Amendments Add to Election Day Confusion

By: Courtney Hayes
By: Courtney Hayes

Everyone agrees voting is important, but what good is casting a ballot if you don't know what you're voting for? With eight amendments to Florida's Constitution on November's ballot it's crucial to have some understanding of how you may be affected if they're passed.

You've registered to vote, watched the presidential debate and attended local candidate forums, but wait. You check out a sample ballot and discover that candidates aren't the only thing to be worried about November 2. Eight constitutional amendments are also on the ballot, but have no fear! We got you covered.

"Go online. Call your representative who originated the amendment. We have a link on our website in the community news section that has comments regarding it," says Mark Anderson, Bay County Supervisor of Elections.

The ballot language can be confusing, so here's a quick outline.

If you vote yes for Amendment 1 you're in favor of parents receiving notification before their child gets an abortion.

Amendment 2 creates a deadline date of February 1 to file a constitutional amendment for that year's general election.

Amendment 3 limits attorney's fees in medical malpractice suits.

Amendment 4 allows slot machines at race tracks in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Tax revenue from the slot machines would go to education.

Amendment 5 raises the state's minimum wage to $6.15.

Amendment 6 repeals the controversial high speed rail amendment passed in 2000.

Amendment 7 gives patients the right to review adverse medical records at health care facilities.

Amendment 8 prohibits doctors from being licensed in the state if he or she has three or more incidents of medical malpractice.

Andersen says voters should start receiving sample ballots in the mail by next week. To get an objective lesson on each amendment go to the Bay County Supervisor of Elections website at www.bayvotes.org. Click on the community news link to get the rundown.


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