What the League of Women Voters hopes for in 2020

Florida chapter’s president visits ‘The Weekly’

ORLANDO, Fla. – The League of Women Voters will turn 100 years old next year, and the non-partisan political organization's influence on policy from the federal to the state level is only growing.

Patricia Brigham, the president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, joined anchor Justin Warmoth on "The Weekly on ClickOrlando.com" to discuss what the league is pushing for as we look ahead to 2020, including a proposed constitutional amendment that would make Florida an open primary state.

"We believe in open primaries," Brigham said. "We did a study in 2015 that went on for two years and it found voter participation in primaries was 23 percent, while the national average was 37 percent. Clearly we weren't getting enough people out to the polls."

Florida is one of only nine closed primary states, excluding the 3.7 million people who aren't affiliated with the two major political parties from voting in primary elections.

The proposed amendment dubbed "All Voters Vote" has enough signatures to get on the 2020 ballot, but it's still pending language approval from the Florida Supreme Court.

"If the initiative is passed, voters would receive a ballot with all of the candidates, no matter their party, and the top two move on to the general election," Brigham said. "The general would serve as a run-off between the two candidates."

Despite having more than 700,000 signatures from Florida voters, the ballot initiative has a lot of opposition from both Republican and Democratic leaders in the state. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has called it "misleading" and says it would not open Florida primaries, it would eliminate them.

"It's actually uniting the parties for a change," Brigham said. "It's because they're pro party and the League of Women Voters is pro voter."

Brigham also discussed the importance of the upcoming census, what issues the organization is prioritizing in Florida's 2020 Legislative Session and how someone can become a member of the League of Women Voters.

“The Weekly on ClickOrlando.com” airs Sundays at 8 a.m. on News 6.

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