A petition drive to seek voter approval for non-partisan Lee County Commission races has ended. Lee Voter Freedom, the group leading the effort, has learned that the Florida Constitution Revision Committee (CRC) is advancing a similar proposal to open our Florida primaries.
Lee Voter Freedom was formed with the goal of enhancing voter participation in Lee County, according to Dick Anderson, a member of the organization. “The provision would have ended the practice of using write-in candidates to close the election of Lee County Commissioners,” said Anderson. “Because of this loophole, nearly 60% of Lee County voters can be excluded from selecting their commissioners.”
Anderson noted there are an increasing number of “no party affiliation” voters, nearly 30% of Lee County’s registered voters. “This is the fastest-growing group of voters particularly among young people,” he said. “Opening the primaries would allow a majority of voters to decide local issues rather than a minority.”
Anderson noted that the CRC has proposed an amendment to authorize all voters, regardless of party affiliation, to vote in primary elections if all candidates for the office have the same party affiliation and the winner will be opposed only by one or more write in candidates in the general election. The CRC has the authority to put this proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution on the November 2018 ballot for approval by Florida voters. Two of three Florida CRC subcommittees have already voted to advance this proposal. The full CRC has until May 10th, 2018 to take a final vote.
Lee Voter Freedom plans to remain active and continue to advocate for issues affecting Lee County citizens.