Tennessee Voters Approve Ballot Measure To Remove All Forms of Slavery in State

Tennessee Voters Approve Ballot Measure To Remove All Forms of Slavery in State

Voters in Tennessee have officially approved a ballot measure that bans all forms of slavery.

The measure, approved on Tuesday, removes any language that allows slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for those convicted of crimes in the state, according to CBS News.

The Tennessee Secretary of State’s website reported that the measure passed with almost 80% of the votes in favor of the Constitutional Amendment repeal.

The Tennessee Constitution’s new Amendment will remove the measures amended Article I, Section 33, which states that “slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited in this state–except as punishment for a person who has been duly convicted of crime.”

The change will now read:

“Slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an inmate from working when the inmate has been duly convicted of a crime.”

According to Tennessee records, most of the state’s lawmakers supported the proposal, but six legislators voted against it.

On Election Day, the measure was one of four on the ballot in Tennessee this year.

The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery in 1865 but includes similar language allowing for involuntary servitude to be imposed as punishment for crimes.

In an interview last year with Fox affiliate WZTV, State Sen. Raumesh Akbari said that the Amendment to Tennessee’s constitution would simply remove the loophole that includes similar language as reflected on the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, despite slavery being abolished in 1865.

CBS News reported that a bipartisan group of legislators led by Democratic State Rep. Joe Townes and Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison campaigned an ad titled Vote Yes on 3.

The campaign urged voters to adopt the ballot measure that would proceed to begin the process of removing the language that previously existed.