Early voting for the November 8 ‘State and Federal General, Belle Meade, Forest Hills, Goodlettsville Municipal Elections’ kicked off last week at the Howard Office Building and has now expanded to more locations citywide.
Early voting runs Monday to Saturday until Thursday, Nov. 3. and offers the convenience and flexibility of evening hours and multiple polling locations. Voters can find their polling hours, locations, and more with the GoVoteTN app or online at <GoVoteTN.gov>. The GoVoteTN app is free in the App Store or Google Play.
“Every year, more Tennesseans are taking advantage of the convenience and flexibility of our generous early voting period,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I encourage you to make your voice heard.”
Voters need to bring valid photo identification to the polls. A driver’s license or photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Tennessee state government or the federal government is acceptable even if expired. A student ID or out-of-state driver’s license is not acceptable. For more information about what types of IDs are permitted, visit <GoVoteTN.gov>.
“With early voting, many Tennesseans can choose the time and location to cast their ballot,” said Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. “And by casting your ballot early, you can avoid election day crowds and help reduce wait times for yourself and other voters.”
At the top of the ballot is the race for governor, with the Republican incumbent, Gov. Bill Lee leading in the polls. Also on the ballot is a political newcomer and activist Charlane Oliver who is the Democratic Nominee for Tennessee State Senate District 19.
On the ballot are four Constitutional Amendments. In Tennessee, proposed Constitutional amendments are presented as ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions on the ballot. 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.
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.
Amendment 1 is known as the ‘right to work’ amendment. The Amendment would add a new section to the Tennessee Constitution to make it illegal for workplaces to require mandatory labor union membership for employees as a condition for employment.
Amendment 2 provides for emergency succession planning should the governor become medically incapacitated and unable to perform his duties. The amendment allows the lieutenant governor to run the state until the governor can re-assume his duties.
Amendment 3 removes the slavery exception language from the state Constitution. Currently, the Tennessee Constitution reads: “That slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, are forever prohibited by this state.” If Amendment 3 passes on November 8, the “exception language” will be removed and replaced with the following language: “That slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited in this state. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an inmate from working when the inmate has been duly convicted of a crime.”
Amendment 4 removes an unenforced clause that prohibits members of the clergy from holding office in the Tennessee General Assembly.
To see the exact language for the proposed Constitutional amendments that will appear on the ballot, visit <sos.tn.gov/amendments>.