© 2023 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

CRC Commissioner Wants To Close Write-In Loophole

black and white photo of people standing in line in a gymnasium to vote
Bryan Jones via flickr
Flickr: bwjones

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.

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.

As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.