Voting for the First Time? We Have a Guide


Stephanie Ballesteros

Florida’s general election sample ballot

Stephanie Ballesteros, Staff Writer

Going through the ballot on the day of voting can be overwhelming. That is why I have taken the time to read the proposed amendments and provide a summary for all of them. Enjoy.

Amendment 1: This amendment would give an additional homestead exemption to homes valued between $100,000 – $125,000. Homestead exemption means to protect the value of a home from property taxes, creditor (banks and anyone money is owed to), and circumstances that arise from the death of the homeowners spouse. However, it will exclude local school taxes. If this amendment goes through, it should take place on January 1, 2019.

Amendment 2: This amendment would make a temporary 10% cap for commercial properties, apartments, and vacation homes. If this amendment goes through, it would take place on January 1, 2019, and would cancel the repeal already in place.

Amendment 3: This amendment would give Floridians the power to authorize casino gambling in Florida. Voting yes would favor this, voting no would be against it.

Amendment 4: This amendment would give prior felons the right to vote. However, it will exclude murderers and sexual offenders. Voting yes would favor this, voting no would be against it.

Amendment 5: This amendment would require 2/3 of the legislature vote in order to raise state taxes or fees. This would exclude taxes or fees having to be authorized by the county, school board, or special district. Voting yes would favor a majority vote, voting no would be against it.

Amendment 6: This amendment raises rights for for victims throughout the court process. Judges and hearing officers will be required to interpret ALL of the rules and statutes regarding each personal case. Voting yes would favor this, voting no would not be in favor of requiring this.

Amendment 7: This amendment would include paramedics and EMTs as first responders. A payment for death benefits would also be required to give to spouses of first responders. Also, in order to raise a tax or fee, a supermajority vote must be in place.

Amendment 9: This amendment prohibits both offshore drilling of gas and oil AND outdoor vaping. Voting yes on this would be against people vaping in enclosed workplaces; as well as, denying oil and gas drilling beneath state owned water. The restriction would include the high water line and state’s territorial boundary.

Amendment 10: This amendment would not allow Florida counties to abolish local offices (ex. tax collectors) without an election for it. Legislation will be required to provide for a state Department of Veterans Affairs and also create a state Office of Domestic Security and Counter-Terrorism.

Amendment 11: This amendment places non-citizens and criminal suspects in the same category. By voting yes to this amendment, non-citizens will be allowed to inherit, own, and possess property. A provision that required criminal suspects to be prosecuted under laws they were charged with breaking, EVEN if the law changed, will be cancelled.

Amendment 12: This amendment would prohibit public officers and employees to use their position for their personal benefit. Restrictions will be made for judges and public officers, regarding lobbying for a personal reward. Some exceptions would be made.

Amendment 13: This amendment would end dog races by 2020. However, any other gambling would not be affected. Voting yes would be in favor of this, voting no. would be against it.

Palm Beach County Referendum: Palm Beach County residents decide whether to approve a new tax on their properties. The tax would pay for more school police officers, mental health practitioners, arts programs, and raise teacher pay for teachers who have been in the classroom for 10 years or more.

Happy voting everyone!