Is a Ballot Summary Defective If It Fails to Mention Modification of Another Constitutional Provision ?
In Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General Re Stop Early Release of Prisoners, 642 So. 2d 724, 726 (Fla. 1994), court invalidated a petition because it substantially modified another constitutional provision but did not mention this consequence in the ballot summary.
As previously discussed, the proposed amendments substantially affect article I, section 2, and article I, section 21.
However, the ballot summaries do not describe this effect. Consequently, the ballot summaries are defective for not identifying the initiative petitions' effect on these existing constitutional provisions.
In Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General re Tax Limitation, 644 So. 2d 486, 489 (Fla. 1994) , court held that the ballot title and summary were misleading because they implied that there was no existing cap or limitation on taxes in the constitution when, in fact, such a limitation existed. See 644 So. 2d at 494.
Similarly, in In re Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General re Casino Authorization, Taxation and Regulation, 656 So. 2d 466, 468-69 (Fla. 1995), Taxation and Regulation, we invalidated a petition because the ballot summary implied that the amendment was necessary to prohibit casinos in the state. See 656 So. 2d at 469. We noted that the first line of the summary, "This amendment prohibits casinos unless approved by the voters," created the false impression that casinos were presently allowed in the state. Id.
Consequently, we held that the ballot summary was defective because of what it failed to say. See id.