§ 101.161 Referenda; ballots.
Overview of Statute
(1) Whenever a constitutional amendment or other public measure is submitted to the vote of the people, a ballot summary of such amendment or other public measure shall be printed in clear and unambiguous language on the ballot after the list of candidates, followed by the word “yes” and also by the word “no,” and shall be styled in such a manner that a “yes” vote will indicate approval of the proposal and a “no” vote will indicate rejection. The ballot summary of the amendment or other public measure and the ballot title to appear on the ballot shall be embodied in the constitutional revision commission proposal, constitutional convention proposal, taxation and budget reform commission proposal, or enabling resolution or ordinance. The ballot summary of the amendment or other public measure shall be an explanatory statement, not exceeding 75 words in length, of the chief purpose of the measure. In addition, for every amendment proposed by initiative, the ballot shall include, following the ballot summary, a separate financial impact statement concerning the measure prepared by the Financial Impact Estimating Conference in accordance with s. 100.371(5). The ballot title shall consist of a caption, not exceeding 15 words in length, by which the measure is commonly referred to or spoken of. This subsection does not apply to constitutional amendments or revisions proposed by joint resolution.
s. 34, ch. 4328, 1895; GS 218; RGS 262; CGL 318; ss. 1-11, ch. 16180, 1933; s. 1, ch. 16877, 1935; s. 4, ch. 17898, 1937; s. 1, ch. 22626, 1945; s. 5, ch. 26870, 1951; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 73-7; s. 13, ch. 77-175; s. 16, ch. 79-365; s. 2, ch. 80-305; s. 32, ch. 84-302; s. 11, ch. 90-203; s. 10, ch. 99-355; s. 1, ch. 2000-361; s. 4, ch. 2001-75; s. 5, ch. 2002-390; s. 5, ch. 2004-33; s. 11, ch. 2005-2; s. 33, ch. 2005-278; s. 29, ch. 2011-40; s. 6, ch. 2013-57.
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 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).
5. Definition for Election
Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).
6. Definition for Candidate
Any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:
Case Name: Roberts v. Doyle
Citation: 43 So.3d 654
Case Summary: Roberts v. Doyle held that the ballot title and summary for a proposed constitutional amendment on homestead benefits were misleading and failed to comply with the constitutional accuracy requirement.
Case Name: Florida Educ. Ass’n v. Florida Dept. of State
Citation: 48 So.3d 694
Case Summary: Florida Educ. Ass'n v. Florida Dept. of State held that a legislatively proposed state constitutional amendment concerning public school class sizes was not misleading in failing to refer to a reduction of funding for class size requirements, for failing to mention that the state already was required to provide the funding for class size requirements, and for stating that the legislature would be required to provide sufficient funds to maintain the average number of students.
Case Name: City of Riviera Beach v. Riviera Beach Citizens Task Force
Citation: 87 So.3d 18
Case Summary: Citizens of Riviera Beach v. Riviera Beach Citizens Task Force held that a proposed ballot referendum to amend the city charter was neither ambiguous nor unconstitutional.
Case Name: Let Miami Beach Decide v. City of Miami Beach
Citation: 120 So.3d 1282
Case Summary: Let Miami Beach Decide v. City of Miami Beach held that a lease approval question on the ballot summary was insufficient to provide voters with information needed to allow them to intelligently cast their ballots, and that the ballot question itself violated the statutory requirement of clarity and accuracy and had to be removed from the ballot.
Case Name: O’Connell v. Martin County
Citation: 84 So.3d 463
Case Summary: O'Connell v. Martin County held that a referendum on an ad valorem tax exemption ordinance was valid because the ballot title complied with statutory requirements and the ballot summary was sufficient to allow voters to make an informed decision on election day.