A constitutional amendment that will appear on the ballot for Floridians this November may seem like a pro-solar vote, but it’s really a way to restrict Floridian’s freedom regarding solar wrapped up in pro-solar-sounding language.

Florida’s Amendment 1, deceptively called the “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice,” seeks to prohibit third-party solar leasing, an important element necessary to expanding the use and production of solar energy in the state.

Opponents of solar depended upon the state’s generally pro-solar views in order to pass their deceptive ballot measure.

A recently leaked audio tape confirmed that the architects of the measure purposefully crafted the language of the amendment to confuse and deceive voters.

“To the degree that we can use a little bit of political jiu-jitsu and take what they’re kind of pinning us on and use it to our benefit either in policy, in legislation, or in constitutional referendums — if that’s the direction you want to take, use the language of promoting solar, and kind of, kind of put in these protections for consumers that choose not to install rooftop.”

If Amendment 1 is passed, individuals would only be able to use the energy they produce, and would be unable to sell it to homeowners or contract holders. This would place the pricey cost burden of solar on each individual consumer, reducing the number of solar users dramatically.

The law is so deceptively worded that opponents of it sued to stop the amendment, but Florida’s Supreme Court ruled to allow the measure to appear on the ballot.

So in November, Floridians must make a careful decision when they vote on the Amendment 1 measure. Rather than having an honest choice, many voters will be tricked into voting against their own interests, and that is the opposite of a free and fair Democracy.

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com