“This constitutional amendment requests that all elected officials appear for a merit retention vote at the end of his/her period in office whenever he/she does not have anyone challenging his/her office.”
We believe that this amendment is essential to a democracy to provide a voice for the people. Not having a challenger for an elected office does not automatically guarantee that the incumbent elected official is performing a good job. So, if the elected official is reelected without a merit retention vote, we are violating one of the most fundamental principles in a democracy: the ability of the people to vote for their elected officials.
Here are some of the steps we need to take for the Merit Retention Constitutional Amendment:
- Continue gathering signatures to request the constitutional amendment. Download form: http://newjudge.com/?attachment_id=681 . Note: at this point, this is just to show our state legislators that the public is interested in this amendment, and at the same time, this form allows you to request that a local judge(s) appear on the ballot at next elections. The actual steps for Initiative petition for constitutional amendment in Florida are here: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/constitutional-amendments/init-peti-process.shtml. For another state, please get the rules and procedures of your own state.
In Florida, “It takes signatures from eight percent of the number of voters voting in the last presidential election to place a citizen initiative on the general election ballot. Eight percent of the number of voters voting in the 2012 presidential election is 683,149. That number must come from at least 14 of the 27 congressional districts.”
- At the same time, with the signatures you have already gathered, contact your local state senator and representative to ask for their support for the constitutional amendment. In Florida here is the list: http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/#Senators, http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/representatives.aspx
“Amendments Proposed by the Legislature: Per Section 1, the State Legislature can put a proposed amendment on the ballot if 60% or more of the legislators in each chamber agree to do so in a joint resolution. The amendment will be presented for voter approval on the next general election ballot more than 90 days after the joint resolution is adopted.” There are actually 5 ways to amend the Florida State Constitution: http://www.lwvokaloosa.org/AmendingFLConst.html. Find out this information for your state, and post it here, so you can help others in your state.
- Once we have a bill in place, we must lobby to gather the 60% of the legislators in each chamber to agree to the proposed amendment. Plan for this to come.
- Once the billed is passed, we must work with the media and the public to get the necessary support to pass the amendment at the next elections. Plan for this to come.