League of Women Voters offers election primer

By Jeremy Morrison

—With Florida’s upcoming election in November, various efforts are afoot to educate voters about what exactly will be on their ballots. One of the more active area organizations on that voter-education front, the local branch of the League of Women Voters of Florida, held an event Sept. 15 in Pensacola that offered an expansive overview of November’s ballot, as well as a glimpse into which organizations, including the League, supported various measures.

The Saturday morning gathering, slated as Decision 2018, was held in a meeting room inside the Tryon Branch Library. The capacity crowd filled the available chairs, lined the walls and spilled into the lobby.

“It’s so wonderful to see so many people interested in making democracy work,” League Co-President Elizabeth King greeted the crowd.

The event featured a presentation by Charlyle Parrish, the group’s first vice president and voters service chair, detailing each ballot initiative and political race. Particular attention was given to the various constitutional amendments facing voters in November, with the effect of each amendment being discussed, as well as the measure’s origins and list of proponents and opponents.

Because the League is a non-partisan, non-profit organization, it does not try to convince people to vote a particular way, but rather lays out the particulars of any given ballot measure.

“We are here to educate and not debate,” Parrish told attendees.

The group does, however, throw it’s support or opposition behind various measures. For instance, the League generally opposes measures that would curtail tax revenue, and generally supports measures that would further limit gambling in Florida — both issues are featured in multiple constitutional amendment measures in November.