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Court Rules Bundling Constitutional Proposals Violates Rights

A sign saying Vote Here
Erik Hersman / Flickr

A Tallahassee judge has ordered three proposed constitutional amendments be stricken from the Florida ballot. Judge Karen Grievers says because the proposals contain several issues bundled into one, voters would not be able to answer with a simple yes or no. Robert Barnas  a former High Springs city commissioner and petitioner in the case, says that’s the reason he wanted to see the case move forward.

“The way they bundled it and put two items, or three items, or four items together that made no sense or had no connection was improper and it left the voters confused and it would have certainly affected votes,” Barnas says.

For example, one proposed amendment included a ban on vaping in work places and also a ban on off-shore drilling. The state argues those issues are linked because both relate to the environment. But in her ruling Judge Gievers says the court is “unconvinced.” The state has appealed the ruling. Supervisors of election must begin mailing ballots to overseas voters this month.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

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