Knowledgebase-Voting in City Elections by Non-Residents Who Own Property in the City Limits


Information Product

Title:Voting in City Elections by Non-Residents Who Own Property in the City Limits
Summary:MTAS was asked whether non-residents who own property in the city limits could vote in city elections.
Original Author:Moore, Todd
Co-Author:
Product Create Date:05/16/96
Last Reviewed on::05/30/2017
Subject:Elections--Residency requirements
Type:Legal Opinion
Legal Opinion:

Reference Documents:

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.

Sincerely,

Todd Moore
MTAS Legal Consultant

TM/

Please remember that these legal opinions were written based on the facts of a given city at a certain time. The laws referenced in any opinion may have changed or may not be applicable to your city or circumstances.

Always consult with your city attorney or an MTAS consultant before taking any action based on information contained in this database.