If you’re like me, and you would like to see open primary elections in Florida, then you'll want to participate in an historic gathering next week in Fort Myers.
The Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) will meet from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College.
Why is the CRC important? The state commission only meets once every 20 years. It engages in a year-long process focusing on Constitutional issues it believes require further consideration. If CRC members agree change is needed in Florida's Constitution, then one or more amendments will be placed on the following year’s General Election ballot (2018 in this case). If 60% of Florida voters approve an amendment, it’s added to the Florida Constitution.Read More
The Florida Constitution Revision Commission is convened every 20 years. It consists of 36 appointees plus the state attorney general. The governor appoints 15, the Florida Senate president appoints nine, the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives appoints nine and the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court appoints three.
The commission, whose purpose is to consider initiatives to go on the 2018 ballot, has begun holding public hearings. The first was in Orlando, followed by Miami, Boca Raton and Tallahassee. One is being held today in Gainesville and more are scheduled over the next few weeks in other parts of the state (visit flcrc.gov for details).
The hearings give citizens an opportunity to provide direct input on various issues to the commission. If you believe our state constitution needs changes, please plan to attend in order to have your voice heard. As a volunteer for Florida Fair and Open Primaries, I’m using my two minutes to make a case for a top two open primary.Read More
Florida has a once in a generation opportunity to fix our “rigged” political system via the Constitution Revision Commission.
If you’re like me, you don’t need some expert to tell you about the adverse effects of gerrymandering.
Acrimonious partisan rhetoric, high-dollar campaign financing, and a terrible closed primary system locking out 3.1 million independent voters in our state, has allowed power to shift from citizens to politicians and party leaders.Read More
Florida voters may soon have a chance to adopt nonpartisan open primaries. At least, that is the hope of a coalition of nonpartisan organizations that are asking the state’s Constitution Revision Commission to put it on the ballot in 2018.
“We’re looking to develop primary reforms that let all voters vote and create more responsive candidates that actually represent the communities that elect them and are not simply responsive to the partisan few that come to elect them in closed primaries,” said Jeremy Gruber, senior vice president of Open Primaries.
Open Primaries is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that supports opening primary elections, with an emphasis on implementation of nonpartisan elections similar to electoral systems already in place in California and Washington state. In these two states, all candidates and voters, regardless of party, participate on a single primary ballot in state and congressional races, and the top two vote-getters move on to the general election.Read More
A spirited, standing-room-only crowd came out to the University of Central Florida on Wednesday night for the first public hearing of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission in 20 years, asking almost as many questions about how the process is going to work as they did about policies they wanted changed.
The CRC, chaired by former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff, was kicking off months of such meetings around the state over the next few months, hearing from residents about issues ranging from restoring voting rights to felons to creating open primaries to the importance of home rule.
Next year, the group of 37 commissioners — including politicians, business leaders and state officials, all appointed by either the governor, the state House speaker or the state Supreme Court chief justice — will make recommendations about amendments to be placed on the ballot for voter approval.Read More