Bundled ballot amendments can be confusing to voters

Four amendments combine several issues under one vote

By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Four of the 12 constitutional amendments listed on Florida’s 2018 midterm election ballots will force voters to place personal priority over politics, according to League of Women Voters of Florida President Patricia Brigham.

“There’s disconnect in the way they were bundled,” Brigham told News 6. “Some of the issues have nothing to do with the other.”

Brigham said the league reviewed and debated the bundled amendments several times before developing a final position for amendments 6, 7, 9 and 11.

“It made it even more difficult to come to a position decision," she said. “Because of the same reason the voters are going to have in deciding which way he or she is going to vote.”

Amendment 6 would expand victim’s rights, extending time limits to file an appeal. It would also change the retirement age for judges from 70 to 75 years of age.

Amendment 7 would pay a death benefit to the family of first responders or military killed in the line of duty and also asks for a supermajority vote for state universities to increase new or existing student fees.

Brigham said she is concerned important issues may become collateral damage because of the medley of issues under the same amendment.

"That’s why we have been so proactive in educating the voters about the amendments,” she said. “We go out to the community, we have a power point presentation, we are doing hundreds of these presentations across the state.”

Amendment 9 would prohibit offshore oil drilling as well as vaping in the workplace.

Amendment 11 is the most confusing, because it combines three separate issues in the same amendment.

First, it would repeal the state’s ability to prohibit noncitizens from buying, owning and selling property.
It would also delete a provision that forces the state to prosecute criminal suspects under the law they were originally charged under, even if the legislature changes the law. 

Finally, it drops obsolete provisions impacting high speed rail in Florida.

“This is an extremely important election,” Brigham said. "I would say to the viewers don’t let these amendments put you off, there is an easy way to learn about them.”

For more information on the League of Women Voters positions on the 12 amendments go to: www.lwvfl.org.

For a review of all 12 amendments on the 2018 Florida ballot, click here.

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