FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (WHNT) – The Lincoln County home rule charter vote has failed Thursday evening by a big margin, voters signaling they do not want to do away with the current form of government there.
Voter turnout was about 33 percent for the primary election.
We caught up with 8th precinct voters in the county as a line formed at the community center polling place early in the day, voting officials say the results Thursday night are unofficial.
If you recall, there were meetings on the issue up to the last minute this week, and signs for or against the decision have been planted on roadsides across the county.
The community has been talking about it for a few years, too. In 2012, a charter commission was established, and the group came up with a charter for residents to consider adopting.
If the charter was approved, the county would change its current form of government from deriving its authority from state statutes to getting its authority from the charter. Some may say this provides more flexibility and offers the community more control over itself.
As WHNT News 19 previously reported, the issue has been controversial. So like anything else, there are several other opinions for voters to consider. Some are concerned voters aren’t educated enough on the facts and won’t be able to make an informed decision on Thursday.
Those opposed to the charter said there is already talk of possible lawsuits that will ensue if home rule is approved, and they believe it needed more work before its presentation to the public.
Those in support of it say since it the Charter did not pass, people who have been part of the system for so long will see that as a mandate that things can continue how they are.
One of the hot discussions about the charter centers around the number of commissioners. The home rule would have decreased the current amount of commissioners from 24 down to 9.
Lincoln County would become the third county in Tennessee to adopt a charter rule. The two others are Knox and Shelby counties.