There will be 12 Constitutional Amendments on the November General Election Ballot in addition to competitive state and local elections.
One thing is certain, voters have a lot to consider.
“This is not a typical election year,” stated Kathryn Rudloff, Executive Director of Business Voice Political Committee, a non-partisan, pro-business group dedicated to political advocacy on the Space Coast. “Some of the issues coming before voters are very important, but the wording and sheer number of amendments is very confusing. We encourage voters to begin researching now so they can cast an informed vote.”
Each of the 12 proposals would amend the state constitution, the framework for Florida government and a document that can only be amended by another constitutional amendment. That means voters have an obligation to carefully research and weigh each of these amendments.
Topics the amendments address span a wide range of issues: gambling, dog racing, voting rights restoration for felons, victims rights laws, state college fees and funding, judicial retirement ages, a state lobby ban, organization of county governments, as well as important tax policy.
The Florida Legislature placed three of the amendments on the ballot (1, 2 and 5), two amendments (3 and 4) were brought up by the petition process, which means thousands of voters from around the state had to sign a petition in support of placing the question on the ballot. And the remaining seven were placed on by the Florida Constitutional Review Committee (CRC).
The CRC Amendments have been widely criticized for bundling multiple proposals together, forcing voters to make tough choices about some seemingly unrelated topics. Many of the proposals have been challenged in the courts, and one proposal has been stricken from the ballot by the Florida Supreme Court.
“I hear from a lot of voters that they plan to just vote “No” on all amendments, but I caution them not to take such a blanket position before they have done their research,” said Rudloff. “You might be surprised to find that there are one or two you really would want to support.”
That is why Business Voice Political Committee has compiled a comprehensive guide to the 2018 Amendments on their website www.BusinessVoicePAC.com and is encouraging voters to request a mail ballot so they can research take their time filing out the long ballot.
Anyone can request a mail ballot, for any reason. It is a convenient and easy way to make sure you can cast an informed vote. It is also a great way to avoid long lines at polling places on Election Day.
You can request a mail ballot by visiting www.votebrevard.com filing out a form and returning it via mail. At the very least, voters will want to begin researching the amendments now and use the sample ballot mailed to all voters prior to the election to help keep track.
Kathryn Rudloff is the Executive Director of Business Voice Political Committee, an organization that engages businesses from across Brevard County and the Central Florida Region to provide a cohesive voice in political advocacy at the state, regional and local levels. Business Voice is operated on a non-partisan basis to promote pro-business candidates and a pro-business legislative agenda.