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Your Guide to Voting in the Midterm Elections: Part II

So: in last week’s article we discussed the first six amendments that are on the ballot in the midterm elections for the state of Florida. This week, we’re going to go over the last six and get you prepared to head into that voting booth, ready to vote.

FIU is an early voting site, which means that from Friday, October 26 to Sunday, November 4 anyone registered to vote in Miami-Dade County can vote in the SASC (Student Academic Success Center) Multipurpose Room. That means that there is literally no excuse not to vote if you’re from the Dade area. So… read this article, prepare your ballot, and vote!

Amendment 8: School Board Term Limits and Duties; Public Schools

This amendment was actually struck from the ballot for not meeting the title and summary required, so, don’t worry about this one quite yet!

Amendment 9, Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces

Once again, many of these last few amendments are made up of tethered initiatives. The first one here prohibits oil and gas drilling in state-owned waters. The second would add vaping to the ban on smoking indoors.

YES Vote: Ban oil and gas drilling in state-owned waters and ban vaping in enclosed indoor workspaces.

NO Vote: Do not ban oil and gas drilling in state-owned waters and do not ban vaping in enclosed indoor workspaces

Amendment 10: State and Local Government Structure and Operation

This one links four proposals.

Proposal 1: This would have the state’s legislative session start on the second Tuesday of January in years that end in an even number, while right now the dates are changed by statute.

Proposal 2: This would create an Office of Domestic Security and Counter-terrorism.

Proposal 3: This would require the state to provide for the veteran affairs department

Proposal 4: This would require that local offices such as the sheriff, tax collector, property appraiser, supervisor of elections, and clerk of the circuit court be chosen through elections.

YES Vote: Supports all of the above.

NO Vote: Opposes all proposals above.

Amendment 11, Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes

This amendment would remove language from the constitution that as of right now prohibits “aliens ineligible for citizenship” from owning property. This would also remove an obsolete provision that a high speed rail system be built. Finally, this would also delete the constitutional provision that an amendment to a statute does not affect the prosecution of a crime committed before the statute’s amendment.

Now, I know the wording there is tricky. Essentially, that last bit means that the current provision states that a change or amendment to a statute does not retroactively change the prosecutions that came before an amendment. So, let’s say buying Pop Tarts was illegal, and there were 500 people in jail for it. If one day they decided not to make buying Pop Tarts illegal, under the current provision, those people who had been in jail would not be able to get out, despite the fact that the law has changed. The provision detailed here would remove this, so that individuals who committed that crime could be retroactively released.

YES Vote: Supports all of the above.

NO Vote: Opposes all of the above.

Amendment 12, Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers

This amendment is clear and to the point — it would make it so that public officials cannot lobby during their terms and for six years following, as well as restricting current public servants from using that office for personal gain.

YES Vote: Yes, bar public officials from lobbying during their term and for six years after, as well as restrict them from using their office for personal gain.

NO Vote: No, do not bar public officials from lobbying during their term and for six years after, as well as restrict them from using their office for personal gain.

Amendment 13, Ends Dog Racing

This amendment is also clear and to the point — it will simply end commercial dog racing involving wagering by 2020. Animal rights advocates have claimed that the practice is inhumane, and the amendment would help eradicate this issue.

YES Vote: Yes, ban dog racing involving wagering by 2020.

NO Vote: No, do not ban dog racing involving wagering by 2020.

And.. that’s it! Those are your 12 vote-able state constitutional revision amendments, each of which will be on the ballot for Miami-Dade County voters. As I mentioned before, if you’re truly not sure, do your research. See who is advocating for and against these proposals and how your values line up with theirs. AND GO VOTE!

The name is Delanie -- pronounced del uh knee -- and I love to write and wonder about arts, culture, politics, and everything in between. Keep up with me on IG! @delaniegarcia
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