§ 100.101 Special elections and special primary elections.
A special election or special primary election shall be held in the following cases:
(1) If no person has been elected at a general election to fill an office which was required to be filled by election at such general election.
(2) If a vacancy occurs in the office of state senator or member of the state house of representatives.
(3) If it is necessary to elect presidential electors, by reason of the offices of President and Vice President both having become vacant.
(4) If a vacancy occurs in the office of member from Florida of the House of Representatives of Congress.
s. 4, ch. 3879, 1889; RS 158; s. 5, ch. 4328, 1895; GS 175; RGS 219; CGL 254; s. 4, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 12, ch. 77-175; s. 3, ch. 83-15; s. 19, ch. 2005-277; s. 21, ch. 2011-40.
- Election Day
1. 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).
2. 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).
3. Definition for Special Election
A special election called for the purpose of voting on a party nominee to fill a vacancy in the national, state, county, or district office. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(34).
4. Definition for Special Primary Election
A special nomination election designated by the Governor, called for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted on in a general or special election.
5. 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).
6. Definition for Elector
“Elector” is synonymous with the word “voter” or “qualified elector or voter,” except where the word is used to describe presidential electors. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(15).
7. Definition for Election
Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).
Case Name: In re Senate Joint Resolution of Legislative Apportionment
Citation: 83 So.3d 597
Case Summary: This case held that state senators elected in special elections may be eligible to serve longer than eight years.
Case Name: Judicial Nominating Commission, Ninth Circuit v. Graham
Citation: 424 So.2d 10
Case Summary: Judicial Nominating Commission, Ninth Circuit v. Graham held in part that the Governor properly called for special elections to fill judicial vacancies because there was enough time to schedule a special election during the primary and general election dates. Note that this case’s holding was questioned in Pincket v. Harris, 765 So.2d 284, which held that a judge’s former seat was to be filled by a gubernatorial appointment, not an election.
Case Name: Dulaney v. City of Miami Beach
Citation: 96 So.2d 550
Case Summary: Dulaney v. City of Miami Beach held in part that although taxpayers, who were suing to enjoin a special election called to submit an initiative to the electorate, contended that initiative laws did not apply to zoning, it was proper for the chancellor to refuse to rule on the validity of the proposed ordinance.
Case Name: Tacker v. Board of Commissioners of Polk County
Citation: 126 Fla. 15
Case Summary: Tacker v. Board of Commissioners of Polk County held in part that where the statute provides for calling a special election on the condition of a petition signed by qualified electors, the phrase refers to voters who are registered as electors and who have constitutional qualifications.
Case Name: Gong v. Bryant
Citation: 230 F. Supp. 917
Federal District Court: Southern District of Florida
Case Summary: Gong v. Bryant held in part that when primary balloting was set to begin, state statutes did not authorize special primaries.
Regulations & Guidance
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 13, Generally
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 19, Filling vacancies in congressional offices
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 21, Election of President and Vice President; presidential electors
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 98, To fill vacancies in offices
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 137, Expenses of elections
“Voter Education: The Key to Election Reform Success Lessons from Florida” 36 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 517