On the Ballot: Florida Amendment 4 analyzed by Jerry Holland

On the November ballot will be Amendment 4 which addresses how State Constitutional Amendments will take an additional step for approval.

Currently today citizens, legislature or the Constitutional Revision Commission can place a proposed amendment on the ballot for voter consideration when a state general election is held. If the approval of voters is 60% or more the amendment is approved and becomes part of our State Constitution.Amendment 4 requires that if a proposed amendment is approved in a state wide general election by at least 60% of the voters, it must then be placed a 2nd time on the ballot in the next state wide general election (often two years later), for the final approval by at least 60% of the voters before becoming law.

The group “Keep Our Constitution Clean, Inc.” is leading the campaign in support. The committee raised over $9 million. They believe by doing pass-it-twice, it will reduce the amount of whimsical constitutional amendments.

In Florida there have been more than 140 state constitutional amendments since 1968. “Fair Districts of Florida, Inc.” believes it is a shameless effort to take away the people’s control over what goes into our state constitution. Nevada is the only state to have initiated this process, and a similar amendment is on the ballot in 2020 in North Dakota. Although in past years we have seen amendments to change our state constitution for pregnant pigs and bullet trains, etc. there are changes to our state constitution that must be on the ballot, subjects that relate to elections and changes that impact ad valorem taxes.

If Amendment 4 passes these would also have to go through the pass-it-twice process.

There are arguments that some groups only bring up certain issues for state constitutional amendments in order to increase voter turnout in general elections that might help their party candidates. However, at the end of the day you must decide how difficult you want to make it to approve changes to our state constitution.

Vote YES, if you believe you want to make it more difficult and take longer to approve changes to our state constitution and require a pass-it-twice process.

Vote NO if you want the current process of one election for approval.

This like all amendments would require a 60% voter approval to become law.

Jerry Holland serves as Duval County’s Property Appraiser. Prior to this position, Jerry served as Supervisor of Elections for ten years, restoring trust in local elections. During that time he registered more than 64,415 students in Countywide Student Voter Registration Drives. His office was known for having the most current election system for tabulation and voter check-in in the state, welcoming over 68 countries visiting from around the world to see how successful elections were conducted.


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