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Four Proposed Amendments to the Tennessee Constitution Will be on the Nov. 8 Ballot

Tennessee voters can cast a ballot for or against four proposed amendments to the Tennessee constitution on the Nov. 8 State and Federal General Election ballot.

“Tennessee voters need to be aware of the proposed Constitutional amendments on the ballot,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Voters can view the exact ballot language on our website in order to be prepared to make informed voting decisions.”

On the ballot, voters will see the candidates for governor, followed by the four proposed amendments, the United States House of Representatives and the county’s remaining offices on the general election ballot.

Proposed Constitutional amendments are presented as yes or no questions. A yes vote is a vote to amend the Constitution and adopt the proposed language in the amendment. A no vote is a vote not to amend the Constitution and keep the current language in the Constitution unchanged.

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Two things must happen for an amendment to pass and become part of the Constitution. The first is the amendment must get more yes votes than no votes. The second is that the number of yes votes must be a majority of the total votes in the gubernatorial election. This longstanding process Tennessee uses to determine the result for proposed Constitutional amendments was confirmed by a court decision following the 2014 general election.

To determine the number of votes needed to adopt a proposed Constitutional amendment, votes for all candidates for governor are added together and then divided by two. If there are more yes votes than no votes on the proposed amendment and the number of yes votes exceeds 50% +1 of the total votes for governor, the amendment passes and becomes part of the Constitution. The Constitutional amendment fails if the number of yes votes does not meet or exceed the threshold, or if there are more no votes than yes votes.

The four proposed amendments were approved to appear on the Nov. 8 ballot by the 111th and 112th General Assemblies.

The four proposed amendments to the Tennessee Constitution on the Nov. 8 ballot:

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  1. -An amendment to Article XI, of the Constitution of Tennessee, relative to the right to work
  2. -An amendment to Article II and Article III of the Constitution of Tennessee, relative to the exercise of the powers and duties of the Governor during disability.
  3. -An amendment to Article I, Section 33 of the Constitution of Tennessee, to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude.
  4. -An amendment to Article IX, of the Constitution of Tennessee, relative to disqualifications.

To see the exact language that will appear on the ballot, which will include a summary of each amendment written by the Tennessee Attorney General’s office, visit sos.tn.gov/amendments. For the latest information about the Nov. 8 State and Federal General Election, follow the Secretary of State’s social media channels Twitter: @SecTreHargett, Facebook: Tennessee Secretary of State and Instagram: @tnsecofstate.For more information about the proposed Constitutional amendments, visit sos.tn.gov/amendments or call the Division of Elections at 1-877-850-4959. 

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