2015 Tennessee Code
Title 2 - Elections
Chapter 7 - Procedure at the Polling Place
§ 2-7-112 - Procedure for voting.

TN Code § 2-7-112 (2015) What's This?

(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. In addition, the voter shall present to the precinct registrar one (1) form of identification that bears the name and photograph of the voter. The requirement to present one (1) form of identification that bears the name and photograph of the voter shall apply to persons voting pursuant to § 2-6-109; provided, however, that a person voting in accordance with § 2-6-401(a) and (b) or § 2-6-601 shall not be required to show an identification with a photograph of the voter. 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 verify the voter's identification, the voter shall supply evidence of identification specified in subsection (c).

(C) If, upon verification of 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.

(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 procedure shall be followed: After completing the application for ballot which shall include the voter's signature, if, upon comparison of the information, the registrar determines that the voter is entitled to vote, the registrar shall initial the application for ballot 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 or an election official asserts that the individual is not eligible to vote. If a voter is unable to present evidence of identification, the voter shall be entitled to vote a provisional ballot pursuant to subsection (e) unless the voter is eligible to vote pursuant to subsection (f).

(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 substance abuse services, intellectual and developmental disabilities, safety and veterans services 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 four (4) business days 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 verifying the person's identification on the application for ballot, "evidence of identification" shall be:

(1) A Tennessee driver license;

(2) (A) Except as provided in subdivision (c)(2)(B), a valid identification card issued by the state of Tennessee, or the United States where authorized by law to issue personal identification; provided, that such identification card contains a photograph of the voter;

(B) An identification card issued to a student by an institution of higher education containing a photograph of a student shall not be evidence of identification for purposes of verifying the person's identification on the application for ballot;

(3) A valid identification card issued pursuant to § 55-50-336;

(4) A valid United States passport;

(5) A valid employee identification card issued by the state of Tennessee, or the United States where authorized by law to issue employee identification; provided, that such identification card contains a photograph of the voter;

(6) A valid United States military identification card; provided, that such identification card contains a photograph of the voter; or

(7) An employee identification card for retired state employees authorized pursuant to § 8-50-118.

(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).

(e) A person whose name appears on the computerized voter signature list or the electronic poll book and is unable to present valid evidence of identification specified in subsection (c) shall be entitled to vote a provisional ballot under the procedures of this subsection (e) unless such person is eligible to vote pursuant to subsection (f).

(1) The voter shall complete an application for ballot pursuant to this section, and if the voter has changed residence, or the voter's registration is inactive, the voter shall complete a fail safe affidavit. The voter must vote in the precinct in which the person is a resident. The voter shall also be given a written statement that specifies the voter has until the second business day after the election to provide evidence of identification. The voter shall sign such statement and return it along with the application of ballot.

(2) Upon completion of the application for ballot and if applicable, the presentation of a fail safe affidavit in the voter's correct polling location, the voter shall be given a provisional ballot and provisional ballot envelope. The provisional ballot envelope shall be a different color from the 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 voting. The application for ballot shall be deposited in the provisional ballot box.

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

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

(5) Provisional ballots cast pursuant to this subsection (e) shall only be counted if the voter provides evidence of identification specified in subsection (c) to the administrator of elections or the administrator's designee by the close of business on the second business day after the election. Evidence of identification must be presented at the voter's county election commission office or another location designated by the county election commission.

(6) Upon the voter presenting valid evidence of identification, set forth in subsection (c), to the administrator of elections or the administrator's designee, the voter shall sign an affidavit, prescribed by the coordinator of elections, containing the voter's name, signature and any other information deemed necessary by the coordinator of elections to satisfy the requirements of this section and to prevent fraudulent voting. The affidavit shall also contain a statement affirming under the penalty of perjury that the voter is the same individual that cast the provisional ballot. A photocopy of the evidence of identification shall be attached to the affidavit.

(7) The central provisional ballot counting board shall compare the information on the provisional affidavit envelope to the information set forth in subdivision (e)(6). If it is determined that the person provided proper evidence of identification, then the central provisional counting board shall remove the provisional ballot affidavit from the provisional ballot envelope and place the sealed ballot with all provisional ballots to be counted.

(8) If the voter does not provide valid evidence of identification in a timely manner, the provisional ballot envelope shall not be opened nor its provisional ballot affidavit removed, but 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. The board members signing the provisional ballot affidavit may not be of the same political party. It shall then be placed in the container of rejected ballots. The administrator shall notify the voters by mail of the rejection and the reason for such rejection.

(9) The central provisional ballot counting board shall have until the close of business on the fourth business day after the election to count any provisional ballot cast pursuant to this subsection (e). 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 second Monday after the election.

(f) A voter who is indigent and unable to obtain proof of identification without payment of a fee or who has a religious objection to being photographed shall be required to execute an affidavit of identity on a form provided by the county election commission and then shall be allowed to vote. The affidavit shall state that:

(1) The person executing the affidavit is the same individual who is casting the ballot; and

(2) The affiant is indigent and unable to obtain proof of identification without paying a fee or has a religious objection to being photographed.

(g) An identification card issued by a county or municipality or entity thereof, including a public library, containing a photograph shall not be evidence of identification for purposes of verifying the person's identification on the application for ballot.

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