A group has kicked off efforts to have open primaries in the Sunshine State.
On Wednesday, Florida Fair and Open Primaries (FFAOP) announced it was starting two petitions to have open primaries. One petition would create the open primary, the other would “prohibit public resources being used for primary elections if all registered voters are not allowed to cast a vote.”
The group is looking to add proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution for the 2020 ballot. If 60 percent of voters approve of the proposed amendments, they will be added to the Florida Constitution.
Steve Hough, the director of FFAOP, weighed in on Wednesday as his group began efforts to get 766,200 signatures for the petitions.
“We believe voters should have been afforded the opportunity to determine the fate of an open primaries amendment,” Hough, who has been working as an accountant for more than two decades, said. “Despite the failure of the CRC to forward an open primaries amendment to this year’s ballot, voters may have an opportunity to decide in the future. We are currently engaged in a citizens’ initiative to place an amendment on the 2020 ballot. At issue is whether Florida citizens believe the fundamental right to vote should be extended to all registered voters in every election. As the vast majority of races are decided in a primary election, by a tiny fraction of the electorate, we believe they will agree.”
“There has been a growing sense among voters in Florida and across the country that no one is really listening,” said Tom Cullen, the group’s director of outreach. “Well we’re standing up and making the political establishment listen. Florida voters are tired of paying millions of dollars for primary elections that exclude over a quarter of our fellow citizens. We’re inviting every Floridian to join us in putting an open primaries referendum on the 2020 ballot. Let the voters decide!”