Man files lawsuit over Orange County ballot amendment

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A citizen filed a lawsuit against Orange County and its supervisor of elections over a ballot amendment that would cut Mayor Teresa Jacobs' next term in half.

Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles said the lawsuit likely won't be resolved before the ballot is sent out to voters.

The proposed ballot amendment would create partisan elections in Orange County and in less than a week, a lawsuit was filed challenging the way the amendment is written.

"I'm a little surprised there was a lawsuit filed but again, this is a clear indication that the charter on the initiative petition side needed an overhaul," said Cowles.

Cowles said the November ballot has to be ready to go by early September.

"We'll do whatever the direction of the court is, but I'm sure it's not going to be resolved before it has to come out," said Cowles.

That could mean that votes won't count if a judge agrees with the lawsuit after the election.

"I'm not surprising it's being challenged," said Sean Ashby, with Citizens for Informed Elections.

Ashby argued with commissioners at a recent meeting when the amendment was called confusing.

The man who filed the lawsuit is a registered Republican and the amendment is heavily sponsored by Democrats, including Tax Collector Scott Randolph.

"We've had 50,000 conversations with voters and they understand what it says and that's what should end up on the ballot," sad Ashby.

Eyewitness News went to the home of the man who filed the lawsuit for comment, but he wouldn't come outside.