Hail Mary lawsuit challenges Amendment 3

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 9:52 PM CDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - The incoming Republican Speaker of the House and a powerful Democratic State Senator are taking the unusual step of asking the Florida Supreme Court to remove Amendment 3 from the November ballot.

The amendment, know as ‘All Voters Vote’ would effectively end primary elections as we know them.

The lawmakers are raising concerns the amendment would negatively impact minority candidates.

Florida Democrats are blanketing voters' mail boxes across the state, urging a no-vote on Amendment 3.

The amendment would allow all voters to vote in primaries, with the top two candidates advancing to November.

In September, Florida’s black caucus first raised concerns the amendment would derail Black candidates.

“Impacting minority representation greatly in Tallahassee,” said Rep. Randolph Bracy.

When the Amendment was before Florida’s Supreme Court, both political parties opposed it.

In the court’s March opinion it said the amendment was fit for the ballot.

“It’s a political roulette wheel. No on knows what elections would look like under this new system,” said Speaker Designate of the Florida House Rep. Chris Sprowls.

Sprowls and Democratic State Senator Janet Cruz are backing a lawsuit.

It asks the high court to order votes for Amendment 3 not be counted, arguing the court should now consider the issue of Black representation.

“It would be very unlikely that any African, and Florida Senate district would be able to elect an African American Senator,” said Cruz.

The lawsuit comes as the All Voters Vote releases its first ad.

And the campaign told us the law suit ignores the impact of adding 3.6 million nonparty voters.

“And the message to them is no thanks. Unless you join our party, we don’t want to hear from you. I think that’s shameful,” said Glen Burhans, Chair of All Voters Vote. “Their arguments today reeked of fear.”

The campaign said polls show the amendment too close to call. If the amendment receives 60 percent of the vote, elections would not change until the 2024 August Primary.

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