2015 Tennessee Code
Title 2 - Elections
Chapter 2 - Voter Registration
Part 1 - Registration by Election Commissions
§ 2-2-122 - Principles for determination of residence -- Factors involved.

TN Code § 2-2-122 (2015) What's This?

(a) The determination of whether a person is a resident or where the person resides or has residence for purposes of the election code shall be made in the light of the following principles:

(1) The residence of a person is that place in which the person's habitation is fixed, and to which, whenever the person is absent, the person has a definite intention to return; provided, that a person may not register to vote using a business location as the registration address when the sole basis for the person's presence at such location is based on a business or commercial use;

(2) A change of residence is generally made only by the act of removal joined with the intent to remain in another place. There can be only one (1) residence;

(3) A person does not become a resident of a place solely by intending to make it the person's residence. There must be appropriate action consistent with the intention;

(4) A person does not lose residence if, with the definite intention of returning, the person leaves home and goes to another country, state or place within this state for temporary purposes, even if of one or more years duration;

(5) The place where a married person's spouse and family have their habitation is presumed to be the person's place of residence, but a married person who takes up or continues abode with the intention of remaining at a place other than where the person's family resides is a resident where the person abides;

(6) A person may be a resident of a place regardless of the nature of the person's habitation, whether house or apartment, mobile home or public institution, owned or rented; however, a commercial address may not be used for residential purposes, unless the applicant provides evidence of such applicant's residential use of such address;

(7) A person does not gain or lose residence solely by reason of the person's presence or absence while employed in the service of the United States or of this state, or while a student at an institution of learning, or while kept in an institution at public expense, or while confined in a public prison or while living on a military reservation; and

(8) No member of the armed forces of the United States, or such member's spouse or dependent, is a resident of this state solely by reason of being stationed in this state.

(b) (1) The following factors, among other relevant matters, may be considered in the determination of where a person is a resident:

(A) The person's possession, acquisition or surrender of inhabitable property;

(B) Location of the person's occupation;

(C) Place of licensing or registration of the person's personal property;

(D) Place of payment of taxes which are governed by residence;

(E) Purpose of the person's presence in a particular place; and

(F) Place of the person's licensing for activities such as driving.

(2) In determining the residency of a person involuntarily confined in a state institution, the mere anticipation of a future grant of living quarters in a specific half-way house shall not be sufficient to establish intent to reside in such half-way house following release from the institution.

(c) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter to the contrary, whenever county boundary lines cross through a farm being operated as a single unit, leaving such farm in two (2) separate counties, persons residing on such farms may make a one-time election to register to vote in either county. The administrator of elections shall place a person who chooses to register in the county which adjoins the physical location of the person's residence in the precinct where the property in the adjoining county is located.

(2) For the purpose of this subsection (c), "farm" means a tract of land of at least fifteen (15) acres constituting a farm unit engaged in the production of growing crops, plants, animals, nursery or floral products. Such farm shall produce gross agricultural income averaging at least one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) per year over a three-year period.

(d) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter to the contrary, a person shall be eligible to register to vote in the county where the person pays property taxes on the person's primary residence even though the property is partially or totally located in another county, but the only access to the property is through the county where the person pays property taxes. Any person residing at such property shall make a one-time election to register to vote in either the county where the property taxes are paid or the county where the property is located.

(2) The county election commission may require the person to provide written documentation that the person pays property tax in the county if a person chooses to register in the county where the property taxes are paid.

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