A retired Florida State University instructor and Pepper Center researcher says she was misled by Amendment 1’s pro-solar pitch and she’s worried thousands of other senior voters are too.
With a master’s degree in urban planning and a job at a think tank, LuMarie Polivka-West likes to think of herself as better informed than most seniors.
So she gladly liked Amendment 1 on Facebook when she read it guaranteed the right to solar power. It wasn’t long before angry responses started pouring in from friends.
“They said how can you support Amendment 1? This is the utility backed amendment that constricts the solar power rights of consumers.”
Polivka-West says she was livid when she learned major environmental groups were against Amendment 1. Critics say a provision that purports to protect consumers from “subsidizing” solar users will lead to higher fees.
Polivka-West says if she can be misled, thousands of less attentive older voters are probably falling prey, too. She says she’s going to spend the next three weeks getting the word out.
Sarah Bascom, a spokesperson for Amendment 1 organizers, Consumers for Smart Solar, disagrees. The Florida Supreme Court gave Amendment 1 a routine ballot review and a majority of justices found it was not ambiguous or misleading.
"When the Florida Supreme Court approved Amendment 1 for the ballot, the majority ruling stated, '… we find that the title and summary clearly and unambiguously inform the voter that the amendment will establish a constitutional right for electricity consumers.'"
In a minority opinion, however, Justice Barbara Pariente described the measure as a "wolf in sheep's clothing."