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


  • Photo by Element5 Digital / Unsplash
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.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.