Open primaries amendment has enough signatures for 2020 ballot

vote ballot (Large)
All Voters Vote had 767,236 valid signatures as of Wednesday afternoon

A proposed constitutional amendment that would allow voters to cast a ballot in primary elections regardless of party affiliation has enough signatures to make the 2020 ballot.

The initiative, backed by political committee All Voters Vote, had 767,236 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the Florida Division of Elections website.

Constitutional amendments need 766,200 signatures to make the ballot, a figure tied to 8% of the turnout in the most recent presidential election.

Amendments must also clear signature thresholds in more than half of Florida’s 27 congressional districts. All Voters Vote has met the bar in 15 districts.

The open primary amendment would allow “all registered voters to vote in primaries for state legislature, governor, and cabinet regardless of political party affiliation.”

The change would put party nominees, third party candidates, and everyone else on the same primary ballot, called by some a “blanket primary” and others a “jungle primary.” The two candidates who do the best would move on to a general election, unless just two candidates initially qualify, in which case the primary closes it out.

A poll conducted in October found less than half of Florida voters support the change, putting it well short of the 60 percent threshold needed for constitutional amendments to pass.

Still, the proposal has the backing of some deep pocketed donors, including billionaire Mike Fernandez. As of Oct. 31, the committee had raised about $6.9 million. Nearly all of that cash has been spent on the petition gathering effort.

All Voters Vote is sponsoring a second ballot amendment that would open up the primary elections U.S. House and U.S. Senate, though it only has a handful of petition signatures.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


6 comments

  • Jeffrey Solomon

    November 27, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Mr. Drew Wilson, please provide a reference to the October poll that indicates less than 50% support for the ballot amendment? Doesn’t sound right from my perspective…

  • EVERYBODY VOTES !!!

    November 27, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    AMEN! It’s about time! In a democracy – EVERYBODY VOTES! Plus – open voting in primaries will DEFINITELY help to reduce pure partisanship! Maybe we can work our way back to the goal of “the best and the brightest” – compared to what we got stuck with right now!

  • Dan Lanske

    November 30, 2019 at 8:03 am

    Open primaries actually have the opposite effect of what this amendment intends to happen.

    In states that have open primaries, the nominees tend to be more radical; farther to the right, and farther to the left. Thus, making the states even more polarized, or partisan. This is due to many “pure” conservatives, and “pure” liberals refusing to register with a party out of principle. However, these purists will still vote in the general for their respective parties – Republican and Democrat.

    When amendments like these get passed in other states, these “purists” that are registered NPA, are then allowed to vote in the primaries. And they do. They end up pulling their parties farther to the left/right.Thus, also pulling the state farther to the left or right.

    Those who support this amendment, really think about whether or not you want the state to be even more polarized.

  • Jeffrey Solomon

    November 30, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Mr Lanske, Your narrative could not be more false. Where did you get your facts and data from? It does not exist or like both Rep. & Dem. party Chairs Gruter’s & Rizzo’s talking points its made up – out of fear of control taken from the hyperpartisan wings that run each party. Every bit of academic data and opinion gathered proves your comment wrong.

  • Glen R. Cook

    November 30, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    Let’s become California. This jungle primary is what has caused absolute havoc in California elections.

    • Jeffrey Solomon

      December 1, 2019 at 1:46 pm

      Please describe the “havoc” you speak of Mr Cook? Californians across the board have been incredibly satisfied with the results. Fake news… And, if you happen to prefer a Democrat flavor – they own most of the turf.

Comments are closed.


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