Chester County votes reflect statewide results
By Sabrina Bates
MVP Regional News Editor
Voters in Tennessee do not seem nearly as excited when voting for governor and Constitutional amendments as they do when casting a presidential ballot, as only 38.57 percent of those registered showed up to vote in the midterm election Nov. 8. Of the 4,550,026 registered in Tennessee, 1,755,218 cast a ballot in last week’s election. The last time less than 40 percent of registered voters showed up to vote in the state was in 1998, when only 32.53 percent headed to the polls.
Last week, Tennesseans overwhelmingly opted to keep Republican Gov. Bill Lee and pass the four Constitutional amendments listed on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Lee earned 64.93 percent of votes cast, with 1,128,097 in his favor. Those in Chester County showed similar favor with 3,753 voters (83.57 percent) in support of Lee.
His challenger, Democrat Dr. Jason Martin picked up 32.93 percent of the statewide votes as 572,153 Tennesseans (32.93 percent) cast a ballot for him. He picked up 13.81 percent of the votes in Chester County with 620 voting for Martin.
Four Constitutional amendments appeared on last week’s ballot. The first enshrined Tennessee’s right-to-work law into the Constitution and makes it illegal for someone to be terminated from employment based on union affiliation. Across Tennessee, 69.79 percent, or 1,140,629 voted in favor of the amendment with 493,629 votes (30.21 percent) against the amendment. In Chester County, 3,103 voters said “yes” on Amendment no. 1, with 786 voting against it.
Amendment no. 2 outlined a plan to temporarily shift the responsibilities of the governor to the Speaker of the Senate in the event the state leader becomes unable to perform the duties of his position. Statewide, the measure earned 74.63 percent, 1,175,023 votes, in its favor, with 399,545 (25.37 percent) votes cast against Amendment #2. In Chester County, 2,924 voted in favor of the amendment and 935 voters opted against it.
Amendment no. 3 abolished slavery and indentured servitude from the Tennessee Consitution. It had overwhelming support with 1,292,834 votes (79.54 percent) statewide in its favor. There were 332,636 votes (20.46 percent) cast statewide to keep the measure in the state Constitution. In Chester County 2,980 voters opted to abolish slavery, while 998 voters opted to vote against it.
The fourth amendment listed on the ballot was considered a “clean-up” measure to the Constitution, which did not allow members of the clergy to serve in state General Assembly roles. The measure was declared unconstitutional by a Supreme Court years ago, citing a violation of First Amendment rights. The Nov. 8 ballot amendment asked voters to choose whether to eliminate the ban from the state Constitution. Statewide, it gained support with 1,019,828 (63.24 percent) voting in favor of removing the ban. There were 592,698 votes (36.76 percent) against removing the ban. Chester County also showed favor with 2,707 “yes” votes and 1,259 “no” votes.
All election results are considered unofficial until each county election commission certifies its results and sends them to the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office for final certification.