Leaders push for support of Amendment 10 in Florida

Measure would require counties to hold elections for constitutional offices

ORLANDO, Fla. – Nearly a dozen Central Florida leaders held a news conference Tuesday in support of Florida constitutional Amendment 10.

As part of a statewide voter education push, the advocates are encouraging voters to support what they call the "Protection Amendment," which would require Florida's counties to hold elections for all five local constitutional offices found in the state Constitution. The offices include sheriff, property appraiser, tax collector, supervisor of elections and clerk of the circuit court.

Most counties hold elections for those positions, but eight counties have changed, or do not require elections for, at least one constitutional office.

While supporters of the amendment said it keeps the power in the hands of the people, opponents, including the League of Women Voters, said it limits the voters in local communities from deciding on the election of county officers.

"This will provide essential support for law enforcement agencies to prevent or respond to acts of terrorism," Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, who is also the Orange County mayor elect.

The amendment also includes three other parts which would mandate a state Department of Veterans Affairs, create a state office of Domestic Security and Counter-Terrorism and require the legislative session to start on the second Tuesday in January during even-numbered years.

"Amendment 10 returns the power of your right to vote for public servants who protect public funds, communities and our way of life," Demings said.

Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh said Amendment 10 would allow the public to keep its officers in check.

"If these officers are not acting appropriately, or the public is dissatisfied with these officers, the election process solves that problem," Sing said.

For a constitutional amendment in Florida to pass, it requires 60 percent approval by voters.

The general election will be held on November 6.

About the Author: