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Tennessee Bills to Make Very Minor Improvements to Ballot Access

A bill has been introduced in each house of the Tennessee legislature to make limited ballot access improvements for minor parties. SB 1466 and HB 1727 lower the petition for a group that wants to become a ballot-qualified party within just a single county from 5% of the last gubernatorial vote, to 2.5% of the last gubernatorial vote. The bill also says a county ballot-qualified party may remain ballot-qualified if it polls 5% in the last election; currently the requirement is a vote of 20%.

Also, the bill says when a special legislative or congressional election is held, a group that had not previously been a ballot-qualified party may petition for that special election, but the petition will be 2.5% of the last gubernatorial vote within that district.

The sponsors are Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and Representative Harry Brooks (R-Knoxville).

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