|Legal Opinion: |
Text of Document: May 29, 1996
You asked whether non-residents who own property in the city limits could vote in city elections. The answer is no. As a general rule, non-resident property owners do not have a right to vote unless specifically authorized under their city's charter. Non-resident voting rights may not be granted by ordinance.
Your city is incorporated under the general law manager-commission charter (Tennessee Code Annotated, §6-18-101 et seq). Your charter doesn't grant non-resident voting rights except in certain cities that fall within specified population classifications according to a United States census. See Tennessee Code Annotated § 6-20-106. Your city does not fall within one of these classifications.
In order to have non-resident voting rights in your city, the General Assembly would have to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, § 6-20-106 to allow for such rights in a cities with your population.
Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance in this or any other matter.
MTAS Legal Consultant