Republican Party of Florida Files Brief in Opposition to “All Voters Vote” Primary Amendment

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Gruters: “Abolishing party primaries in favor of a free-for-all primary with only two candidates advancing to the general election would devastate bipartisanship and limit choice for all Floridians.”

Tallahassee, Florida – The Republican Party of Florida (“RPOF”) and its Chairman Joe Gruters have come out strongly against the proposed “All Voters Vote” primary amendment to the Florida Constitution. Yesterday, RPOF filed a brief in the Florida Supreme Court opposing the amendment and urging the Court to not allow its deceptive contents on the ballot.

Chairman Gruters said on the proposed amendment: “The proposed amendment abolishes party primaries for the Legislature, Governor, and Cabinet. Doing this would allow the top two vote-getters – regardless of party – to move on to the general election.

For instance, if this primary system were in place during the 2018 gubernatorial election, the general election choices would have been Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis. As much as I’d like to see Republicans in every office across Florida, this result would have severely limited the choice for millions of Floridians.”

The proposed amendment seeks to model Florida’s primary elections after California’s “jungle primary” system. The California system and its recent troubles were the subject of a Fortune Magazine article titled: “What Is California’s ‘Jungle’ Primary—And Why It Has Democrats Freaking Out.” The piece detailed that in California there are actually too many Democrat candidates on many of the ballots, which causes vote splitting and allows the minority party in a district to band together and support fewer candidates creating a scenario where the top two vote-getters on the general election ballot are both from one political party.

RPOF General Counsel Ben Gibson had this to say on the proposed amendment: “RPOF argues in its brief filed in the Florida Supreme Court that not only is the proposed amendment bad for Floridians, but the ballot title and summary mislead voters into thinking that all this amendment does is open up our current party primaries to NPAs. The truth is far from that. What the amendment really does is abolish party primaries and limit the choice of voters in the general election. The ballot summary and title – ‘All voters vote in primary elections for State Legislature, Governor, and Cabinet’ – do not accurately describe the chief purpose of the amendment and seek to intentionally mislead Florida voters.”

Chairman Joe Gruters closed with, “We have faith that the Florida Supreme Court will keep this misleading amendment off the ballot and that its contents are never brought forth again. A so-called ‘open primary’ in Florida would decimate voter choice and permit radicalization on both sides of the aisle.”