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Voters Approve 11 Of 12 Constitutional Amendments

Early voting sign sits outside a precinct, guiding voters inside (2014).
Jessica Palombo

Despite a contentious battle, voters gave the nod to 11 of the 12 constitutional amendments on the ballot. 

Numerous legal challenges and millions of dollars went into the battle over the twelve constitutional amendments.

Lawsuits by organizations like the League of Women Voters challenged the constitutionality of bundling multiple amendments into a single proposal, and organizations like Fan Duel and Marsy’s Law for All pumped funneled money for ads and mailers.

In the end, all but one amendment will make it into the state’s constitution. And that doesn’t surprise University of South Florida political science professor emeritus Susan MacManus.

“I think the significance of these twelve amendments and why so many passed really boils down to how the wording of the amendment is, in other words the ballot title,” said MacManus.

MacManus said the titles seem friendly to voters who usually don’t know much before heading into the voting booth.

“Each of these ballot titles does have a sort of title that’s inviting to somebody and just on the face of it, just put it on a paper without anything else, people would tend to say ‘yes I’m in favor of that’ “, MacManus continued. 

The only amendment not to cross the 60 percent threshold required to take effect is Amendment 1. This proposal would’ve increase homestead property tax exemptions. Although, Floridians are generally anti-tax, this exemption faced criticism from local officials across the state.

“For one thing that is probably, if you use our standard we’ve been using here – simple, inviting language – this one is very difficult, it’s confusing," explained MacManus.

"But, this is a case where the advertisements so to speak against this came out of the mouths of public officials rather than a TV ad.” 

Shawn Mulcahy is a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU. He graduated from Florida State University in 2019 with majors in public relations and political science. He was previously an intern at WFSU, and worked as an Account Coordinator at RB Oppenheim Associates.