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Breaking down the amendments

On the Nov. 2 midterm elections ballot, voters may become confused when trying to understand the language of the amendments. Therefore, The Oracle breaks them down and provides suggestions to help you navigate the polls.

Amendment 1: Vote “No”

This strikes down a voter-passed measure established in 1998 that uses tax revenues to match campaign contributions of $250 or less for gubernatorial and cabinet candidates if they agree to spending limits.

Voting yes would not fix campaign financing, but only give politicians with the deepest pockets a better chance to win.

Amendment 2: Vote “Yes”

Hoping to bring tax relief to military service members who own homes, this amendment would grant additional homestead exemptions for active duty overseas.

Its language is vague and left to legislative interpretation but, when considering its noble intent, it’s worth passing and keeping a close eye on. The latest generation of U.S. war veterans deserves every break they can get.

Amendment 4: Vote “No”

Although the proposal has good intentions, it is not likely to work. It will allow local voters to decide on comprehensive land use projects in hopes they’ll know what’s best for the state and its economy.

Voters may not have time to make an informed vote on complex development plans, which is why the U.S. is a representative democracy.

Amendment 5 and 6: Vote “Yes”

Passing these two amendments would end the practice that allows politicians to draw up voting districts. The the practice, used by both parties, allows politicians to divide the voting landscape to spread out opponents and make them insignificant political minorities through a practice called gerrymandering.

Voting yes will ensure that voting districts are contiguous without random twists and turns.

Amendment 8: Vote “Yes”

In Florida, public school classrooms have a constitutional limit of 18 students for grades K-3, 22 students for grades 4-8, and 25 students for grades 9-12.

Voting yes will allow three more students in K-3 classes and five more in grades 4-12, saving the state up to $1 billion annually, according to TaxWatch, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog group.

Federal Budget Question: Vote “No”

This is a nonbinding referendum that calls for the U.S. Constitution to be amended to require the federal budget to be balanced without increasing taxes.

Taxes and revenue constantly change, as do times of spending and saving. The language may seem agreeable, but it oversimplifies a very complex issue. Voters can already punish politicians if they do not like the way they handle the budget by booting them out of office.