Senator seeks ban for Florida lawmakers to prevent ballot stacking

5:42 PM, Jan 14, 2013   |    comments
Sen. Jeff Clemens wants to limit the number of constitutional amendments on the ballot from the Legislature. State lawmakers placed 11 amendments on the 2102 ballot, which many believe contributed to long lines at polling places.
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TALLAHASSEE, Florida - A state senator says he has a common sense idea to fix the long lines that plagued Florida's 2012 election.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Clemens says since the Republican-led Legislature stacked the ballot with 11 constitutional amendments last November, he thinks voters should get the chance to limit the number of amendments from lawmakers in the future.

Sen. Clemens has filed legislation that would prohibit state lawmakers from placing more than three amendments on the ballot.

He says one study finds about 50,000 Floridians did not vote because of absurdly long lines at polling sites of six hours or more.

Clemens believes many of the Legislature's amendments were politically motivated to get Republican voters to the polls and didn't deserve to be on the ballot.

So he says it's time to admit a mistake and move ahead with a fix.

"It's somewhat humorous that you have to file a constitutional amendment in order to be able to limit constitutional amendments. But I think people were frustrated with the length of the ballot. You hear it over and over again and I think we need to come up with some common sense solutions and if three isn't the right limit I'm willing to negotiate on that but I think we do need to talk about limiting it."

Sen. Clemens will have to convince his colleagues to pass his bill to place it on the 2014 ballot for voters to decide.

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