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MARK LANE: Amendment would bring jungle primaries to Florida

It’s harder now to get state constitutional changes on the ballot by petition. But that doesn’t mean groups have stopped trying.

A proposed amendment with the heading “All Voters Vote in Primary Elections for State Legislature, Governor, and Cabinet” is getting close to its goal of allowing all Florida voters to participate in state primary elections. No matter what their party ID.

The fastest-growing segment of the Florida electorate are people who don’t identify with either party. An understandable position in this political climate. But one that disqualifies people from voting in Florida primary elections.

And that means primaries get decided with 29 percent of Florida voters sitting on the sidelines because they aren’t signed up with a party. The NPA voters, which stands for “No Party Affiliation.”

In many legislative races, the party primary is often the only game in town because most districts are drawn to lopsidedly favor one party or the other. Fully a third of legislative elections in recent years only have one major-party candidate in the general election.

This means a decided minority of primary voters pick much of the Legislature for everybody. It’s a system that empowers more extreme base voters of both parties and leaves many locked out of the process.

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