Early voting is October 22nd to November 4th. You can early vote at most libraries in Jacksonville. Please vote early and take your completed sample ballot with you. You don’t want to be deciding on these amendments at the polling booth.
You can get information from these websites about the amendments that will be on our Florida ballot:
These three only list the amendments for which they have a stated position: https://www.sierraclub.org/florida/florida-politics
And here is the link to information on the Duval County website:
And you can print out the 46 page booklet about the amendments from this website:
Here is what I have decided about the amendments so far:
1 AND 2— Voting NO because I agree with the LWV’s position which you can see at their website at this LINK
3. People that are anti-gambling should vote YES on this. See page 7 of the pamphlet at the Florida website which includes the exact wording of the amendment at this LINK. Amendment #3 is supported by Disney, No Casinos Inc and Seminole Tribe of FL. Someone told me that a ‘Yes’ vote for #3 almost guarantees gambling will be locked out of Florida with exception of Indian Casinos.
4. Definitely voting YES to restoring the voting rights of those that have finished their penalty of prison, probation and parole. Florida is one of only four states that permanently bar felons from voting after their sentences are completed.
5. Oppose. Quote from the LWV website: This amendment does not include a provision that would allow for tax increases in times of emergencies (hurricane, floods, recession, etc.) and is an abrogation of the Legislature’s fiduciary responsibility to pass a reasonable budget.
6. Oppose. I am voting no based on this (from the ACLU website—see link above):
Amendment 6 (if it passes) would give huge corporations a new right to inject themselves into criminal proceedings and appear in court with their high-powered lawyers to have a say in sentencing and bail hearings when they accuse people of even relatively minor crimes such as shoplifting.
I would vote NO on this part even if it stood alone. Quote (from the 46 page State of Florida booklet about the amendments–see link above):
[If amendment 6 passes] ….. a state court or an officer hearing an administrative action pursuant to general law may not defer to an administrative agency’s interpretation of such statute or rule, and must instead interpret such statute or rule de novo …..
It is VERY sad that the CRC put this awful stuff in this amendment rather than addressing some of the victim’s issues. People advocating for Marsy’s Law should be VERY angry at the CRC for NOT addressing their concerns. I hope that advocates of Marsy’s Law also see that they must vote NO on amendment 6 because of the above problems.
7. Oppose. Quote from LWV website: We oppose a supermajority vote to increase fees or taxes. Family members of the military who die in the line of service are already compensated through the federal government.
8. This one will not be on the ballot since the lower court and the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the wording is confusing and misleading.
9. Definitely voting YES. No drilling off our shores. Drilling off our shores puts our beautiful beaches in danger of oil spills. This is another one that the CRC bundled unrelated issues into. I hope those unrelated issues won’t stop you from voting YES.
10. Oppose. Quote from the LWV website: This limits the voters in local communities from deciding on the election of county officers. FDLE is already the lead agency in coordinating efforts to prevent terrorism, and the Constitution already has authorized the Legislature to create a Department of Veteran Affairs.
11. I am voting yes on 11 because it allows for someone’s sentence to be reduced if a law changes. Below quote from ACLU (see link above):
Amendment 11 – Vote YES–The ACLU of Florida supports Amendment 11 because it would address mass incarceration by allowing criminal justice reforms to apply retroactively. Right now, many people are incarcerated under harsh sentencing laws that could soon be reformed, but even if the legislature changes those sentencing laws, they won’t apply to people currently affected by them. If Amendment 11 passes, reforms to mandatory minimum sentencing or drug policy reform could apply to people currently serving under sentences that the legislature no longer believes are fair.
Here is a link to a GREAT article about this amendment 11:
http://floridapolitics.com/archives/250441-constitution-revision-allow-retroactive-criminal-law-changes Quotes from article: The coalition contends that Florida is the last state in the union to have a Savings Clause in its Constitution. The coalition includes The James Madison Institute, Unified Sportsmen of Florida, Florida Tax Watch, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, FreedomWorks, the R Street Institute, Right On Crime, and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, among others.
Section 9 Article X is already in our Florida Constitution. Amendment 11 would amend it by adding the underlined portion and deleting the struck through portion.
The CRC put unrelated things in the amendment but that should NOT stop you from voting YES. The unrelated things: The issue regarding the ability of non-citizens to purchase and sell property cannot be enforced, And it deletes obsolete language having to do with high-speed rail in Florida.
12. I want to stop legislators from pushing legislation that will harm the state but enrich themselves personally. I think the goal of amendment 12 is to stop those abuses so I’m fairly sure I’m voting yes. Quote from this ARTICLE that talks about charter schools and vouchers being used by legislators to enrich themselves:
They crafted the most important parts of education bill HB 7069 in secret, acting in possible violation of the open government laws. There was no debate allowed and educators all across the state were left without a voice in the process. It’s no wonder it all went down in the dark. It’s a clear conflict of interest for members of the Florida Legislature who have a stake in charter schools to vote to fund and expand them. It’s an abuse of power.
13. Many say vote YES because of dog abuse. I have been convinced that there is animal abuse and I am voting yes. People will still be able to bet on dog racing BUT not on live dog races in Florida if this passes. Full text of this amendment (from the 46 page State of Florida booklet about the amendments–see link above):
The humane treatment of animals is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. After December 31, 2020, a person authorized to conduct gaming or pari-mutuel operations may not race greyhounds or any member of the Canis Familiaris subspecies in connection with any wager for money or any other thing of value in this state, and persons in this state may not wager money or any other thing of value on the outcome of a live dog race occurring in this state. The failure to conduct greyhound racing or wagering on greyhound racing after December 31, 2018, does not constitute grounds to revoke or deny renewal of other related gaming licenses held by a person who is a licensed greyhound permitholder on January 1, 2018, and does not affect the eligibility of such permitholder, or such permitholder’s facility, to conduct other pari-mutuel activities authorized by general law. By general law, the legislature shall specify civil or criminal penalties for violations of this section and for activities that aid or abet violations of this section.