Florida healthcare executive funding campaign to open primary elections to all voters

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Two legal entities linked to prominent South Florida health-care executive Mike Fernandez contributed $704,000 in late July to the committee All Voters Vote, according to a newly-filed finance report.

All Voters Vote is campaigning to revamp the state’s primary-election system. The two entities are MBF Family Investments Ltd. and the Miguel B. Fernandez Revocable Trust. Fernandez has been the main financial backer of the committee, which is trying to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the November 2020 ballot.

Under the proposal, all registered voters would be able to cast ballots in primaries, regardless of political affiliation.

The political committee is receiving the $704,000 infusion as it draws closer to a crucial petition-signature requirement. To get the proposal on the ballot, All Voters Vote would need to submit 766,200 valid petition signatures to the state by Feb. 1, 2020.

As of Friday morning, the state had received 521,348 valid signatures, according to the Division of Elections website. The Florida Supreme Court also would need to sign off on the amendment’s proposed ballot wording.

Under the proposed new election system, the two candidates getting the most votes in each primary election would advance to the general election. Currently, Florida has a “closed” primary system, which allows only voters registered with parties to participate only in their own party’s primaries.

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