Home Uncategorized Tennessee Legislature Passes Very Modest Ballot Access Improvement Bill

Tennessee Legislature Passes Very Modest Ballot Access Improvement Bill

On April 7, the Tennessee legislature passed SB 1466. It makes two small ballot access improvements. For a newly-qualifying party that just wants to be on the ballot in a single county, the petition is lowered from 5% of the last gubernatorial vote, to 2.5%. The vote test for a county party to remain ballot-qualified falls from 20% to 5%.

Also, the bill says that when Tennessee holds a special election, a previously unqualified party can get on the ballot for that special election if it submits a petition of 2.5% of the last gubernatorial election within that district. Previously, there was no procedure for an unqualified party to get on the ballot in a special election. The procedure established by SB 1466 is wildly impractical. If Tennessee were to hold a special congressional election, the new formula would require approximately 4,500 valid signatures in the typical district, and the petitioning period would probably be only a few weeks.

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