§ 99.061 Method of qualifying for nomination or election to federal, state, county, or district office.
Overview of Statute
(1) The provisions of any special act to the contrary notwithstanding, each person seeking to qualify for nomination or election to a federal, state, or multicounty district office, other than election to a judicial office as defined in chapter 105 or the office of school board member, shall file his or her qualification papers with, and pay the qualifying fee, which shall consist of the filing fee and election assessment, and party assessment, if any has been levied, to, the Department of State, or qualify by the petition process pursuant to s. 99.095 with the Department of State, at any time after noon of the 1st day for qualifying, which shall be as follows: the 120th day prior to the primary election, but not later than noon of the 116th day prior to the date of the primary election, for persons seeking to qualify for nomination or election to federal office or to the office of the state attorney or the public defender; and noon of the 71st day prior to the primary election, but not later than noon of the 67th day prior to the date of the primary election, for persons seeking to qualify for nomination or election to a state or multicounty district office, other than the office of the state attorney or the public defender.
(b) Any person who is seeking election as a write-in candidate shall not be required to pay a filing fee, election assessment, or party assessment. A write-in candidate is not entitled to have his or her name printed on any ballot; however, space for the write-in candidate’s name to be written in must be provided on the general election ballot. A person may not qualify as a write-in candidate if the person has also otherwise qualified for nomination or election to such office.
(7)(a) In order for a candidate to be qualified, the following items must be received by the filing officer by the end of the qualifying period:
- A properly executed check drawn upon the candidate’s campaign account payable to the person or entity as prescribed by the filing officer in an amount not less than the fee required by s. 99.092, unless the candidate obtained the required number of signatures on petitions pursuant to s. 99.095. The filing fee for a special district candidate is not required to be drawn upon the candidate’s campaign account. If a candidate’s check is returned by the bank for any reason, the filing officer shall immediately notify the candidate and the candidate shall have until the end of qualifying to pay the fee with a cashier’s check purchased from funds of the campaign account. Failure to pay the fee as provided in this subparagraph shall disqualify the candidate.
- The candidate’s oath required by s. 99.021, which must contain the name of the candidate as it is to appear on the ballot; the office sought, including the district or group number if applicable; and the signature of the candidate, which must be verified under oath or affirmation pursuant to s. 92.525(1)(a).
- If the office sought is partisan, the written statement of political party affiliation required by s. 99.021(1)(b).
- The completed form for the appointment of campaign treasurer and designation of campaign depository, as required by s. 106.021.
- The full and public disclosure or statement of financial interests required by subsection (5). A public officer who has filed the full and public disclosure or statement of financial interests with the Commission on Ethics or the supervisor of elections prior to qualifying for office may file a copy of that disclosure at the time of qualifying.
(b) If the filing officer receives qualifying papers during the qualifying period prescribed in this section which do not include all items as required by paragraph (a) prior to the last day of qualifying, the filing officer shall make a reasonable effort to notify the candidate of the missing or incomplete items and shall inform the candidate that all required items must be received by the close of qualifying. A candidate’s name as it is to appear on the ballot may not be changed after the end of qualifying.
(c) The filing officer performs a ministerial function in reviewing qualifying papers. In determining whether a candidate is qualified, the filing officer shall review the qualifying papers to determine whether all items required by paragraph (a) have been properly filed and whether each item is complete on its face, including whether items that must be verified have been properly verified pursuant to s. 92.525(1)(a). The filing officer may not determine whether the contents of the qualifying papers are accurate.
ss. 25, 26, ch. 6469, 1913; RGS 329, 330; CGL 386, 387; ss. 4, 5, ch. 13761, 1929; s. 1, ch. 16990, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 386; ss. 1, chs. 19007, 19008, 19009, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 4769(3); s. 1, ch. 20619, 1941; s. 1, ch. 21851, 1943; s. 1, ch. 23006, 1945; s. 1, ch. 24163, 1947; s. 3, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 11, ch. 28156, 1953; s. 4, ch. 29936, 1955; s. 10, ch. 57-1; s. 1, ch. 59-84; s. 1, ch. 61-373 and s. 4, ch. 61-530; s. 1, ch. 63-502; s. 7, ch. 65-378; s. 2, ch. 67-531; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 5, ch. 69-281; s. 1, ch. 69-300; s. 1, ch. 70-42; s. 1, ch. 70-93; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 6, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 78-188; s. 3, ch. 81-105; s. 2, ch. 83-15; s. 2, ch. 83-25; s. 1, ch. 83-251; s. 29, ch. 84-302; s. 1, ch. 86-7; s. 6, ch. 89-338; s. 8, ch. 90-315; s. 32, ch. 91-107; s. 536, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 95-156; s. 9, ch. 99-318; s. 9, ch. 99-326; s. 3, ch. 2001-75; s. 11, ch. 2005-277; s. 51, ch. 2005-278; s. 7, ch. 2005-286; s. 16, ch. 2007-30; s. 14, ch. 2011-40.
For validity of subsection (7)(a)1., see Wright v. City of Miami Gardens, 200 So.3d 765 (Fla. 2016).
- Ballot Access
- Candidate Methods of Nomination
- Candidate Qualifications
- Filing Fees
- Minor Party Ballot Access
- Petitions for Nomination
- Signature Requirements
Prior to 2011, a candidate had 48 hours after notification to provide a cashier’s check if the qualifying fee was returned by the bank. Many times the check was not returned until after ballots were printed. Therefore, if the candidate did not cure the defect, the candidate’s name would still be on the ballot even though he or she had been disqualified. Judicial candidates and school board candidates still have 48 hours from notification to provide a cashier’s check pursuant to s. 105.031(5), F.S.
1. Definition for Department
The Department of State. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(7).
2. Definition for Supervisor
The supervisor of elections. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(36).
3. Definition for Contribution
(a) A gift, subscription, conveyance, deposit, loan, payment, or distribution of money or anything of value, including contributions in kind having an attributable monetary value in any form, made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election or making an electioneering communication.
(b) A transfer of funds between political committees, between electioneering communications organizations, or between any combination of these groups.
(c) The payment, by a person other than a candidate or political committee, of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to a candidate or political committee without charge to the candidate or committee for such services.
(d) The transfer of funds by a campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer between a primary depository and a separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit, and the term includes interest earned on such account or certificate.
Notwithstanding the foregoing meanings of “contribution,” the term may not be construed to include services, including, but not limited to, legal and accounting services, provided without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time on behalf of a candidate or political committee or editorial endorsements. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(5).
4. Definition for Public Office
Any federal, state, county, municipal, school, or other district office or position which is filled by vote of the electors. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(32).
5. Definition for Public Office
A state, county, municipal, or school or other district office or position that is filled by vote of the electors. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(32).
6. Definition for Filing Officer
The person before whom a candidate qualifies or the agency or officer with whom a political committee or an electioneering communications organization registers. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(11).
7. Definition for Judicial Office
Includes the office of:
(a) Justice of the Supreme Court.
(b) Judge of a district court of appeal.
(c) Judge of a circuit court.
(d) County court judge.
A judicial office is a nonpartisan office, and a candidate for election or retention thereto is prohibited from campaigning or qualifying for such an office based on party affiliation. Fla. Stat. § 105.011(2).
8. Definition for General Election
An election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in the even-numbered years, for the purpose of filling national, state, county, and district offices and for voting on constitutional amendments not otherwise provided for by law. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(16).
9. Definition for Primary Election
An election held preceding the general election for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted for in the general election to fill a national, state, county, or district office. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(29).
10. Definition for Campaign Treasurer
An individual appointed by a candidate or political committee as provided in chapter 106. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(2).
11. Definition for Ballot
As used in the Electronic Voting Systems Act, ballot means the card, tape, or other vehicle upon which the elector’s choices are recorded. Fla. Stat. § 101.5603(2).
12. Definition for Person
An individual or a corporation, association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock company, club, organization, estate, trust, business trust, syndicate, or other combination of individuals having collective capacity. The term includes a political party, affiliated party committee, or political committee. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(14).
13. Definition for Election
Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).
14. Definition for Purchase
As used in ss. 101.292-101.295, “purchase” means a contract for the purchase, lease, rental, or other acquisition of voting equipment. Fla. Stat. § 101.292(3).
15. Definition for Candidate
Any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:
Case Name: Matthews v. Steinberg
Citation: 153 So.3d 295
Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/9b08c00c9d60403e66cb778a278ab7dd?query=153%20S[...]
Case Summary: Matthews v. Steinberg held that Florida's statute requiring write-in candidates to live within the district they plan on running in at the time of qualification was unconstitutional.
Case Name: Francois v. Brinkmann
Citation: 147 So.3d 613
Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/8ae55301da920f18e435f354c241850d?query=147%20S[...]
Case Summary: Francois v. Brinkmann held that the statute governing residency requirement for write-in candidates was unconstitutional.
Case Name: Levey v. Detzner
Citation: 146 So.3d 1224
Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/d8ea634ede9888c717de7cbcb13defca?query=146%20S[...]
Case Summary: Levy v. Detzner held that a candidate's failure to pay the qualifying fee by cashier's check on time, after the bank accidentally dishonored her original check, disqualified her as a candidate.
Case Name: Telli v. Snipes
Citation: 98 So.3d 1284
Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/60e6d0781e4638d652ee4092c0e61874?query=98%20So[...]
Case Summary: Telli v. Snipes held in part that one of the write-in candidates in question, as a member of an opposition political party, precluded the primary from being open under the Universal Primary Amendment.
Case Name: Browning v. Young
Citation: 993 So.2d 64
Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/7c5f3f959d691e96548fdb8a72fea0b8
Case Summary: Browning v. Young held that a possible candidate's financial interest disclosure form complied with Florida's election laws, even though a notary public acknowledged the form without a specified county listed.
Case Name: Wright v. City of Miami Gardens
Citation: 200 So.3d 765
Case URL: https://law.justia.com/cases/florida/supreme-court/2016/sc16-1518.html
Case PDF: 2016-sc16-1518
Case Summary: The Supreme Court held that § 99.061(7)(a) unconstitutionally erects a barrier that is an unnecessary restraint on one’s right to seek elective office.
Regulations & Guidance
Donnie D. Phillips, Petitioner, v. Department of Transportation, Respondent.
The Honorable Lori Scott, Brevard County Supervisor of Elections, Qualifying - Special District Office
Ms. Cynthia S. Bonham, City Clerk, City of Winter Park, Candidate Qualifying; Qualifying Fees; Election Assessment - check drawn upon campaign account
The Honorable Vicki P. Cannon, Supervisor of Elections, Nassau County, Candidates; Qualifying; Petitions Member of cancelled political party qualifying as a candidate for another political party; validity of candidate petitions designating the cancelled political party; role of qualifying or filing officer
The Honorable Jerry Holland, Supervisor of Elections, Duval County, Candidates; Supervisors of Elections - Posting of names of write-in candidates on sample ballots and at the polls
Mr. Solomon Odenz, City Clerk, City of Miami Beach, Qualifying - City Council Candidate; Mistaken Group Number Designation
The Honorable Sylvia D. Stephens, Supervisor of Elections, Jackson County, Felon Civil Rights
A. Nelson Bedenbaugh, Petitioner, v. Department of Transportation, Respondent.
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 78, Generally
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 81, Generally
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 86, Generally
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 88, Qualification without payment of fees and assessments; petition process
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 89, Generally
Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:106, Special state issues