End the duopoly

Supreme Court weighs primary election overhaul

Florida voters may be one step closer to mulling drastic changes to certain statewide elections, with the Supreme Court hearing arguments on ballot language for a citizens’ initiative Tuesday.

Opposition was fierce, but justices were largely (but not exclusively) unsympathetic to arguments from both major parties and the Attorney General’s office.

The topic Tuesday: Attorney General Ashley Moody‘s advisory opinion, which opposed the proposal as “unclear.”

The All Voters Vote (AVV) committee would open up Florida’s primary elections for state Legislature, Governor, and Cabinet to all voters, including independents, starting in 2024, setting up a “top-two” system.

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Lawyers representing the AG’s office and both major parties made their case against the proposal.

Jeffrey P. DeSousa, Deputy Solicitor General, contended that phrasing, such as “party-nominated candidates,” is misleading, given the end of primaries as they currently exist.

DeSousa contended that the top-two primary would undermine voters and parties alike.

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