§ 99.095 Petition process in lieu of a qualifying fee and party assessment.
Overview of Statute
(1) A person who seeks to qualify as a candidate for any office and who meets the petition requirements of this section is not required to pay the qualifying fee or party assessment required by this chapter.
(2)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a candidate must obtain the number of signatures of voters in the geographical area represented by the office sought equal to at least 1 percent of the total number of registered voters of that geographical area, as shown by the compilation by the department for the immediately preceding general election. Signatures may not be obtained until the candidate has filed the appointment of campaign treasurer and designation of campaign depository pursuant to s. 106.021 and are valid only for the qualifying period immediately following such filings.
(b) A candidate for a special district office shall obtain 25 signatures of voters in the geographical area represented by the office sought.
(c) The format of the petition shall be prescribed by the division and shall be used by candidates to reproduce petitions for circulation. If the candidate is running for an office that requires a group or district designation, the petition must indicate that designation and, if it does not, the signatures are not valid. A separate petition is required for each candidate.
(d) In a year of apportionment, any candidate for county or district office seeking ballot position by the petition process may obtain the required number of signatures from any registered voter in the respective county, regardless of district boundaries. The candidate shall obtain at least the number of signatures equal to 1 percent of the total number of registered voters, as shown by a compilation by the department for the immediately preceding general election, divided by the total number of districts of the office involved.
(3) Each petition must be submitted before noon of the 28th day preceding the first day of the qualifying period for the office sought to the supervisor of elections of the county in which such petition was circulated. Each supervisor shall check the signatures on the petitions to verify their status as voters in the county, district, or other geographical area represented by the office sought. No later than the 7th day before the first day of the qualifying period, the supervisor shall certify the number of valid signatures.
(4)(a) Certifications for candidates for federal, state, multicounty district, or multicounty special district office shall be submitted to the division no later than the 7th day before the first day of the qualifying period for the office sought. The division shall determine whether the required number of signatures has been obtained and shall notify the candidate.
(b) For candidates for county, district, or special district office not covered by paragraph (a), the supervisor shall determine whether the required number of signatures has been obtained and shall notify the candidate.
s. 2, ch. 74-119; s. 6, ch. 77-175; s. 29, ch. 79-400; s. 10, ch. 89-338; s. 9, ch. 90-315; s. 539, ch. 95-147; s. 3, ch. 99-140; s. 1, ch. 99-318; s. 14, ch. 2005-277; s. 9, ch. 2005-286; s. 17, ch. 2007-30; s. 11, ch. 2008-95; s. 18, ch. 2011-40.
- Ballot Access
- Candidate Methods of Nomination
- Candidate Qualifications
- Filing Fees
- Petitions for Nomination
- Signature Requirements
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 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).
4. Definition for Campaign Treasurer
An individual appointed by a candidate or political committee as provided in chapter 106. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(2).
5. 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).
6. 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).
7. Definition for Division
The Division of Elections of the Department of State. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(8).
8. Definition for Election
Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).
9. Definition for Candidate
Any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:
Case Name: Carroll v. Mack
Citation: 766 So.2d 1216
Case Summary: Carroll v. Mack held that even though the candidate did not know about the boundaries of a newly-created district at the time of filing, she did not meet the statutory signature requirement that would have allowed her to qualify without paying a filing fee. She was unable to use signatures collected throughout the county to meet the requirement.
Case Name: Danciu v. Glisson
Citation: 302 So.2d 131
Case Summary: Danciu v. Glisson held that independent candidates only needed a 3% signature requirement instead of a 5% requirement. The 5% requirement was arbitrary, and put independent candidates at a disadvantage as compared to minor party candidates, who only needed 3% to qualify.
Case Name: Germalic v. Detzner
Case Number: 2012 WL 6621689
Federal District Court: Northern District of Florida
Case URL: https://perma.cc/9QF5-HHJF
Case Summary: Germalic v. Detzner held that Germalic, a plaintiff attempting to run for president who filed his suit at the last minute, did not show any chance of success on the merits of his claim, which argued that Florida's signature requirement was too demanding.
Case Name: Green v. Mortham
Citation: 989 F. Supp. 1451
Federal District Court: Middle District of Florida
Case Summary: Green v. Mortham held that Florida's ballot access requirements were reasonable and did not unduly burden plaintiff's constitutional rights.
Case Name: McCarthy v. Askew
Citation: 420 F.Supp. 775
Federal District Court: Southern District of Florida
Case Summary: McCarthy v. Askew held that it was an unconstitutional abridgment of plaintiff's rights to keep the independent candidate off of the ballot, since Florida law had no way for an independent candidate to get his or her name onto the presidential ballot.
Regulations & Guidance
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
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 15, Qualification of candidates; filing fees and campaign expenses
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 16, Notice of special elections
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 88, Qualification without payment of fees and assessments; petition process
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 118, Notice