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State fires back on Amendment 3 suit

Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 4:35 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) - Amendment 3, on this year’s ballot, would drastically change primary elections in Florida, making political parties less relevant.

A last-minute bipartisan challenge seeking to invalidate the amendment is drawing fire from the Secretary of State.

In a blistering response, the state calls the lawsuit too little too late.

As of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, more than 3.6 million people had cast their ballots.

That includes votes for Amendment 3.

But whether those votes count at all is still up in the air.

A lawsuit filed last week seeks to have the amendment stricken from the ballot, arguing it will make it harder in the future for minorities to get elected.

“It’s just too easy for parties to figure out how to manipulate the ballot, and it’s not fair representation, and minorities end up losing,” said State Senator Janet Cruz.

Now the state is firing back.

It argues the pandemic already makes this election difficult and not counting Amendment 3 votes would confuse voters.

All Voters Vote Chair Glen Burhans said the state’s response is dead on.

“The reports the lawsuit is based on bear no indicia of reliability. Now that’s fancy lawyer talk for saying, it’s a sham. And it is a sham. And the lawsuit represents an abuse of the process,” said Burhans.

But both Republicans and Democrats behind the lawsuit say the arguments were expected.

“There have been times that amendments have been stricken after voters have voted. After elections are over,” said Cruz.

Back in March, the Florida Supreme Court said the amendment was not misleading and that it met other requirements to be on the ballot.

The plaintiff’s response is due Friday, with a decision expected quickly.

The All Voters Vote campaign believes just the presence of the lawsuit has already confused some voters.

It said fears of less minority representation are not founded since lawmakers will redraw districts before the amendment takes effect in 2024.

Copyright 2020 Capitol News Service. All rights reserved.