Ballot Amendments

(WSVN) - When you head to the polls this November, you can expect a long ballot. Voters will choose among candidates as well as 12 proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution, and 7News is helping you through it all.

The wording when voting can be a bit confusing, so we’re looking at all 12 proposed amendments one by one to try to make them a bit clearer.

Whether you’re voting early, by mail or on election day…

Sen. Annette Taddeo: “The ballot’s going to be really long, guys, so I’m here to tell you it’s going to be long.”

Which is why it’s good to know how you’re going to vote on the amendments.

Amendment 1 would add an extra $25,000 homestead exemption for homes valued over $100,000. For homeowners, it could mean a tax break of a couple hundred dollars. But local governments who rely on property taxes across the state say it will leave them with a big hole in revenue.

Amendment 2 also deals with property taxes. It would permanently limit property tax hikes on vacation homes, apartments and commercial property to 10 percent each year.

Amendment 3 would give voters the exclusive right to approve casino gambling and expansions in the state.

Amendment 4 is getting a lot of attention. If approved, it would restore the voting rights of felons after they’ve served their sentences. The amendment includes all felons except those convicted of murder or sex offenses.

Amendment 5 would require a two-thirds vote in the state legislature to increase or impose any new taxes or fees.

Amendment 6 expands the rights of crime victims under the state constitution. A “yes” vote would also raise the mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 75.

Amendment 7 would give college tuition to survivors of first responders and members of the military who are killed in the line of duty. It would also require university trustees to agree by a two-thirds vote to impose or raise college fees.

Voting “yes” on Amendment 9 would prohibit oil and gas drilling in Florida waters and ban vaping in indoor workplaces.

Amendment 10 would create a Department of Veterans Affairs and an office of domestic security. It would also force elections of five county-level offices, including the office of sheriff. If approved, this amendment would affect Miami-Dade County since it’s the only county in the state that appoints a police director instead of electing a sheriff.

A “yes” vote on Amendment 11 removes language in the constitution that prohibits non-citizens from owning property. It also deletes a provision that forces the state to prosecute people under the law they were originally charged under, even if the legislature changes that law.

Approval of Amendment 12 would restrict public officials from lobbying state government while they’re in office and for six years after their terms expire.

Amendment 13 would end dog racing in Florida by 2020.

If you want to read up on the amendments, we have links for sample ballots below.

Tuesday is the last day to register to vote in Florida if you want to take part in the November elections.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Broward Sample Ballot
https://www.browardsoe.org/Voter-Information/Sample-Ballot

Miami-Dade Sample Ballot
https://www8.miamidade.gov/global/service.page?Mduid_service=ser1511964640434245

Monroe County Sample Ballot:
https://www.keys-elections.org/Portals/Monroe/2018/2018%20Nov%20Cou%20SB.PDF

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