Lawsuit seeks to nullify Florida ballot question on primaries, claims it would hurt minority representation


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Although millions of ballots have already been cast by mail, some Florida lawmakers want to remove a proposed amendment from November’s ballot.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks to nullify Amendment 3, a ballot referendum, which calls for a “top two” primary system that would open primaries to all voters regardless of party affiliation. The lawsuit was announced Tuesday by incoming Republican House Speaker Chris Sprowls and local Democratic Senator Janet Cruz.

The lawsuit points to two studies from this year that show an open primary system will “bleach minority-districts” in Florida, meaning a flood of white GOP voters could out-seat representatives in communities with primarily African-American and Democratic leadership.

The lawsuit asks the state not to count votes on the referendum, including the ones on the over 2 million ballots that have already been cast by mail.

If Amendment 3 passes, it would go into effect in 2024. That’s when the top two candidates in an open primary would move on to the general election no matter whether they’re Republican, Democrat, or both from one party.

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