In 2002, President Bush signed into law the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (hereinafter HAVA). This bill required mandatory changes and improvements in the electoral process. Each state was required to develop State Plans which addressed how the state would implement the mandatory requirements. Some of the changes included the replacement of all punchcard and lever voting systems, a statewide voter registration list, the implementation of provisional voting, and a uniform complaint grievance process.
Tennessee submitted the required state plans in 2003 and 2004.
Tennessee also implemented a complaint grievance process for Title III violations of HAVA.
Does my complaint qualify as a Title III complaint?
Title IV of the Help America Vote Act requires each state to establish a state-based administrative complaint procedure. This procedure allows individuals to file a complaint if any person believes that a violation under Title III of the Help America Vote Act has occurred, is occurring or is about to occur.
A violation of Title III would include issues dealing with the following HAVA sections:
- Voting system standards
- Provisional voting
- Voter information requirements
- Statewide voter registration database and
- Accessibility for persons with disabilities
What happens if I file a Title III complaint?
- Complaints must be filed on a Title III HAVA complaint form. Complaint forms may be found at your local county election office, the State Coordinator of Elections office or online.
- All complaints must be in writing, notarized, signed, and sworn to by the complainant. The complaint may be filed with either the Coordinator of Elections or the local county election office.
- Once a formal complaint is filed, the Coordinator of Elections or designee will decide the resolution of the complaint.
- A complainant may request a hearing on the record.
- The Coordinator of Elections or designee will gather information which may include written responses from the parties. Once all the information is gathered, the Coordinator of Elections or designee will determine whether or not there is a violation of Title III.
- If it is determined that a violation of Title III has occurred, the State shall provide an appropriate remedy in accordance with Title III.
- If it is determined that no violation of Title III has occurred, the State shall publish the dismissed complaints of the procedures.
- A final determination must be made within 90 days of the complaint being filed. Only the complainant may agree to extend this period of time.
- If a final determination is not made within 90 days and no extension is granted, the complaint shall be resolved within 60 days through alternative dispute resolution. All previous proceedings, including the record and any correspondence, shall be forwarded to an administrative law judge for alternative dispute resolution.
If your complaint does not fall within one of the above categories, you may still file a complaint with your local county election office, the State Coordinator of Elections office or online using a general complaint form.
Where do I send the Title III complaint form?
A complaint form may be filed with the State Coordinator of Elections office or with the local county election office.
General Complaint Form
If your complaint does not fall within one of the Title III HAVA categories, you may file a general complaint with the State Coordinator of Elections office or with the election commission.