Another $704K backs primary election proposal

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The money came from companies owned by health care exec Mike Fernandez

Drawing closer to meeting a crucial petition-signature requirement, a political committee received another $704,000 infusion last month for its proposal to revamp the state’s primary-election system.

Two entities linked to prominent South Florida health-care executive Mike Fernandez — MBF Family Investments Ltd. and the Miguel B. Fernandez Revocable Trust — combined to contribute $704,000 in late July to the committee All Voters Vote, according to a newly filed finance report.

Fernandez has been the main financial backer of the committee, which is trying to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the November 2020 ballot.

Under the proposal, all registered voters would be able to cast ballots in primaries, regardless of political affiliation. The two candidates getting the most votes in each primary would advance to the general election.

Currently, Florida has a “closed” primary system, which allows only voters registered with parties to participate in party primaries.

To get the proposal on the ballot, All Voters Vote would need to submit 766,200 valid petition signatures to the state. As of Friday morning, the state had received 521,348 valid signatures, according to the Division of Elections website.

The Florida Supreme Court also would need to sign off on the amendment’s proposed ballot wording.

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