CRC Commissioner Wants To Close Write-In Loophole

Oct 3, 2017

A member of the state Constitution Revision Commission wants to open up Florida’s primary elections, at least somewhat. The proposal would close the state’s loophole for write-in candidates.

Credit Bryan Jones via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwjones/

Florida voters of any stripe can cast a ballot in a primary election if all the candidates are in the same party, that is, unless a write-in candidate is also running. That rule can prevent democrats from voting for a moderate republican over a conservative, and vice versa. CRC Commissioner Sherry Plymale wants to change that.

“So we still have write-in candidates. They can still go to the ballot. But they do not get the right to close the primary,” Plymale said.

She says the rule lets marginal players interfere with serious challengers.

“The write-in candidate typically is recruited by the party that wants the primary closed. Typically, it’s not always. But it does happen,” she said.

Plymale’s sponsorship comes after the Palm Beach County State Attorney presented the proposal to the commission. A current member of the CRC could’ve benefited from the change, after losing a 2016 primary when a write-in candidate entered the race.

Any proposals the Commission finalizes must still get 60% approval from the voters, before being added to the Constitution.