Students unaware of amendment’s impact

Nasheema Harvey, 18, said she had no idea that by participating in the Florida primary on Jan. 29, her vote could potentially revise a state constitutional amendment.

Tallahassee voters had the chance to vote on Amendment 1 in addition to casting their votes for presidential candidates. This amendment seeks to change the way homeowner property is taxed.

Florida voters did pass Amendment 1, but some did not fully understand the proposal.

According to the ballot summary provided by The League of Women Voters of Florida Education Fund, this revision will “provide a $25,000 exemption for tangible personal property and limit assessment increases for specified non-homestead real property except for school district taxes.”

FAMU Precinct Deputy Jamie Milam said although 426 students voted in the Grand Ballroom, many were unaware of Amendment 1.

Harvey, a freshman business administration student from Fort Lauderdale, said the University should have given students more information about the amendment.

When Harvey went to the FAMU precinct to cast her vote, she did not know she would have the opportunity to change a state amendment.

“I didn’t know about Amendment 1 until I went to vote, and I did the research at the poll,” Harvey said. “The school officials should have done more to inform students about the amendment.”

Ion Sancho, Leon County’s supervisor of elections, said he does not believe the amendment was clear to voters.

“If you provide a question to the citizens it should be clear,” Sancho said.

“None of this was done in the Amendment 1 debate, allowing students to guess their interest.”

A Leon County Sheriff, who asked to remain anonymous, agreed with Sancho.

“The Amendment is very unclear,” the sheriff said. “Why would you vote for something you don’t understand?”

Landon Ray, 19, a sophomore political science student from Flint, Mich., voted yes on the amendment and said it would aid him in becoming an in-state resident.

“My family has a house in Florida, so it would be easier for me to claim in-state,” Ray figured.

Regardless of the outcome of the revised amendment, some people said they were just happy to be able to exercise their right to vote.

Jose Sanaeria, 19, a sophomore criminal justice student from Boston, said he was also happy about the convenient precinct location on FAMU’s campus.

“It was very convenient for me that I don’t have to go very far,” Sanaeria said. “I didn’t have to go to the capitol or downtown to vote.”

Milam, 20, said she was happy with the voting turnout.

“Its great to see the involvement of the students,” said Milam, a Florida State University student. “There’s actually a lot more students than I thought would come out.”