Constitution of 1885

Delegates convened in June 1885 to revise Florida’s state constitution. The existing constitution had been in effect since 1868, when it was adopted as part of Florida’s reentry into the United States following the Civil War. The 1885 constitution legitimized poll taxes as a prerequisite for voting, which ultimately disproportionately disenfranchised African Americans and many poor whites.

Constitution of 1885


as to all liabilities now existing or hereafter originating.

Section 23. Lotteries are hereby prohibited in this State.

Section 24. The Legislature shall establish a uniform system of county and municipal government, which shall be applicable, except in cases where local or special laws are provided by the Legislature that may be inconsistent therewith.

Section 25. The Legislature shall provide by general law for incorporating such educational, agricultural, mechanical, mining and other useful companies or associations as may be deemed necessary.

Section 26. Laws shall be passed regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon from power, bribery, tumult or other improper practice.

Section 27. The Legislature shall provide for the election by the people or appointment by the Governor of all State and county officers not otherwise provided for by this Constitution, and fix by law their duties and compensation.

Section 28. Every bill that may have passed the Legislature shall, before becoming a law, be presented to the Governor; if he approves it he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it with his objections to the House in which it originated, which House shall cause such objections to be entered upon its Journal, and proceed to reconsider it; if, after such reconsideration, it shall pass both Houses by a two-thirds vote of members present, which vote shall be entered on the Journal of each House, it shall become a law. If any bill shall not be returned within five days after it shall have been presented to the Governor (Sunday excepted) the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it. If the Legislature, by its final adjournment prevent such action, such bill shall be a law, unless the Governor, within ten days after the adjournment, shall file such bill, with his objections thereto, in the office of the Secretary of State, who shall lay the same before the Legislature at its next session, and if the