Friday, September 3, 2010

In FL: Fooling the Voters?

Harry Anstead putting "rabbit ears" ...Image by State Library and Archives of Florida via Flickr

It's not nice to fool the voters. Our state Legislature doesn't get that. Fortunately, the Florida Supreme Court does.

This week the court threw three proposed state constitutional amendments off the November ballot. All came from the Legislature and all suffered from the same defect: Deceptive or misleading ballot language.

One amendment was a desperate attempt to continue rigging legislative and congressional district lines to suit the ambitions of powerful legislators and keep the ruling party in control.

"While purporting to create and impose standards upon the Legislature in redistricting, the amendment actually eliminates actual standards and replaces them with discretionary considerations," the court's ruling noted.

Another amendment was a grandstanding measure opposing federal health care reform that purported to "ensure access to health care services without waiting lists ..." It did nothing of the sort. The third amendment offered new property tax breaks, but the ballot language forgot to mention that it only applied to homes bought after Jan. 1, 2010.

Lawmakers think nothing of spinning fantasy to suit their own ends. Fortunately, Supreme Court justices insist on truth in ballot language.
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