TAMPA, Fla. — As polls open for early voting today in Florida, 6 ballot amendments could change language about who can vote in Florida, how they vote, minimum wage and those with Homestead exemptions.
The amendment issues vary widely and all amendments must be approved by 60 percent of Florida voters to be added to the constitution.
Here's a break down of the Amendments:
Amendment 1 - Citizenship requirement to vote in Florida elections
This amendment would not change who is able to vote, you already have to be a legal citizen to vote. But it would make clear who cannot vote. The ACLU and League of Women Voters says the language change would make it more difficult to vote by imposing time consuming and sometimes costly verification requirements.
Amendment 2 - Raising Florida's minimum wage to $15 and hour
The idea of a $15/hour minimum wage has been pushed for several years but has so far been unsuccessful. Although the move would put more money in workers pockets, it could hit small businesses very hard, and possibly force some to shut down.
Amendment 3 - All voters vote in Florida primary elections
When you vote in the primaries in Florida, you can only vote in your registered political party. Registered independents can't vote in the primaries. Problem is, 1/3 of Florida voters do not belong to the two major political parties. And "open primary" would allow voters to vote for any candidate in the field regardless of political affiliation, with the top two vote getters moving on to the general election. Both major political parties oppose this amendment.
Amendment 4 - Voter approval of Constitutional Amendments
This amendment would require any future amendments on the ballot to pass in two election cycles as opposed to just one cycle. Those pushing for this amendment say it would cut down on "whimsical" amendments being placed on the ballot. But those against argue it would make it more costly and difficult for Florida voters voices to be heard.
Amendment 5 - Limitations on Homestead Property Tax Assessments
This amendment would increase from 2 to 3 years which accrued Save-Our-Homes benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead.
Amendment 6 - Tax Discount for Spouses of Deceased Veterans
This amendment would allow for homestead property tax discounts to be carried over to spouses of certain veterans with permanent combat-related disabilities until he or she sells or otherwise disposes of the property.