FCV OPPOSES Amendment Number 3

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FCV OPPOSES Amendment Number 3

Amendment 3, also known as the “jungle primary” amendment, would change Florida’s primary elections for state legislators, the governor and lieutenant governor, and elected cabinet members (Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Chief Financial Officer) from a closed election to a top-two open primary. 

All candidates for statewide offices and the Legislature, no matter their party, would challenge each other in one primary in August. Out of that one primary, the top two vote-getters (regardless of party) would face each other in the General Election.

For example, in this scenario, Andrew Gillum would have been excluded from the 2018 General Election ballot. The Gubernatorial race would have been between Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis, as they received more votes than any of the five “viable” Democratic challengers. 

FCV OPPOSES Amendment Number 3

According to former state Rep. Sean Shaw – founder of People Over Profits – the amendment would weaken Black and Brown representation in the state. Shaw’s group argues that Black representation in the Florida Legislature is secured in Democratic primaries in which Black voters form a significantly greater proportion of the electorate than in the population at-large. The federal 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 2010 Fair Districts Amendment to Florida’s Constitution require that racial minorities elect candidates of their choice: jungle primaries would eliminate that choice. Number 3 would diminish Black voting power, especially when general elections challenge a Black candidate vs. a white candidate. Read more in People Over Profits’ report on Amendment No. 3.

Democrats and Republicans are both against Number 3. Both parties claim that Number 3 would benefit special interests and prevent parties” voters from nominating a candidate of their choice. 

In states with jungle primary systems, like California, there have been instances where the ‘top two’ are members of the same political party. This scenario would generally give voters less choice in November, not more.

“No. 3 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” says Jonathan Webber, Deputy Director of Florida Conservation Voters. “While claiming to open up Florida’s closed primaries, this amendment would ensure that money wins elections, not people. Voters deserve a choice on Election Day.”

3 Comments

  1. Roger Mann says:

    I am not affiliated with any political party because I think they both suck. I was a Dem, but quit when, against my vote, they chose opportunist Charlie Crist for governor and the widely unpopular Hilary Clinton for president. In fact, for over 30 years the Dems never nominated my choice. Dem is not my political home. I look to FCV and some progressive groups for guidance. I would like to vote in primaries and believe that if we unaffiliated could participate, that candidates would represent the people of Florida. By the way, if both of the finalists happen to come from the same party that would be the will of the people. That’s why we have elections and that is why we want everyone to vote.

    • Shell says:

      Well said Roger. Me too. Life long dem. Disgusted with the polarization, violence and bad choices. I am a centrist and for whoever is best for the job. The 2 party system has not worked to serve the people, only the politicians.

    • Ty says:

      This amendment isn’t about opening up primaries. It’s about limiting your choices in the general election to only two candidates. You don’t need a Top 2 system to have open primaries. You can have open primaries without limiting people’s choices in the general election. The Top 2 system almost eliminates minor party candidates and non partisan candidates from qualifying for the general election because they would no longer be able to skip the primary election.

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