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Florida Local Option for Selection of Judges and Funding of State Courts, Amendment 7 (1998)

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The Florida Local Option for Selection of Judges and Funding of State Courts Amendment, also known as Amendment 7, was a commission referral in Florida which was approved on the ballot on November 3, 1998.

This amendment modified Articles V and XII of the Florida Constitution to provide for several judicial changes, including a local option to decide whether to continue electing circuit and county judges. Amendment 7 was one of nine ballot measures placed on the 1998 Florida ballot by the Florida Constitution Revision Commission.[1]


Amendment 7 mandated that voters in each of Florida's 20 circuit court districts and 67 county court districts would have a chance to vote on whether to change the way that circuit court and county court judges were chosen. These judges had been chosen, historically, through elections. Since Amendment 7 passed, voters were asked whether they wanted to switch to a system whereby circuit and county court judges would, instead, be appointed by the governor.

The votes on whether to switch to a gubernatorial-appointment method were held two years later, in 2000, and were resoundingly defeated. Voters in each of the 20 circuit court districts and 67 counties voted "no," in some cases by margins as high as 85% or more.

See: Florida Selection of Circuit Court Judges Act (2000) and Florida Selection of County Court Judges Act (2000)

Election results

Florida Amendment 7 (1998)
Approveda Yes 2,028,165 56.9%

Election results via: Florida Division of Elections.

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

Local Option For Selection Of Judges And Funding Of State Courts.—Provides for future local elections to decide whether to continue electing circuit and county judges or to adopt system of appointment of those judges by governor, with subsequent elections to retain or not retain those judges; provides election procedure for subsequent changes to selection of judges; increases county judges' terms from four to six years; corrects judicial qualifications commission term of office; allocates state courts system funding among state, counties, and users of courts.[1][2]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Florida Secretary of State, Division of Elections, "Initiative Information"
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.