Yep, it’s that time again. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2. If you don’t want to wait that long, the last day for early voting in Knox County is Thursday, Oct. 28. On Tuesday, polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you’re registered but you’re not sure where your voting place is, call the Knox County Election Commission at 215-2480.
Besides the marquee races for governor and (depending on where you live) state senator, there are a few other provisions on the ballot worth noting. First, there’s that state constitutional amendment affirming “the personal right to hunt and fish” for all Tennesseans, “subject to reasonable regulations and restrictions prescribed by law.” Other states from Alabama to California have already enacted such protections. This isn’t likely to affect existing laws or practices, but some recent petitions at the federal level have made sportsmen nervous. One environmental group wants to ban the use of lead-based ammunition and fishing lures, and while the Environmental Protection Agency says it will do no such thing, the mere suggestion has prompted outrage. And, as a no-doubt intended side benefit, the measure is likely to drive up turnout among Republican-leaning voters.
Voters in the city of Knoxville will see a charter amendment reducing the required number of names to place a referendum on the ballot to 7 percent of registered voters or 7,000 signatures, whichever is greater. State law currently sets the bar at 15 percent. And in Farragut, a measure would set term limits for town officeholders: no more than eight years as mayor or alderman, and no more than 12 years in the two offices combined.