CONFIDENCE VOTE: The Right To Vote For All Public Elected Officials
CONFIDENCE VOTE: The Right To Vote For All Public Elected Officials
“Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.” Abraham Lincoln. The American Parents’ Pledge ( ESPAÑOL AQUÍ):
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A Constitutional Amendment that will allow the people the opportunity to vote for ALL their elected officials:
BALLOT TITLE: THE RIGHT TO VOTE FOR ALL PUBLIC ELECTED OFFICIALS
BALLOT SUMMARY: A constitutional amendment requiring ALL public elected officials to appear for a CONFIDENCE retention vote.
ARTICLE AND SECTION BEING CREATED OR AMENDED: All applicable to elections of public officials.
FULL TEXT OF THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT:
WHEREAS the current practice of automatically re-electing government officials when there are no challengers DOES NOT promote democratic values, or enhance public trust, WE THE PEOPLE ask for:
A constitutional amendment requiring all public elected officials (e.g. State Senators, House Representatives, Judges, State Attorneys, etc.), regardless of someone running against them or not, to appear for a CONFIDENCE retention vote at the end of their respective election period in office to allow voters the choice of whether they should remain in office or not. In case the public official is not retained in office, the Governor shall appoint a temporary replacement, and new elections shall be held within 90 days to elect a replacement for that position.
Why is this needed? because the ability of citizens to chose its representatives is essential to a democracy. However, in Florida, a large number of public officials never have to appear on the ballots in the general elections because no one decided to run against him/her. For instance, of the 40 Florida Senators in 2012, 11 did not even have to appear in the ballots in the general elections: https://ballotpedia.org/Florida_State_Senate_elections,_2012
1. Register as a Political Committee An individual or group who wishes to propose an amendment must first register as a political committee with the Division of Elections, pursuant to Section 106.03, Florida Statutes. For details on how to register a political committee, see the Political Committee Handbook.
2. Get Format Approval Before signatures can be gathered, the sponsoring political committee must submit its initiative petition form to the Division of Elections. The petition must meet the format requirements in Rule 1S-2.009, Florida Administrative Code and be in accordance with Form DS-DE19 – Constitutional Amendment Petition Form. The Division only reviews the initiative petition form for sufficiency of its format, and has no authority to determine legal sufficiency of the petition.
3. Serial Number Assignment Once approved, the Division of Elections will assign a serial number and notify the sponsoring political committee. The serial number must be printed in the lower right hand corner of the approved petition form. The proposed initiative amendment will be viewable on the Division’s online Initiatives/Amendments/Revisions Database.
4. Circulation After the Division approves the petition form and assigns the serial number, the sponsoring political committee can begin to circulate the petitions for signature by registered Florida voters. Multiple petitions cannot be attached or bundled together.
5. Submit Petitions for Verification All signed petition forms are to be returned to the sponsoring political committee, which then submits them to the Supervisor of Elections for verification. The forms must be turned into the Supervisor of Elections’ office in the county of residence of the signee in accordance with Rule 1S-2.0091, Florida Administrative Code. The sponsoring political committee is responsible to ensure the signed forms are filed in the proper county or if misfiled, forwarded to the proper county. The Supervisors have 30 days from date of receipt to check and verify the signatures and report the number of valid verified signatures to the Division. To ensure that all petitions are verified prior to the deadline, it is recommended that the committee submit petitions to the Supervisors of Elections as far in advance of the deadline as possible. Petition signatures are good for two years from the date signed.
6. Pay for Cost of Verification It costs ten cents, or the actual cost, whichever is less, to check signatures. The sponsoring political committee must pay the Supervisor of Elections at the time the petitions are submitted. If it poses an undue burden on the committee to pay for verification, the committee can waive the fee by submitting an executed Affidavit of Undue Burden (DS-DE 19D) to the Division of Elections. The Division will circulate the oath to each Supervisor of Elections in the state. 3 Note: An undue burden affidavit cannot be filed if the committee pays any person to solicit signatures (see Section 106.191, Florida Statutes). If an undue burden affidavit has been filed but the committee later pays any person to solicit signatures on a petition, the affidavit is no longer valid. The committee must then pay the Supervisor for all past signature checks and any signatures submitted thereafter. Also, if the committee receives any monetary contributions, the committee must first reimburse the Supervisor for any signature verification fees that were not paid because of the affidavit (see Section 99.097(6), Florida Statutes, and the note at the top of DS-DE 19D – Affidavit of Undue Burden).
7. Supreme Court Review and Fiscal Impact Statement Once a sponsoring political committee obtains 10% of the required signatures from at least 25% of the congressional districts, the Secretary of State will send the petition to the Attorney General. Within 30 days of receipt, the Attorney General will petition the Supreme Court requesting an advisory opinion as to whether the text of the proposed amendment complies with s. 3, Art. XI of the State Constitution and whether the proposed ballot title and summary comply with Section 101.161, Florida Statutes. The Secretary of State also sends concurrently a copy of the petition to the Financial Impact Estimating Conference (FEIC). The FIEC reviews the proposed amendment and completes an analysis and financial impact statement. If the amendment obtains ballot position, the financial impact statement will appear on the ballot under the ballot summary.
8. Certification of Ballot Position The Secretary of State determines whether the constitutionally required number of signatures and distribution of signatures by congressional districts has been obtained by February 1 of the year of the general election. The Secretary issues a certificate of ballot position to the sponsoring political committee. No later than the next day, the Director, Division of Elections assigns and posts the designating number for the amendment in accordance with Rule 1S- 2.0011 – Constitutional Amendment Ballot Position.