The Initiative Petition Process Has Begun at the Lee County Supervisor of Elections
Lee County, FL (June 28, 2017) The citizens of Florida have the power to amend the Florida Constitution through the initiative petition process. This initiative process requires a specific number of petitions to be signed by registered Florida voters before the proposed amendment by initiative can appear on the ballot. Proposed amendments require an approval vote of at least 60% to become law.
Per the Florida Constitution, the number of signatures needed is based on eight percent of the voters who cast votes in the last (2016) presidential election. In addition, the signatures must also come from at least one-half of the congressional districts of the state.
To get a proposed amendment by initiative on the 2018 General Election ballot, a petition must be signed by 766,200 voters and the signatures must come from at least 14 of Florida’s 27 congressional districts.
The sponsoring political committees of the 25 active proposed amendments are circulating petitions for signature by registered Florida voters statewide to meet the signature requirements before the February 1, 2018, deadline for certification.
After the signed initiative petition forms are returned to the sponsoring political committees, the signed forms must then be submitted to the Supervisor of Elections’ office in the county of the resident of the signee.
The first batch of constitutional petitions was submitted to Qualifying Officer, Cheryl Futch who, along with Administration Support Specialist, Tammy Lipa, manage the processing, distribution, storage, and deadlines of the signature verification process for the Lee County Supervisor of Elections.
Our office has 30 days from the date of receipt to check and verify the signatures of every petition and report the number of valid verified signatures to the Division of Elections.
As the volume of constitutional amendments submitted to our office increases, additional staff will assist with the signature verification process to meet the February 1, 2018 deadline for certification to the Division of Elections of constitutional amendment petition signatures validated in Lee County.