Lincoln County Home Rule Charter provides an opportunity for county citizens to have their voice heard by having county referendums pursuant to Tenn Code Ann 2-5-151.
This is a very important feature of the Lincoln County Home Rule Charter allowing any registered voter in Lincoln County to start the petition process described below:
2-5-151. Petitions for recall, referendum or initiative.
Any governmental entity having a charter provision for a petition for recall, referendum or initiative or any person acting pursuant to such charter provision shall meet the requirements of this section. Before a petition may be circulated, at least one (1) registered voter of the city or county shall file with the county election commission:
(1) The proper form of the petition; and
(2) The text of the question posed in the petition.
This allows the citizens of Lincoln County to have the right to redress any action by the Lincoln County Government. Under the current county government the redress of county government is very limited. The charter requires that a petition to be approved and be put on the next general election ballot for a referendum have signatures of county register voters equal to 7% of the voters in Lincoln County who voted in the last gubernatorial election in Lincoln County (approximately 650.) The referendum will be binding on the Lincoln County Government. The Lincoln County Home Rule Charter does not allow for special elections and has a requirement that if any petition has been certified, if the petition addresses a past action of the Lincoln County Government, per section 9.15 of the Home Rule Charter, (the measure that is the subject of the referendum shall be rendered not in effect, there will be a stoppage of work or activity and all funding to the measure suspended, pending the outcome of the referendum.)