State officials are concerned about a potential low voter turnout in the Nov. 4 general election and its impact on the four proposed state constitutional amendments on the ballot, reports the Commercial Appeal.
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, whose office oversees elections statewide, and state Election Coordinator Mark Goins said turnout on Wednesday, the first day of early voting, was light across most of the state.
Gov. Bill Haslam and former Gov. Phil Bredesen said Wednesday they’re concerned about the effect a low turnout will have on the amendments. The two conducted a forum at Lipscomb University in support of Amendment 2, which will control how state appellate court judges are appointed.
“It’s a non-presidential (election) year and there’s not a lot of heat being generated in many of the political battles,” Haslam said. “I’m concerned a lot of people will get to the amendments and just say, ‘I’m not sure I understand all that,’ and just skip it.
“Not voting is a no vote. I’m actually concerned, as an interested political person, that turnout might be really low, and it’s one of the reasons we’re doing what we’re doing.”
…Bredesen said that while he believes Amendment 2 will win a majority, he’s concerned by the number of people who approach him and ask, “‘Now, that Amendment 2 that you talk about, am I supposed to be for that or against it?’ And these are intelligent, informed people who watch the news or read the newspaper.
“That’s the kind of stuff that scares you, because people will either do the wrong thing, or say ‘I don’t understand this’ and pass on to the next one. It’s very difficult to explain the nuances of this to somebody.”