Amendment 1 makes the smallest change to the Florida Constitution. Simply put it changes one word with two words.
It changes what is currently in the Florida Constitution, “Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be a elector of the county where registered.”
with the words,
“Only a citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.”
Yes, the change is “Every” to “Only a”.
Some say, “It is a distinction without a difference.” Some argue that when you specify who may vote it automatically says who may not. However, the citizen’s group who gathered petitions to place this on the ballot wanted to make sure that non-citizens could not be allowed to vote in state or local elections.
In 1996, the U.S. Congress passed a law prohibiting non-citizens from voting in Federal elections. Federal law did not address state or local elections. San Francisco, Chicago and 11 cities in Maryland allow non-citizens to vote in local school board elections and Chicago to serve on school councils. The Citizens Voters, Inc. group has spent over $8 million to spell out clearly not just who can vote, but more importantly who can’t vote.
If you want to make sure that Florida ONLY allows a citizen of the United States to vote, then vote YES.
It will need a 60% of vote required for approval.