Ballot Initiative Pushes For Jungle Primaries In Florida

Jul 2, 2019

The All Voters Vote citizens' initiative lets anyone who’s registered cast a ballot in the primary. 

Credit Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

The proposal goes a step further than an open primary by allowing the top two vote getters, regardless of party, to advance.

Glenn Burhans Jr. is pushing the initiative. He says it makes voting more accessible.

“The reason behind the All Voters Vote amendment is not to change the balance of power in favor of one party or another," Burhans said. "The purpose of the All Voters Vote amendment is to empower all voters, so they can have a say in the elections that matter.”

California, Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington all currently use the top-two primary method.

Many third parties in Florida are concerned that the move could limit political diversity on the ticket and destroy their candidates' chances of making it to the general election.

Jody Grayes with the Green Party of Washington says that happened in her state.

“In this case there isn’t even the possibility across the state for voting, of choosing between a Democrat and Republican, much less anyone from an alternative political party," she said. "So the top two primary is a tremendous detriment to input from voters.”

The initiative is about 6,000 signatures away from a threshold that triggers a judicial review. After ballot language approval from the Florida Supreme Court, the proposal heads to the ballot and will need 60% of the vote to become a constitutional amendment.