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Some of 12 amendments facing Florida voters downright confusing

Constitutional Revision Commission's amendments include multiple issues

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Voters in this November's general election will decide up to 12 amendments to the Florida Constitution. While all 12 appear on the ballot, some are still being challenged in the Florida Supreme Court.

Several amendments are being challenged because they several of them contain multiple, unrelated issues, yet voters have to vote yes or no to the whole item.    

For example, Amendment 6 would write crime victims' rights into the state constitution and raise the mandatory retirement age for state judges.    

 Amendment 9 would prohibit offshore oil and gas drilling and ban vaping in workplaces. Yes, one idem addresses both offshore drilling and vaping.    

"That’s just ridiculous to me, that they don’t have two amendments for that," voter Vicky Blake said. 

The seven amendments creating this confusion were added to the ballot by the Constitution Revision Commission, which meets every 20 years to recommend updates to Florida’s constitution. They packed 20 issues into eight amendments, one of which was tossed from the ballots before they were printed.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan wouldn't talk about the amendments, telling News4Jax he was advised by the state Division of Elections not to. 

   UNF political science professor Mike Binder said most states require each amendment to only deal with one issue, but not Florida.

"They did not want there to be 100 things for people to vote on, so they tried to combine some of them," Binder said. "I don’t know if that was the right thing to do. In fact, it was probably the wrong thing to do from a voter's perspective, but that’s where we are now. Those are now in the mail and people are going to have to vote on these things."  

Binder said some people may get so confused they could even vote against their true preferences.

Binder and other political observers urge voters to read the ballot before going to polls so you'll know what to expect and try to avoid confusion at the polling places.

READ: Summary of all 12 amendments on Florida general election ballot


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