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§ 99.095 Petition process in lieu of a qualifying fee and party assessment.

Overview of Statute

This statute states that those who qualify through the petition process are not required to pay the filing fee or a party assessment. Candidates must obtain signatures equal to 1% of the total number of registered voters in the geographical area represented by the office. Candidates for special district office only need 25 signatures from the area represented by the office.

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.
(5) If the required number of signatures has been obtained, the candidate is eligible to qualify pursuant to s. 99.061.

History:

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.

Definition [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).

Definition [Campaign Treasurer]

An individual appointed by a candidate or political committee as provided in chapter 106. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(2).

Definition [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).

Definition [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).

Definition [Election]

Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).

Definition [Candidate]

Any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:

(a) Any person who seeks to qualify for nomination or election by means of the petitioning process.
(b) Any person who seeks to qualify for election as a write-in candidate.
(c) Any person who receives contributions or makes expenditures, or gives his or her consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures, with a view to bringing about his or her nomination or election to, or retention in, public office.
(d) Any person who appoints a treasurer and designates a primary depository.
(e) Any person who files qualification papers and subscribes to a candidate’s oath as required by law.
This definition does not include any candidate for a political party executive committee. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(6).

Cases

florida Cases

Case Name: Carroll v. Mack

Citation: 766 So.2d 1216

Year: 2000

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/46eccdd6fcfdbdde957791b6b5804df3?query=766%20S[...]

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

Year: 1974

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/0869be13481f7349d113882404068887?query=Danciu%[...]

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.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: Germalic v. Detzner

Case Number: 2012 WL 6621689

Federal District Court: Northern District of Florida

Year: 2012

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: McCarthy v. Askew

Citation: 420 F.Supp. 775

Federal District Court: Southern District of Florida

Year: 1976

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/537c9308c43baa2c01feff31253e265d?query=McCarth[...]

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

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • 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