PRIVATE ACTS index

ELECTIONS

DISTRICTS - REAPPORTIONMENT

The general provisions concerning county organization are found in Title 5, Chapter 1 of "Tennessee Code Annotated". Section 5-1-101 enumerates the counties and 5-1-108 deals with the apportionment of the county legislative bodies into a maximum of twenty-five county commissioner districts within each county that is not under a metropolitan government charter. Under T.C.A., the county legislative bodies must meet at least every ten years to make necessary district boundary changes or completely redistrict a county so that the members represent substantially equal populations based on the most recent federal census. Upon application of any citizen affected, the chancery court of such county has original jurisdiction to review and amend the apportionment or to order an appointment where none has been made.

The acts listed below have affected the civil districts in Roane County, but are no longer operative regarding elections.

1. Acts of 1835-36, Chapter 1, Page 19, enacted after the adoption of 1835 State Constitution, required the General Assembly of the State to appoint suitable persons as Commissioners to lay out the civil districts in each county having 3,000, or more, qualified voters would have 25 civil districts, with 2500 to 3000 qualified voters there were to be 20 civil districts, and so on down a graduated scale for each county. Each civil district was entitled to elect two justices of the peace and one constable, but the civil district containing the county seat would have three justices and two constables. The commissioners were directed to take full advantage of natural lines in laying out the districts as was available to them. Resolution #3 of the assembly named the commissioner to accomplish the above in every Tennessee County. Those named for Roane County were Joseph Byrd, Jr., James LUCKEY [LACKEY], Daniel WESTER, Amos MARNEY, and Joel HEMBREE.

The following is a listing of acts for Roane County which affected the elective process, but which have been superseded or repealed. They are listed here for historical and reference purposes. Also reference below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1803, Chapter 24, Page 66 divided Tennessee into five Presidential Electoral Districts. The Third Electoral District had in it the counties of Knox, Sevier, Blount, Roane, and Anderson. The presidential election would take place on the first Thursday and Friday in November, 1804, and the returns for this District would be made at Knoxville on the following Monday.

2. Acts of 1803, Chapter 79, Page 133, stated that in order to secure equal representation in the national Congress, the Districts of Washington, Hamilton, and Mero would each elect one Congressman.

3. Acts of 1805, Chapter 64, Page 65, apportioned the representation in the General Assembly of the State at 13 Senators and 26 Representatives. The counties of Roane and Anderson would constitute one State Senatorial District whose votes would be counted at Burrville in Anderson County, and the same two counties would likewise share one Representative, the polls being counted for it at the same location as the Senatorial votes.

4. Acts of 1806, Chapter 39, Page 151, stated in the introduction that the mountainous situation and size of Roane County made it inconvenient for the citizens living north of the Tennessee River and west of White's Creek to attend the Courthouse in Kingston. Therefore, it would hereafter be lawful for all the inhabitants of Roane County in the area lying north of the Tennessee River and west of White's Creek to meet and hold elections at the house of William HENRY under the same election laws as were being applied to other polling places. The musters of the militia were to occur here also.

5. Acts of 1807, Chapter 18, Page 52, stated that the District of Roane County and Anderson County for State Senator and Representative would hereafter have the votes compared at Kingston in Roane County instead of being counted at Burrville in Anderson County. The sheriffs of the respective counties would be governed accordingly.

6. Acts of 1807, Chapter 74, Page 124, set up five Presidential Electoral Districts in Tennessee for the election which would occur on the second Thursday in November, 1808. The Third Electoral District was composed of the counties of Knox, Blount, Anderson, Roane, Rhea, Bledsoe, and that part of Campbell County, which was formerly Anderson County. The polls were to be canvassed and compared at Knoxville.

7. Acts of 1809, Chapter 1, Page 1, declared that the State would send three Representatives to the Congress of the United States, one of the District of Washington, one from the District of Hamilton, and one from the combined Districts of Winchester, Robertson, and Mero.

8. Acts of 1812, Chapter 5, Page 6, divided Tennessee into eight Presidential Electoral District assigning the counties of Knox, Blount, Roane, Campbell, and Anderson to the Third Electoral District, whose votes would be counted and canvassed at Knoxville.

9. Acts of 1812, Chapter 27, Page 23, created six U.S. Congressional Districts in the State. The Third Congressional District contained the counties of Anderson, Campbell, Roane, Rhea, Bledsoe, Overton, White, Warren, and Franklin.

10. Acts of 1812, Chapter 57, Page 56, increased the representation in the General Assembly from 13 to 20 Senators and from 26 to 40 Representatives. The counties of Roane, Rhea, Anderson, and Bledsoe constituted one Senatorial District, whose votes would be counted at Kingston. Each county would elect at least one Representative except those which would elect more than one.

11. Acts of 1813, Chapter 106, Page 143, made it the duty of the sheriff of Roane County on the days of all elections to hold a separate election in Roane County at the house of Jared HOTCHKISS on the main road leading from Kingston to Knoxville, and another one at the home of Joseph ROBINSON on the waters of Embrees River. The Act authorized any person living in Roane County who was otherwise qualified to vote to cast their ballots at Kingston.

12. Acts of 1815, Chapter 6, Page 9, provided that the separate election heretofore authorized to be held at the house of Joseph ROBINSON in Roane County would hereafter be conducted at the house of Charles McCLUNG on the Flat fork of Emery River where Moses WENTER formerly lived, under the same rules and regulations as all other elections were being held.

13. Acts of 1817, Chapter 184, Page 216, made it the duty and responsibility of the Sheriff, or his Deputy, of Roane County to open and hold an election on the same day and under the same regulations as were all the others at the home of Thomas BLAKE on King's Creek. The polls from this precinct were to be counted and returned to the county seat.

14. Acts of 1819, Chapter 69, Page 135, provided that the counties of Anderson, Roane, Morgan, Rhea, Bledsoe, Marion, Hamilton, and McMinn would jointly elect one Senator and the polls were to be examined and counted at Kingston. Roane County and Morgan County would share one of the 40 Representatives.

15. Acts of 1822, Chapter 1, Page 1, divided Tennessee into nine U.S. Congressional Districts. The Third Congressional District was made up of the counties of Campbell, Anderson, Morgan, Roane, Rhea, Bledsoe, Marion, Hamilton, McMinn, and Monroe.

16. Acts of 1823, Chapter 47, Page 54, established eleven Presidential Electoral Districts among the counties in Tennessee. The Third Electoral District encompassed the counties of Blount, Knox, Anderson, Morgan, and Roane. The polls in this District would be counted at Knoxville after the election was held on the first Thursday in October, 1824.

17. Acts of 1824, Chapter 1, Page 1, was a duplicate of Acts of 1823, Chapter 47, which set up eleven Presidential Electoral Districts in the State.

18. Acts of 1826, Chapter 3, Page 4, apportioned the representation of twenty senators and forty Representatives in the General Assembly of Tennessee. The counties of Roane, Morgan, Rhea, Hamilton, Bledsoe, and Marion constituted one State Senatorial District whose votes would be counted at Washington in Rhea County. Roane County and Morgan County would jointly elect one Representative tallying the ballots at Kingston.

19. Acts of 1827, Chapter 17, Page 13, organized the State into eleven Presidential Electoral Districts for the Presidential election coming up on the second Thursday and Friday in November, 1828. The Third District included the counties of Blount, Knox, Anderson, Morgan, and Roane, all votes being returned at Knoxville.

20. Acts of 1831, Chapter 57, Page 46, among several other things, also provided for a separate election to be held at the home of Joseph BRYANT in Roane County.

21. Acts of 1832, Chapter 4, Page 14, formed thirteen U.S. Congressional Districts across the State of Tennessee. The Fourth U.S. Congressional District was composed of the counties of Morgan, Roane, McMinn, Rhea, Hamilton, Bledsoe, and Marion.

22. Acts of 1832, Chapter 9, Page 18, formed Tennessee into fifteen Presidential Electoral Districts. The Fourth District included the counties of Knox, Anderson, Campbell, Morgan, and Roane.

23. Acts of 1833, Chapter 71, Page 85, reapportioned the representation in the General Assembly. Of the twenty Senators to be elected, the counties of Roane, Rhea, Marion, Hamilton, and Bledsoe would combine to elect one, while Roane County and Rhea County would share a Representative. The polls in the latter election would be counted and compared at the home of George GORDON on White's Creek in Roane County.

24. Acts of 1835-36, Chapter 39, Page 137, seemed to be a duplicate of previous Act which established fifteen Presidential Electoral Districts in Tennessee, designating the counties of Knox, Campbell, Anderson, Morgan, and Roane as the Fourth District.

25. Acts of 1842 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 1, Page 16, changed the representation in the General Assembly from 20 to 25 Senators, and from 40 to 50 Representatives. The 6th State Senatorial District consisted of the counties of Campbell, Anderson, Roane, and Morgan whose votes would be counted at Clinton in Anderson County. Roane County would elected one of the 50 Representatives alone.

26. Acts of 1842 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 7, Page 30, organized Tennessee into eleven U.S. Congressional Districts of which the Third District was made up of the counties of Knox, Roane, Bledsoe, Rhea, Meigs, McMinn, Polk, Bradley, Hamilton, and Marion.

27. Acts of 1851-52, Chapter 196, Page 293, set up ten U.S. Congressional Districts in the State. The Third Congressional District contained the counties of Blount, Monroe, Polk, McMinn, Meigs, Rhea, Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, and Roane.

28. Acts of 1851-52, Chapter 197, Page 295, apportioned the General Assembly of the State. Roane County would elect one Representative alone and would join Knox County to form the First State Senatorial District whose polls would be compared at Richard MEREDITH'S old place in Knox County.

29. Acts of 1865, Chapter 34, Page 52, gave Tennessee eight U.S. Congressional Districts in the aftermath of the Civil War. The counties of Claiborne, Union, Knox, Campbell, Scott, Morgan, Anderson, Blount, Monroe, Polk, McMinn, Bradley, and Roane made up the Second Congressional District.

30. Acts of 1869-70, Chapter 105, Page 118, was the enabling legislation to call a referendum on the question of holding a Constitutional Convention which would have 75 delegates from the total Senatorial and Representative Districts. The convention would have the authority to change, alter, revise, or rewrite entirely the State Constitution as it then existed. If approved, the Convention would meet in Nashville on the second Monday in January, 1870. This led to the formation of the 1870 Constitution which, with amendments, is still the organic law of the State.

31. Acts of 1871, Chapter 146, Page 171, was the first apportionment of the General Assembly subsequent to the adoption of the 1870 Constitution and the compilation of the 1870 census. Roane County would elect one of the 50 Representatives alone and would join the counties of Campbell, Morgan, Scott, Fentress, Overton, Putnam, White, and Cumberland to select one of the 25 State Senators.

32. Acts of 1872, Chapter 7, Page 28, formed Tennessee into nine U.S. Congressional Districts of which the Third Congressional District contained the counties of Blount, Loudon, Roane, Monroe, McMinn, Meigs, Rhea, Polk, Bradley, James, Hamilton, Marion, Sequatchie, Bledsoe, Grundy, Van Buren, and Warren.

33. Acts of 1873, Chapter 27, Page 52, added one U.S. Congressional District to the State making a total of ten. The Second U.S. Congressional District contained the counties of Jefferson, Sevier, Blount, Monroe, Loudon, Roane, Knox, Anderson, Campbell, Scott, Morgan, and Union.

34. Acts of 1881 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 5, Page 9, set the number of Senators in the State Legislature permanently at 33 and the number of Representatives at 99 in the future.

35. Acts of 1881 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 6, Page 10, rearranged the representation in the General Assembly to coincide with the establishment of new numerical quotes. The Sixth State Senatorial District was composed of the counties of Blount, Loudon, Monroe, and Roane, while Roane County would continue to have one Representative alone.

36. Acts of 1882 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 27, Page 34, set up ten U.S. Congressional Districts in Tennessee composed of whole counties. The counties of Jefferson, Union, Sevier, Blount, Knox, Loudon, Roane, Anderson, Morgan, Campbell, and Scott constituted the Second Congressional District.

37. Acts of 1891, Chapter 131, Page 293, rearranged the counties in the ten U.S. Congressional District in order to conform to the figures of the 1890 Census. The counties of Jefferson, Union, Sevier, Blount, Knox, Loudon, Roane, Anderson, Morgan, Campbell, and Scott were all placed in the Second Congressional District under the terms of this act.

38. Acts of 1891 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 10, Page 25, did the same for the representation in the General Assembly according to the statistics of the 1890 Federal Census. Roane County retained one Representative for itself alone and combined with the counties of Anderson, Meigs, Loudon, and Blount to form the Sixth State Senatorial District.

39. Acts of 1901, Chapter 109, Page 151, divided Tennessee into ten U.S. Congressional Districts assigning the counties according to the 1900 Census figures. The Second Congressional District included the counties of Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Blount, Loudon, Roane, Scott, Anderson, Campbell, and Union. Henceforth, these statutes would be public laws and a part of the Tennessee Code.

40. Acts of 1901, Chapter 122, Page 182, would be the last apportionment of the State General Assembly for over sixty years. The Seventh State Senatorial District was made up of the counties of Anderson, Roane, McMinn, Bradley, and James. Roane County would elect a lone Representative.