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Tennessee State Flag

Tennessee's governor holds office for a four year term and may serve a maximum of two terms. The governor is the only official who is elected statewide, making him one of the more powerful chief executives in the nation. The state does not elect the Lieutenant Governor directly, contrary to most other states; the Tennessee Senate elects its Speaker who serves as lieutenant governor.

Tennessee's current state constitution was adopted in 1870. The state had two earlier constitutions. The first was adopted in 1796, the year Tennessee joined the union, and the second was adopted in 1834. The Tennessee Constitution outlaws martial law within its jurisdiction. This may be a result of the experience of Tennessee residents and other Southerners during the period of military control by Union (Northern) forces of the U.S. government after the American Civil War.

Ballot measures

Ballot Access

Initiative, Referendum and Recall


  • Initiative and Referendum Law
    • Currently there is no initiative or referendum available in Tennessee. An alternative is Legislative referendum which is possible in all states (click here for list), is when the state legislatures, an elected official, state appointed constitutional revision commission or other government agency or department submits propositions (constitutional amendments, statutes, bond issues, etc.) to the people for their approval or rejection. Every state requires that constitutional amendments proposed by the legislature be submitted to the citizenry via legislative referendum for approval or rejection. Legislative amendments (LA) are possible in Tennessee, and are constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the legislature or governmental body. This includes constitutional bond issues and amendments proposed by a constitutional revision commission.(1)
  • History of direct democracy in Tennessee
  • Campaign Finance Laws
  • Campaign Disclosure Project


Government and City Links

Key Government Officials

Portions of this article were taken from Wikipedia 6/26/07