There are 4 proposed amendments to the Tennessee Constitution. A yes vote means to change the Constitution; a no vote means not to. Here’s a summary of the proposed amendments with our recommendation of how to vote. As with any vote, please educate yourself and vote your own conscience!
AMENDMENT 1 – NO This amendment is called “Right to Work.” It’s essentially an amendment to enshrine the Tennessee law that workers here have no rights, that they will never have collective bargaining so they will continue to be at the mercy of their employers regarding wages, safety, you name it. It’s an obvious NO.
AMENDMENT 2 – NO This amendment seemingly establishes a line of succession if the governor becomes unable to perform the duties of the governor. It seems simple, but it’s deceptive. The reason to vote NO is that this amendment will allow the majority party to decide when they think a governor is unable to perform her/his duties. You can see how problematic that would be right now if Jason Martin wins. If this amendment passes, the Republican super-majority can just deem him unable to do his job and give the job to the speaker of the Senate.
AMENDMENT 3 – YES This amendment is finally taking slavery out of the Tennessee Constitution. It’s an obvious YES vote.
AMENDMENT 4 – YES This amendment will remove the ban on clergy serving in public office. The US Supreme Court ruled this ban unconstitutional in 1978, and Tennessee is the only state that still has it.
The conflict for some of us in UCDP is that Tennessee is one of 7 states that still has a ban on atheists serving in public office, also unconstitutional, and we believe this ban needs to be lifted as well. A YES vote will at least correct one wrong in our state constitution, and it may help open the door to getting rid of the ban on atheists.