Monday, November 7, 2022

Why I'm am not voting for Governor Bill Lee

by Rod Williams, Nov. 7, 2022- I am not voting for Governor Bill Lee.  Don't get me wrong, I like Lee.  I voted for him four years ago.  I like his policies, I approve of his priorities, and I believe he is a good man. So why and I not voting for him?

I am not voting for Governor Lee, because he will win in a landslide without my vote and the vote on Amendment One may not and Amendment Number One is important to me.  I am voting strategically.

Amendment One is the Right to Work Amendment. It would add to the constitution this language: 

It is unlawful for any person, corporation, association, or this state or its political subdivisions to deny or attempt to deny employment to any person by reason of the person’s membership in, affiliation with, resignation from, or refusal to join or affiliate with any labor union or employee organization.

I do not think one should be forced to join a union to have a job.  Mandatory union dues are often used to support Democrats and I am not a Democrat.  A person should not be forced to financially support a party or policies he does not support. This should be fundamental. There are other reasons to oppose mandatory union membership, but the requirement forcing one to support political candidates for whom one would never vote appears to me to violate a basic democratic principle.

Right to Work is already in place in Tennessee but it is not a part of the Tennessee Constitution.  Unions would like to see that right taken away and some future State legislature could take it away from us.  The Right to work is so fundamental, that in my view, it should be enshrined in the constitution.

There are three other proposed amendments on the ballot. Number two and four are housekeeping amendments and I support them also.  I have reservations about number three and will be voting "no."

So what does my vote on the amendment have to do with not voting for Governor Lee?  In addressing how the Constitution is amended, the Constitution says:

 And if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments by a majority of all the citizens of the state voting for governor, voting in their favor, such amendment or amendments shall become a part of this Constitution.

I think Amendment Number One will pass but the unions are opposing it.  The Tennessee teachers union represents a lot of people across the state, and Tennesee teachers have spouses, family, and friends. The passage of Amendment #1 is not a slam dunk.  

A certain number of people will go to the polls, and not have enough information about the amendments in order to feel they can cast an informed vote and they will simply skip voting on the amendments. So what happens?  Let us look at an example and assume there are only 1000 voters:

  • 1000 people vote for governor.
  • 900 people vote on an amendment. 
  • 499 in favor
  • 401 opposed.
  • The Amendment fails.

The Amendment fails because it did not get "a majority of all of the citizens of the state voting for governor." So what would have happened in the above example if 22 fewer people had voted in the governor's race but still voted on the amendment?

  • 978 people vote for governor
  • 900 people vote on an amendment
  • 499 in favor
  • 401 opposed
  • The Amendment passes
Governor Lee will win. Most people can not even tell you the name of his opponent. Lee does not need your vote; Amendment One does. 

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