Myth #1: This will hurt the existing political parties.
Not true. Allowing all qualified registered voters to vote in taxpayer-funded elections will not impact the existence of political parties nor will it hurt voters who enjoy belonging to a political party. Parties will still have all the rights they currently have – as they should. This initiative will allow parties to operate as they always have with one notable exception: in taxpayer-funded public elections, they cannot exclude qualified registered voters from voting.
Myth #2: This will allow non-party members to choose party nominees.
Not true. The All Voters Vote amendment will eliminate taxpayer-funded primary elections to decide closed party nominees for governor, legislature, and cabinet. If a political party wishes to nominate a candidate, that party can do so in whatever private means it chooses, such as a caucus or convention. However, the political parties cannot avail themselves of taxpayer-funded public elections to hold closed nominating contests.
Myth #3: This initiative will be subject to political gamesmanship.
Not true. Florida is already – and quite notoriously – home to political gamesmanship. In fact, we are all well aware of the so-called “write-in loophole.” The All Voters Vote initiative does away with that political shell-game and simply lets all voters cast a vote where all candidates appear on the same ballot.
Allowing all voters to vote is not a game – being allowed to vote should be a right for every qualified registered voter in Florida.
Myth #4: All Voters Vote will change the political balance of power in our state.
Not true. In other states where this has been put into place, the balance of power stays about the same. Republican-leaning districts will still, in all likelihood, elect Republican members and Democrat-leaning districts will do likewise. There is nothing about the All Voters Vote initiative that will change this. What we seek to change – and what has changed in those other states is the ability of elected officials to talk to and work with one another across party lines to get things done without fear of being voted out by extremists within their own party in a closed party primary.
Myth #5: This will dilute the power of minorities.
Not true. “Top two” primary elections empower ALL voters.
In one state, for example, after voters enacted top two primaries, African-American representation increased by 50% in the state legislature. Latino representation increased 25%.
Within a partisan political system, black and Latino voters are often either taken for granted or ignored. According to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, more than half of Latino voters in the 2014 election reported that they hadn’t been contacted by a single candidate, party, or community organization to ask for their vote.
A top two system opens the doors for new coalitions and candidacies that bridge the partisan divide and bring together white, black, Latino, and Asian communities in new ways.
Myth #6: The two candidates getting the most votes in each party’s primary would advance to the general election.
Not true. Under the All Voters Vote model, there will be one taxpayer-funded “primary” election for each office, regardless of the candidate’s party. So all candidates will appear on one ballot, and the top two vote-getters will advance to the November election. Having the top two vote-getters advance best reflects the will of all of the voters.
Myth #7: A jungle format in the August primary for governor in 2018 would have forced Florida voters to choose between two Republican candidates in November’s general election.
Not true. This is highly misleading and purposely ignores the reality that had all voters been allowed to vote in the primary election, as many as 3.7 million more voters – who are legally barred from voting under the current system – would have been able to cast a ballot for their candidate of choice, thereby rendering the methodology used in this argument invalid.