessary by the coordinator of elections to satisfy the requirements of this section and to prevent fraudulent registration and voting.

                (iv)  Both the voter registration application and the application for ballot shall be deposited in the provisional ballot box. Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow election day voter registration.

                (v)  Pursuant to § 2-7-114(b) and (c), the voter shall vote the provisional ballot. Any county utilizing punchcard or optiscan technology shall process their ballots pursuant to rules promulgated by the state coordinator of elections. The provisions of § 2-7-116 shall govern any voter needing assistance.

                (vi)  Along with the voter registration applications and the applications for ballot completed by provisional voters, all provisional ballots that have been cast shall remain sealed and locked in the absentee ballot box for return to the county election commission at the close of polls.

          (B)  (i)  All provisional ballots shall be counted at the county election commission office by a separate central absentee ballot counting board that has been appointed in like manner to the central absentee ballot counting board established under § 2-6-302 and known as the central provisional ballot counting board. Upon completion of the counting of the absentee ballots, the county election commission may designate the central absentee ballot counting board established under § 2-6-302 as the central provisional ballot counting board. If the county election commission determines that there are fewer than one hundred (100) provisional ballots to be counted, the county election commission may act as the central provisional ballot counting board without additional compensation. When provisional ballots have been cast utilizing punchcard or optiscan technology, the counting of the provisional ballots shall be pursuant to rules promulgated by the state coordinator of elections.

                (ii)  After the delivery of the absentee ballot boxes containing provisional ballots to the county election commission, the central provisional ballot counting board shall unlock and open each absentee ballot box from the polling places in the presence of a majority of the judges.

                (iii)  The central provisional ballot counting board shall examine the records of the county election commission and the records of the Tennessee departments of health, human services, mental health and developmental disabilities, safety and veterans affairs with respect to all provisional ballots. The central provisional ballot counting board shall then determine if the person voting that ballot was entitled to vote and met the statutory requirements for registration at the precinct where the person cast a vote in the election. The central provisional ballot counting board shall also determine that the person has not already cast a ballot in the election.

                (iv)  If the central provisional ballot counting board determines that the person should have been registered to vote and met the statutory requirements for registration in the precinct where the voter cast the ballot and the voter has not cast a ballot in the election in a different precinct, then the central provisional ballot counting board shall remove the provision ballot affidavit from the provisional ballot envelope and place the sealed ballot with all other provisional ballots that have been determined to be countable.

                (v)  If the central provisional ballot counting board determines that the person should not have been registered to vote in the precinct where the voter cast the ballot or that the voter has previously cast a ballot in the election in a different precinct, the provisional ballot envelope shall not be opened nor its provisional ballot affidavit removed, but it shall be marked “Rejected” across its face with the reason for rejection written on it and signed by at least two (2) members of the central provisional ballot counting board. It shall then be placed in the container of rejected absentee ballots. A list shall be made of such rejected ballots, and the administrator shall notify the voters by mail of the rejection and the reason for such rejection.

          (C)  (i)  The counting of all provisional ballots must be completed within forty-eight (48) hours of the close of polls on election day. If the county election commission determines that the counting of provisional ballots cannot be completed by the designated time, the state coordinator of elections may grant the county an extension of time and designate a time that shall be no later than the third Monday after the election.

                (ii)  If the county election commission determines that the counting of provisional ballots cannot be completed during the night of election day and upon the close of each counting session, the absentee ballot boxes containing the provisional ballots must be locked and sealed in the same manner established in § 2-6-311. The ballot boxes may not be unlocked except when the central provisional ballot counting board is performing its duties in compliance with this section.

(b)  If a voter is disabled so as to be unable to write a signature or make a mark, the registrar shall write the voter's name where needed and shall indicate that this has been done by putting the registrar's initials immediately after the name.

(c)  For purposes of comparing the person's signature on the application for ballot, “evidence of identification” shall be a valid voter's registration certificate, Tennessee driver license, social security card, credit card bearing the applicant's signature or other document bearing the applicant's signature.

(d)  For purposes of registering a person to vote pursuant to subdivision (a)(3), “verification of residential address” shall include, but is not limited to, a Tennessee driver license, a residential lease agreement, a utility bill or other document bearing the applicant's residential address. Such verification may be on the same or different document from those listed in subsection (c).

[Acts 1972, ch. 740, § 1; 1977, ch. 365, § 1; T.C.A., § 2-712; Acts 1984, ch. 935, §§ 4-6; 1989, ch. 590, §§ 4, 5; 1990, ch. 727, § 3; 1997, ch. 550, § 8; 2003, ch. 352, §§ 1-3; 2008, ch. 928, § 14; 2008, ch. 1019, § 1; 2009, ch. 218, § 5.]  
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