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Election, assault weapon proposals ready for court

TALLAHASSEE — Proposed constitutional amendments that would revamp Florida’s primary elections and ban “assault” weapons took a key step Wednesday as supporters have submitted enough petition signatures to trigger reviews by the state Supreme Court.

Both proposals have cleared a 76,632-signature threshold that makes them eligible to go to the Supreme Court. The Florida Division of Elections on Wednesday listed them as being ready for court review, joining four other ballot proposals that already had cleared the threshold.

The proposals, however, have a long way to go before they could reach the November 2020 ballot. The Supreme Court serves as a gatekeeper to make sure ballot wording meets legal standards. If the Supreme Court signs off, supporters of each measure ultimately would have to submit 766,200 valid signatures.

Also posing a potential obstacle is a newly signed law that will make it harder to carry out ballot-petition drives.

A political committee supporting the proposed constitutional amendment to change the primary-election process has shown a huge jump in petition signatures in recent weeks, with the total at 132,604 as of Wednesday afternoon.

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