A Tennessee federal judge has ruled that ballots on Amendment 1 to the state’s constitution, which was against protecting a “right” to or funding of abortion, must be recounted and that some of the “yes” votes should just be thrown out in the process. Tennessee is appealing the order.
The State of Tennessee is appealing the order of U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp, an Obama appointee, who declared the method the state used to count votes for the amendment “fundamentally unfair” and in violation of due process and equal protection rights for voters under the U.S. Constitution, The Tennessean reported.
The judge said that the eight plaintiffs who voted against the amendment “were not accorded the same weight” as those who voted “yes.”
“As a remedy, the Court will order a recount of the 2014 Election solely in relation to Amendment 1, but defer ruling on the question of whether the election on Amendment 1 should be voided,” the ruling said, adding that it does not apply to three other amendments on the ballot the same year.
The judge also ordered state election officials to count only those votes that were cast by voters who also voted in the governor’s race, meaning those who voted in favor of the amendment but didn’t vote in the gubernatorial election will be excluded from the recount.
The judge based this decision on the language in the state’s constitution, which says amendments are approved “by a majority of all the citizens of the state voting for Governor.”