The process of an amendment getting on the ballot is a little complex. I will let Wikipedia do the heavy lifting, click here for a complete overview. The long and short of it is that each amendment requires fifty percent of the total vote for governor plus one. In practice, this means that if you don’t like any of the proposed amendments, be sure to cast a vote for a qualified candidate for governor. These include any of the candidates that will appear on the ballot (in the governor section), and three write-in candidates.
There will be 4 Constitutional Amendments on the Ballot this November in Tennessee.
“Shall Article 1, of the Tennessee Constitution be amended by adding the following language as a new appropriately designated section: Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”
“Shall Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by deleting the first and second sentences and by substituting instead the following:
“Judges of the Supreme Court or any intermediate appellate court shall be appointed for a full term or to fill a vacancy by and at the discretion of the governor; shall be confirmed by the Legislature; and thereafter, shall be elected in a retention election by the qualified voters of the state. Confirmation by default occurs if the Legislature fails to reject an appointee within sixty calendar days of either the date of appointment, if made during the annual legislative session, or the convening date of the next annual legislative session, if made out of session. The Legislature is authorized to prescribe such provisions as may be necessary to carry out Sections two and three of this article.
“Shall Article II, Section 28 of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by adding the following sentence at the end of the final substantive paragraph within the section:
“Notwithstanding the authority to tax privileges or any other authority set forth in this Constitution, the Legislature shall not levy, authorize or otherwise permit any state or local tax upon payroll or earned personal income or any state or local tax measured by payroll or earned personal income; however, nothing contained herein shall be construed as prohibiting any tax in effect on January 1, 2011, or adjustment of the rate of such tax.”
“All other forms of lottery not authorized herein are expressly prohibited unless authorized by a two-thirds vote of all members elected to each house of the general assembly for an annual event operated for the benefit of a 501(c)(3) organization located in this state, as defined by the 2000 United States Tax Code or as may be amended from time to time.
“and by substituting instead the following language:
“All other forms of lottery not authorized herein are expressly prohibited unless authorized by a two-thirds vote of all members elected to each house of the general assembly for an annual event operated for the benefit of a 501(c)(3) or a 501(c)(19) organization, as defined by the 2000 United States Tax Code, located in this state.”