Amendment 4, also known as the “amendments must pass twice amendment,” would require constitutional amendments to be approved by voters at two successive general elections to become effective. Known as “Number 4,” this constitutional amendment undermines your voice by decreasing voters’ political power. Number 4 would limit our ability to amend our constitution.
Florida’s citizen initiative process is already the most difficult in the country. Number 4 would force voters to vote not once, but TWICE on any constitutional amendment. FCV OPPOSES Amendment 4.
Currently, Floridians control what is in their constitution by voting to amend it. Citizens can initiate amendments, but the process is complicated and expensive. Once on the ballot, all amendments need 60% to pass. If No. 4 passes in November, the State Constitution will require all amendments to pass by 60% in two successive general elections, appearing on the ballot in a SECOND general election to be approved by a supermajority of voters! No. 4 would apply to all proposed amendments, including those made by Citizen Initiatives, the Legislature, Constitutional Revision Council, and Taxation and Budget Reform Commission.
Effects of No. 4:
- Force voters to vote, not once, but TWICE, to pass a ballot initiative. Once an amendment passes by 60% voter approval in one election, it would have to appear on a second ballot and again be approved by 60% of voters.
- It will increase the time, effort, and expense it takes to make crucial changes to the constitution, which will silence voters’ voices.
- It will delay the effective date of voter-approved changes to the Florida Constitution.
- Give well funded, powerful corporate interests an extra chance to defeat an amendment that 60% of voters approved on the first ballot.
- Significantly limit voters’ ability to act as a check on politicians in the Legislature when they fail to pass laws that reflect our values.
As you could imagine, this would add extreme costs to an already-costly system, prohibiting most grassroots and citizens organizations from participating in the initiative process.
Keep Our Constitution Clean, the shadowy political committee backing Amendment Number 4, is being bankrolled by dark money and secretive organizations to deliberately obscure funders and mislead voters. This amendment is just the latest attack on the citizens’ initiative process, which has been significantly restricted by the State Legislature in recent years.
“Over the years, the citizen’s initiative process has enabled Floridians to advance important public policies when politicians in Tallahassee have been unwilling to do so,” said Aliki Moncrief, Executive Director, Florida Conservation Voters.
“Together, citizens have voted to protect our waters and land, reinstate the voting rights of thousands of our friends and neighbors, and help restore integrity to a broken redistricting process. No wonder state legislative leaders and shady political donors now want to take that right away. When voters cast their ballots in this election, they’ve got to fight back and stand up for their constitutional rights by voting no on number 4.”