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Primary reform proposal almost guaranteed 2020 ballot placement

Two highest vote-getters advance to the general election.

Barring a reversal in fortunes, a Constitutional amendment that would change Florida primaries will make the 2020 ballot.

The All Voters Vote (AVV) committee would open up Florida’s primary elections for state Legislature, Governor, and Cabinet to all voters, including independents, starting in 2024, setting up a “top-two” system.

At least in theory, this could enhance partisan passions at the ballot box.

Of the 766,200 verified signatures necessary for ballot access, the committee already has 621,601 as of Thursday morning.

The citizen initiative proposes that “all registered voters (may) vote in primaries for the state Legislature, Governor, and Cabinet regardless of political party affiliation.”

Party nominees, third party candidates, and everyone else would be on the same primary ballot, called by some a “blanket primary” (and “jungle primary” by others).

The two candidates who do the best move on to a general election, unless just two candidates initially qualify, in which case the primary closes it out.

The effort has been bankrolled primarily by interests related to billionaire GOP donor Mike Fernandez.

As of July finance reports, the political committee has raised over $6.7 million. Almost $6 million of that came from Fernandez-linked accounts since April 2019.

August reports are due no later than Sept. 10.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mary Pezzi

    September 5, 2019 at 11:39 am

    This is wonderful news because, nationally 42% of registered voters are not affiliated with any political party and in states like Florida, with a CLOSED PRIMARY that is paid for with taxpayer money, “Independents” are not allowed to vote in the Democratic and Republican primaries. That’s taxation without representation and puts the selection of the general election candidates into the hands of “establishment” party-first voters. I will certainly be voting in 2020! I had to re-register as a Democrat in order to vote for Bernie Sanders in the primary.. I would also consider Elizabeth Warren.

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