|Published:||Oct 16, 2012 10:37 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 16, 2012 10:37 PM EDT|
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - The presidential race isn't the only choice you'll have to make on the ballot this election. Florida ballots also include 11 amendments to the state's constitution.
"Since 1998, it's the most that's been on one ballot at one time," said Dudley Goodlette, a former state representive, who was part of a panel Tuesday that tried to help the public understand the complicated ballot measures.
Hundreds packed into North Naples United Methodist Church to experts decode the 11 important amendment decisions.
"Many of them are confusing, some of the language is very arcane," said Dave Trecker, vice president of the Collier Community Alliance, and an organizer of the event.
"I came here to learn. And I'm going to learn, and when I get done, I'll know how to vote," said Murray Hendel, president of the Collier Community Alliance.
The amendments cover a wide range of subject matter.
If passed, amendment 1 would block laws requiring people to buy or provide health insurance.
Amendment 2 gives a property tax exemption to injured combat veterans, even if they weren't a Florida resident at the time of their service.
Amendment 3 makes rules about how the state can spend a budget surplus.
Amendment 4 is one of the longest, and includes more on property taxes; including creating a first-time homebuyer exemption, and preventing taxes from going up when a home's value goes down.
Amendment 5 revises rules about state courts.
Amendment 6 prevents public funding for abortion.
There isn't an amendment with the number 7, it was thrown out earlier in the election season.
Amendment 8 would prevent the state government from denying public funds to groups based on religious identity.
Amendment 9 would give a property tax break to surviving spouses of veterans or first responders killed in the line of duty.
Amendment 10 doubles a personal property tax exemption.
Amendment 11 gives a tax break to low-income seniors who have been longtime residents in their home.
Amendement 12 would puts a student on the state university board of governors.
"It's important stuff. People should really know what they're voting for. Or against," Trecker said.
Each amendment question needs to receive 60% of the vote in order to pass.
A booklet with the full text of each amendment is available on the state elections website.
WINK News has done more in-depth coverage on a couple of the more complicated and controversial amendments: