When Floridians vote in November of 2018, there will be as many as 13 proposed constitutional amendments on their ballots. The ACLU of Florida has taken positions on four of those initiatives to ensure that civil rights and civil liberties prevail in Florida.
Amendment 4 - Vote YES
- The ACLU of Florida supports Amendment 4, which would return the eligibility to vote to Floridians who have completed the terms of their sentences, including any probation, parole, fines, or restitution.
- Florida is one of only four states that still has a system that prevents people from earning back the eligibility to vote for life, and our current system for restoring a person’s eligibility to vote is broken. Amendment 4 would allow roughly 1.4 million people who have
- People who are allowed to earn back their eligibility to vote are less likely to commit crimes in the future, meaning Amendment 4 will also make communities safer.
Amendment 6 – Vote NO
- The ACLU of Florida opposes Amendment 6, which is misleadingly referred to as a “rights of victims” amendment, but in fact provides victims with no new meaningful justice while undermining due process for people accused of crimes.
- Amendment 6 would give huge corporations a new right to inject themselves into criminal proceedings and appear in court with their high-powered lawyers to have a say in sentencing and bail hearings when they accuse people of even relatively minor crimes such as shoplifting.
- The amendment would upset the balance between the rights of victims and people accused of crimes by permanently deleting the part of the constitution that ensures balancing the rights of all involved in a criminal case
Amendment 8 – Vote NO
- The ACLU of Florida opposes Amendment 8, which is a deceptive measure to undermine voters’ ability to make decisions about public schools in their community and give that power to unaccountable bureaucrats in Tallahassee.
- Amendment 8 would allow an unaccountable state agency to authorize for-profit charter school companies to open schools in local communities without the input of the locally-elected school board, draining public education funds from our existing local schools with no local oversight.
- Across the country, when charter schools have as little accountability as Amendment 8 would allow, there is increased incidence of unlawful or discriminatory enrollment practices. Our local education dollars should go to schools that treat all students equally and fairly.
Amendment 11 – Vote YES
- The ACLU of Florida supports Amendment 11 because it both deletes an unconstitutional, anti-immigrant provision from our constitution and would address mass incarceration by allowing criminal justice reforms to apply retroactively.
- Right now, many people are incarcerated under harsh sentencing laws that could soon be reformed, but even if the legislature changes those sentencing laws, they won’t apply to people currently affected by them.
- If Amendment 11 passes, reforms to mandatory minimum sentencing or drug policy reform could apply to people currently serving under sentences that the legislature no longer believes are fair.
For other resources on how to make your voice heard, visit our Let Me Vote 2018 online guide.