Florida voters: Here’s your state Constitutional Amendment guide

Constitution
Excerpt from 1885 Florida Constitution. Photo edited and used with permission. Credit: State Archives of Florida.

Florida voters could face a whopping list of 12 different proposed Amendments to Florida’s Constitution at the polls Nov. 6 (though the Florida Supreme Court still must decide whether Amendments 7, 9 and 11 will go on the midterm ballot).

To make things more challenging: Some of these Amendments “bundle” several different topics into one ballot measure, possibly forcing voters to say “yes” on something they don’t like to approve something they want, or say “no” on something they like to oppose something they do not.

It’s confusing, and the Florida Phoenix has laid out what each Amendment would change, add or delete from the state Constitution to better prepare people heading to the polls.

One word of advice: When you mark your ballot, do not skip an Amendment. Vote yes or no, do not leave it blank. Since all Amendments require 60 percent approval to pass, leaving it blank can skew the results.

This is a short list of all the Amendments, with links to our explanations of them.

Amendment 1: INCREASED HOMESTEAD PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION

Amendment 2: LIMITATIONS ON PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS

Amendment 3: VOTER APPROVAL OF CASINO GAMBLING

Amendment 4: VOTING RESTORATION AMENDMENT

Amendment 5: SUPERMAJORITY VOTE REQUIRED TO IMPOSE, AUTHORIZE, OR RAISE STATE TAXES OR FEES

Amendment 6: RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS; JUDGES (often referred to as Marsy’s Law)

*Amendment 7: FIRST RESPONDER AND MILITARY MEMBER SURVIVOR BENEFITS; PUBLIC COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

*Amendment 9: PROHIBITS OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS DRILLING; PROHIBITS VAPING IN ENCLOSED INDOOR WORKPLACES

Amendment 10: STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE AND OPERATION

*Amendment 11: PROPERTY RIGHTS; REMOVAL OF OBSOLETE PROVISION; CRIMINAL STATUTES

Amendment 12: LOBBYING AND ABUSE OF OFFICE BY PUBLIC OFFICERS

Amendment 13: ENDS DOG RACING

CD Davidson-Hiers
CD Davidson-Hiers is a 2017 summa cum laude graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Creative Writing and French. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key honors societies, and has received multiple writing awards for fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Prior to joining the Florida Phoenix, CD worked at the Tallahassee Democrat and has bylines in Tallahassee Magazine. She is a native of Pensacola and currently lives in Tallahassee with her tabby cat, Faulkner.
Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.
Julie Hauserman
Julie Hauserman has been writing about Florida for more than 30 years. She is a former Capitol bureau reporter for the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times, and reported for The Stuart News and the Tallahassee Democrat. She was a national commentator for National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday and The Splendid Table . She has won many awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work is featured in several Florida anthologies, including The Wild Heart of Florida , The Book of the Everglades , and Between Two Rivers . Her new book - Drawn to The Deep, a University Press of Florida biography of Florida cave diver and National Geographic explorer Wes Skiles - comes out this fall.
Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry has spent the past 18 years covering news and politics in the Sunshine State, most recently with FloridaPolitics.com. He worked for five years as the political editor of Creative Loafing in Tampa, and before that he was the assistant news director at WMNF radio, where he served as creator/anchor/producer of the hour-long WMNF Evening News. A San Francisco native, Mitch began his career at KPFA Radio in Berkeley in the 1990's.

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