Florida Amendments and Judicial Races: Summary of Voting Recommendations

This is a summary of how things add up when I compare recommendations on the 2018 Florida Constitutional Amendments, which is how we do ballot initiatives in this state. See also my roundup of voting recommendations from the Broward Democratic Party and various friends of BlueBroward, which includes links to several more detailed documents. I also included the recommendations from the Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel newspapers.

I simply counted up the number of recommendations for and against each of these measures. I did the same for the nonpartisan judicial races. All of these experts agree you should vote yes on retention of the Supreme Court and Appeals Court judges whose continued service is up for approval.

In addition, most of the recommendations I’ve seen favor the Broward County question on transportation and YES on all the charter revision recommendations. Exception: Alan Ehrlich said no to the transportation question and Lori Gold said no to a couple of the charter revision questions (#4 and #5).

Compiling this list was part of my own preparations before completing my vote by mail ballot, which has been sitting on the kitchen table for a couple of weeks now. Voting for Andrew Gillum is a clear choice, as are most of the other partisan races, but making smart choices about the amendments and the judges is “phone a friend” time for me.

Florida Constitutional Amendments

1 – Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption
NO (Unanimous)
2. – Limitations on Property Tax Assessments
NO (Broward Democratic Party, Alan Ehrlich, Jason Blank, Lori Gold, Sen Eleanor Sobel, Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel)
Yes (Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel)
3 – Voter Control of Gambling in Florida
YES (Broward Democratic Party, Alan Ehrlich, Lori Gold, Miami Herald)
NO (Jason Blank, Sen Eleanor Sobel, Sun-Sentinel)
4 – Voting Restoration Amendment
YES (Unanimous)
5 – Super-majority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees
NO (Unanimous)
6 – Rights of Crime Victims; Judges
NO (Broward Democratic Party, Alan Ehrlich, Jason Blank, Lori Gold, Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel)
YES (Sen. Eleanor Sobel)
7 – First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities
NO (Unanimous)
9 – Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Spaces
YES (Broward Democratic Party, Phil Busey , Lori Gold, Sen Eleanor Sobel, Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel)
NO (Alan Ehrlich, Jason Blank)
10 – State and Local Government Structure and Operation
NO (Unanimous)
11 – Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes
NO (Unanimous)
12 –Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers
NO (Broward Democratic Party, Alan Ehrlich, Jason Blank)
YES (Lori Gold, Sen Eleanor Sobel, Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel)
13 –Ends Gambling on Dog Racing
YES (Broward Democratic Party, Jason Blank, Lori Gold, Sen Eleanor Sobel, Phil Busey, Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel)
NO (Alan Ehrlich)

Judicial Races

Again, the broad consensus is you should vote “yes” on all the judges and the Supreme Court justice who are up for a retention vote.

In the local judicial races, I got recommendations from Alan Ehrlich, Jason Blank, Lori Gold, and the Sun-Sentinel.

Circuit Judge, Group 38
Stefanie Camille Moon (unanimous)
Circuit Judge, Group 46
Maria Markhasin-Weekes (unanimous) 
County Judge, Group 9
Tanner Channing Demmery (Alan Ehrlich, Jason Blank, Lori Gold)
Corey Amanda Cawthon (Sun-Sentinel)
County Judge, Group 19
Allison Gilman (Alan Ehrlich, Lori Gold)
Jackie Powell (Jason Blank, Sun-Sentinel)

Author: David F. Carr

BlueBroward webmaster

One thought on “Florida Amendments and Judicial Races: Summary of Voting Recommendations”

  1. Some of my opinions and research basis for voting “Yes” on 4, 9, and 13, and “No” on everything else, were left out of a David Carr’s summary.

    Vote “No” on Amendment 6 which misleadingly refers to “victims’ rights” but “reiterates victim’s rights that already exist,” as Frank Cerabino explains, and “put a five-year clock on death penalty appeals.” Amendment 6 would have caused the execution of innocent victims in wrongful judgments. “Florida leads the nation” with 27 death row exonerations, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. “Limiting the time frame on appeals will only make that worse.”

    As I explained, Amendment 3 pretends to extent voters’ on casinos, but it effectively does the opposite by making any new gambling subject to a statewide petition drive, and statewide vote, which would be unlikely.

    Florida’s Constitutional Revision Commission gave this ballot several poison pills in the deceptive and secretive and confusing language. It’s okay to vote “No.”

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