This year, as voters head to the polls or send their ballots via U.S. mail or drop-off boxes provided by the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, they will be asked to approve or reject six Florida constitutional amendments.

Four of the amendments, numbers one through four, are citizen initiatives, and two, numbers five and six, were referred by the Florida Legislature. The citizen initiatives are subject to a financial impact review.

To be approved, a constitutional amendment must receive 60 percent of the vote. Voters are urged to carefully review the complete ballot before casting their vote.

Here is a summary of the proposed amendments:

Amendment 1 – Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections
The amendment would add language stating that only United States citizens who are 18 years old, are permanent residents of Florida and are registered to vote may do so.

Amendment 2 – Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage
The State’s minimum wage would be raised to $15 per hour by the year 2026. Beginning on September 30, 2021, the minimum wage would increase to $10 per hour. Then, it would increase by $1 per year until it reaches the goal of $15 per hour. Thereafter, future minimum wage increases would be adjusted annually for inflation.

Amendment 3 – Establishes an Open Primary System for State Offices Only
This allows all voters to vote in primary elections regardless of party affiliation. The two candidates who receive the most votes would move on to the general election. The change would not affect federal elections. Currently, Florida is a closed primary state, which means that voters must register as a Democrat or Republican to vote in state primaries.

Amendment 4 – Voter Approval of Constitutional Amendments
This would require that any amendments that receive 60 percent of the vote to be placed on the ballot of the next general election and again receive 60 percent of the vote in order for the amendment to take effect.

Amendment 5 – Limitation on Homestead Assessments
This would increase the amount of time from two years to three years in which you may transfer Save Our Homes benefits to a new homestead.

Amendment 6 – Ad Valorem Tax Discount for Spouses of Certain Deceased Veterans Who Had Permanent, Combat-Related Disabilities
This would allow a homestead property tax discount to be transferred to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran.

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