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Misreading of TN constitution lets officials say voters backed 4 amendments

Tennessee government is controlled by parties, claques and officials who use state government for personal purposes and serving hidden interests. (Photo

Did all the amendments to the Tennessee constitution succeed in Nov. 8 balloting? It appears to me they failed, according to the supreme law of the state’s constitution.

By John Gentry

Article XI, Section 3 reads in part;

And if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments BY A MAJORITY OF ALL THE CITIZENS of the state VOTING FOR GOVERNOR, VOTING IN THEIR FAVOR, such amendment or amendments shall become a part of this Constitution.

[emphasis added]

The measure of whether an amendment passes is if a “majority” of all citizens voting for governor vote in favor of a given amendment.

The constitution DOES NOT read the majority of citizens voting in the election. It reads the majority voting for governor.

The framers of our state constitution in their wisdom made amending the constitution extremely difficult — which is why our constitution has been amended so few times compared to other states.

In the 2022 gubernatorial election, the un-certified results show that 1,737,454 people voted for governor among all candidates (the certified results are not available on the Secretary of State website).

That is the measure — 1,737,454 total votes in the gubernatorial race (pending certification).

Did the 1,737,454 citizens vote for or against the amendment?

No they did not!

  • Total votes for Amendment 1 – 1,636,180. It fails by 101,274 votes.
  • Total votes for Amendment 2 – 1,576,406. It fails by 161,048 votes.
  • Total votes for Amendment 3 – 1,627,367. It fails by 110,087 votes.
  • Total votes for Amendment 2 – 1,614,442. This amendment fails by 123,012 votes.

Of the 1.7 million citizens voting for governor, more than 100,000 citizens who voted for governor abstained from voting on the amendments. Apparently, they didn’t know about the amendment or didn’t have an opinion.

The law is the law. If the constitution could be “interpreted,” or construed, it is void for vagueness, and the constitution is not vague.

It is clear.

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