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2012 Florida Ballot Guide
   For the 2012 general election, Florida voters are facing perhaps the longest ballot ever. The ballot will have choices for president, U.S. Senate, Congress, the state Legislature, county offices and merit retention for judges, plus city and county referendums.
   But what may prompt some voters to go cross-eyed as they wind their way through the ballot is the Legislature's decision to place 11 proposed changes to the Constitution on the ballot. All of them, some written in densely legal language, appear in their entirety.
   The Tampa Bay Times is publishing a closer look at what each amendment means so voters can study the amendments more closely before they head to the polls or before their ballot arrives in the mail.
   We had an assist from the Collins Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit whose mission it is to seek out creative, nonpartisan solutions to Florida's toughest issues. We're using the center's language to explain the amendments.
   We also found from our colleagues at Florida Trend, a Times affiliate, an informative look at some of the people and groups behind the amendments and an analysis of how people are interpreting them.

About this guide

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   There is no Amendment 7 because a legal challenge by opponents led to the rewriting of some of the ballot language and its reinstatement on the ballot as Amendment 8[1]Collins Center For Public Policy.

   The amendment text you will see in the right column is the version that will appear on the ballot and the official summary provided by the Florida Division of Elections. If you'd like to see the full text, click on the title at the top of the right column. This opens up a pdf of the original measure.

   Look in this column and click on the headers as you go through the amendments for analysis and recommendations, which you can click on to read more. Please note that the Tampa Bay Times is committed to your privacy and does not record your actions in this guide.

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From the Times politics team: All about the proposed amendments

From the Times editorial board: Opinions and editorials about the proposed amendments
MATTHEW RIVA | Times