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Election Supervisors, Petition Sponsors Brace for Major Changes to Ballot Initiative Law

While state and federal officials discuss the looming threat of election interference by foreign governments, county supervisors of elections and the sponsors of statewide ballot initiatives are focused on a threat closer to home.

They’re worried about a proposed overhaul of the state’s petition-gathering system for ballot initiatives that would take effect during efforts already under way to get proposed constitutional amendments on the 2020 ballot.

The changes — revived in the last day of session and stuck on the back of an obscure bill dealing with local sales surtax referendums — would upend the way petitions are gathered in Florida.

For election supervisors, it would mean a lot of new work without any money to pay for costs as they face printing out millions of petitions for over two dozen proposed citizen initiatives.

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