Florida Forced Busing, Straw Poll 1 (March 1972)

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The Florida Forced Busing Straw Poll was an advisory question on the March 14, 1972 ballot in Florida, where it was approved.

This measure stated that Floridians favored a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to prohibit forced busing. Such busing was used to help achieve racial balance in schools.[1][2][3]

Election results

Florida Straw Poll 1 (March 1972)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,103,856 74.06%
No386,72425.94%

Unofficial election results via: Ocala Star-Banner (March 15, 1972)

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

Do you favor an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would prohibit forced busing and guarantee the right of each student to attend the appropriate public school nearest his home?[1][4]

Path to the ballot

According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:[3]

  • The bill was sponsored State Senator Richard Deeb (R-St.Petersburg)
  • The bill caused confusion among Democratic presidential candidates on what position they should take
  • Sen. Deeb admitted he received encouragement and advice from Harry Dent (Sr.), a Nixon Political Strategist, about putting the measure on the ballot
  • The 2nd Straw Poll measure regarding equal opportunity education, was put on the ballot by Florida Governor Reubin Askew to counterbalance the forced busing question.

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