Voters split on Florida's Amendment 4

'[It's'] just going to be more red tape on everything,' one voter says
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Posted at 3:39 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 12:46:19-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Just days from Election Day and voters are split on Amendment 4 which would require Floridians to vote twice, in two separate elections, on amendments to the state's constitution before an amendment is approved.

The people behind the amendment say it will force voters to think twice about proposed changes to the state’s constitution.

Voters have their own opinions for and against it.

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"That's just going to be more red tape on everything. It's going to take longer to get anything accomplished. It's just going to be more political double talk," said Miller.

Jason Zimmerman, chairman of Keep Our Constitution Clean, the political committee behind the push for Amendment Four, doesn’t see it that way.

"In order to amend our Florida Constitution, our foundational document, they should have to go through significant scrutiny. They should have to go through voters twice so that the voters actually can take the time to understand all of the implications of that Constitutional amendment," said Jason Zimmerman, Keep Our Constitution Clean chairman.

Jason Zimmerman
Jason Zimmerman, the chairman of Keep Our Constitution Clean

The committee also said the Legislature, not voters, would appropriately handle some amendments

"Take legislating through the Constitution out of the amendment process, and put it back into the Legislature," Zimmerman said.

WPTV went to the polls and boarded buses en route to the polls to get voter opinions on the issue, and voters were split.

"Maybe it will help clarify any confusion about the first round. Maybe people weren’t sure exactly what was happening," said registered voter Derik Barbieri.

Patrick Miller
Registered voter Patrick Miller

"We've gotten the vote. We heard the people the first time. That's usually when the excitement and the interest is really there. I feel like a second round of voting can be swayed," said registered voter Shekinah Holliday.

"It concerns me that we're not focused on becoming educated voters opposed to just believing all the hype," registered voter Lateresa Jones.

Shekinah Holliday
Registered voter Shekinah Holliday

The League of Women Voters is against the amendment, saying it will limit citizens' ability to engage in direct democracy.

"If we have to do this twice, that's just going to make it more difficult, harder and more expensive," said Marcia Herman, League of Women Voters Speakers Bureau member. "There are numerous organizations that are opposed to this. The League of Women Voters, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, Common Cause and the Southern Poverty Poverty Center. It would make it much more difficult to make changes to the constitution."

WPTV political expert Brian Crowley also weighed-in, saying amendments are hard enough to pass.

"This is taking away a fundamental right of Florida citizens. It’s already very difficult to change the Florida Constitution," Crowley said. "Instead of a simple majority to change the constitution, it now requires 60-percent of the vote. And you have to have 800,000 signatures from verified voters to have an amendment on the ballot."

If Amendment Four is approved, all proposed amendments will be submitted a second time at the next general election.

Click here to learn more about the amendment.