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Florida Supreme Court Clears Open Primary Constitutional Amendment For November Ballot

Man stands at voting machine to cast his ballot.
Ryan Dailey

Florida voters could be asked to open the state’s primaries to everyone, regardless of party affiliation. The Florida Supreme Court has approved the “All Voters Vote” amendment for the November ballot, over the united objection of the Republican and Democratic parties. 

Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much these days, but the two state parties are united in their opposition to the “All Voters Vote” constitutional amendment proposal. The Democrats argued in a December hearing that letting all voters, regardless of party, cast ballots in a primary stops those who are party members from directly electing their representatives. 

According to the ballot summary: "Allows all registered voters to vote in primaries for state legislature, governor, and cabinet regardless of political party affiliation. All candidates for an office, including party nominated candidates, appear on the same primary ballot. Two highest vote getters advance to general election. If only two candidates qualify, no primary is held and winner is determined in general election."

All Voters Vote’s attorney argued not allowing the state’s 3.7 million minor and no party affiliated voters cast ballots in primaries disenfranchises them.

No Party Affiliated voters are fastest growing group of new registrants.

*Editors Note: Updated to include ballot summary language which states the two highest vote getters, regardless of party, would appear on the general election ballot. 

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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