Official Statement in Opposition to HJR 129: Increase Ballot Initiative Threshold
The ballot initiative process is a crucial tool for citizen engagement. It gives voters an opportunity to not only have their voice heard but effectuate change.
Sadly, we are not surprised that some legislators are attempting to complicate a system that allows everyday people to bypass politicians and the special interests who, too often dominate our political system.
By raising the threshold for approval of ballot initiatives, it would make it more difficult for Floridians to get the issues they care about at the forefront. With the passage of Amendment 4 in 2018 that restored the voting rights for millions of returning citizens with 64% of the vote and the passage of a $15 minimum wage with 60% of the vote in 2020, your efforts to increase the threshold to 66.6% seems like a desperate attempt to take back the power that belongs to the people of Florida.
With about only 10% of ballot initiatives being able to go from an idea to navigating the complexities necessary to make the ballot, then requiring 60% of voters to agree for approval, I believe the safeguards we currently have in place are enough to protect against abuse.
"Democracy is not just the right to vote, it is the right to participate and have a voice." We must never forget the importance of civic participation and input. It is what makes our democracy strong, vibrant, and responsive to the needs of all people.