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2020 Elections: What you need to know about the Florida Amendments on the ballot

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Posted at 4:47 PM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 17:02:14-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Six potential amendments are on the ballot this year as the 2020 November elections draws near.

For them to pass, at least 60 percent of voters must approve the amendment.

Here's what you need to know before you cast your vote:

Amendment 1: Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections

Official Ballot Summary: This amendment provides that only United States Citizens who are at least eighteen years of age, a permanent resident of Florida, and registered to vote, as provided by law, shall be qualified to vote in a Florida election.

What this means: If passed, only U.S. citizens who are at least 18, are registered to vote and are permanent residents of Florida, can vote in a Florida election.

If you vote yes, that means you support changing the current language in Florida's Constitution from “every citizen,” to, “only a citizen,” specifying that the voter must be a U.S. citizen in order to cast a ballot.

If you vote no, you don't support changing the constitution and the "every citizen" language will stay the same.

Amendment 2: Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage

Official Ballot Summary: Raises minimum wage to $10.00 per hour effective September 30th, 2021. Each September 30th thereafter, minimum wage shall increase by $1.00 per hour until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour on September 30th, 2026. From that point forward, future minimum wage increases shall revert to being adjusted annually for inflation starting September 30th, 2027.

What this means: If passed, the minimum wage in Florida will rise to $10 per hour on September 30th, 2021 and keep increasing by $1 per hour each year until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour on September 30th, 2026. The year after that, minimum wage increases will be adjusted annually for inflation.

If you vote yes, you support raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour on September 30th, 2021, and gradually increasing it to $`15 over the next six years.

If you vote no, you do not support raising the minimum wage, keeping the current minimum wage of $8.56 an hour.

Amendment 3: All Voters Vote in a Primary Elections for State Legislature, Governor and Cabinet

Official 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. Candidate’s party affiliation may appear on ballot as provided by law. Effective January 1, 2024.

What this means: If passed, this amendment would change Florida's primary-election system and make it so people can participate in all primaries, regardless of party. This also means that the top two candidates in the primaries, which would include all parties, go on to the general election.

If you vote yes, you support allowing all registered voters, regardless of party, to vote primary elections for state legislatures, the governor and cabinet members.

If you vote no, you do not support changing the state’s closed primary system, meaning voters who are affiliated with a party only can vote in their party’s primary election.

Amendment 4: Voter Approval of Constitutional Amendments

Official Ballot Summary: Requires all proposed amendments or revisions to the state constitution to be approved by the voters in two elections, instead of one, in order to take effect. The proposal applies the current thresholds for passage to each of the two elections.

What this means: If passed, this amendment would make it so any amendment to the Florida Constitution will have to be approved by voters in two different elections (Ex. If an amendment gets 60 percent voter approval in 2024, it will appear on the ballot again in the general election and will again have to garner 60-percent approval.)

If you vote yes, you support only allowing amendments that receive at least 60 percent of the vote in two elections to pass and take effect.

If you vote no, you don't support changing the process, so an amendment would only need 60 percent of the vote in an election to pass and take effect.

Amendment 5: Limitation on Homestead Assessments

Official Ballot Summary: Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution, effective date January 1, 2021, to increase, from 2 years to 3 years, the period of time during which accrued Save-Our-Homes benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead.

What this means: If passed, Save-Our-Homes benefits may be transferred from a prior property to a new property within a three-year deadline instead of two.

If you vote yes, you support extending the deadline from two years to three years.

If you vote no, you don't support extending the deadline from two years to three years, keeping it the same.

Amendment 6: Ad Valorem Tax Discount for Spouses of Certain Deceased Veterans Who Had Permanent, Combat-Related Disabilities

Official Ballot Summary: Provides that the homestead property tax discount for certain veterans with permanent combat-related disabilities carries over to such veteran’s surviving spouse who holds legal or beneficial title to, and who permanently resides on, the homestead property, until he or she remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the property. The discount may be transferred to a new homestead property of the surviving spouse under certain conditions. The amendment takes effect January 1, 2021.

What this means: If passed, it would allow a veteran's surviving spouse to receive a homestead property tax discount until he or she remarries, sells or otherwise disposes of the property.

If you vote yes, you support allowing a veteran's surviving spouse to receive a homestead property tax discount.

If you vote no, you don't support allowing a veteran's surviving spouse to receive a homestead property tax discount.