Amendment 1 could increase turnout on Election Day

Amendment 1 could increase turnout on Election Day (Image 1)

Amendment 1, Tennessee’s proposed amendment on abortion, may increase voter turnout Tuesday for Election Day.

The amendment, which gives Tennesseans an opportunity to add language about abortion to the state constitution, is one of the most debated issues on the ballot.

A recent poll by Middle Tennessee State University shows there is little separation between votes for and against Amendment 1, and the vote is too close to call.

Churches and pastors have been speaking out about the amendment, even urging members of congregations to vote.

The Internal Revenue Service forbids churches from campaigning or endorsing a political candidate but there is no rule that prohibits churches from speaking out on issues without losing their tax exemption.

The Reverend Rick Britton told News 2 that Amendment 1 is a religious issue.

“The issues of morality, of ethics, of equality get wrapped up in how we see and practice our religion, and how religion influences those things,” Britton said.

Secretary of State Tre Hargett told News 2 it might help bring voters to the polls, despite low turnout during early voting which was about 15 percent lower than in 2010.

“I do think amendments can be hot button issues and drivers of turnout. We really haven’t see that this time,” he said.

Hargett added, “I think people are trying to make those last minute decisions.”

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