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Florida > The Florida Election Code > Presidential Electors; Political Parties; Executive Committees And Members

§ 103.021 Nomination for presidential electors.

Statute

(1) The Governor shall nominate the presidential electors of each political party. The state executive committee of each political party shall by resolution recommend candidates for presidential electors and deliver a certified copy thereof to the Governor before September 1 of each presidential election year. The Governor shall nominate only the electors recommended by the state executive committee of the respective political party. Each such elector shall be a qualified elector of the party he or she represents who has taken an oath that he or she will vote for the candidates of the party that he or she is nominated to represent. The Governor shall certify to the Department of State on or before September 1, in each presidential election year, the names of a number of electors for each political party equal to the number of senators and representatives which this state has in Congress.

(2) The names of the presidential electors shall not be printed on the general election ballot, but the names of the actual candidates for President and Vice President for whom the presidential electors will vote if elected shall be printed on the ballot in the order in which the party of which the candidate is a nominee polled the highest number of votes for Governor in the last general election.
(3) Candidates for President and Vice President with no party affiliation may have their names printed on the general election ballots if a petition is signed by 1 percent of the registered electors of this state, as shown by the compilation by the Department of State for the last preceding general election. A separate petition from each county for which signatures are solicited shall be submitted to the supervisor of elections of the respective county no later than July 15 of each presidential election year. The supervisor shall check the names and, on or before the date of the primary election, shall certify the number shown as registered electors of the county. The supervisor shall be paid by the person requesting the certification the cost of checking the petitions as prescribed in s.99.097. The supervisor shall then forward the certificate to the Department of State which shall determine whether or not the percentage factor required in this section has been met. When the percentage factor required in this section has been met, the Department of State shall order the names of the candidates for whom the petition was circulated to be included on the ballot and shall permit the required number of persons to be certified as electors in the same manner as party candidates.
(4)
(a) A minor political party that is affiliated with a national party holding a national convention to nominate candidates for President and Vice President of the United States may have the names of its candidates for President and Vice President of the United States printed on the general election ballot by filing with the Department of State a certificate naming the candidates for President and Vice President and listing the required number of persons to serve as electors. Notification to the Department of State under this subsection shall be made by September 1 of the year in which the election is held. When the Department of State has been so notified, it shall order the names of the candidates nominated by the minor political party to be included on the ballot and shall permit the required number of persons to be certified as electors in the same manner as other party candidates. As used in this section, the term “national party” means a political party that is registered with and recognized as a qualified national committee of a political party by the Federal Election Commission.
(b) A minor political party that is not affiliated with a national party holding a national convention to nominate candidates for President and Vice President of the United States may have the names of its candidates for President and Vice President printed on the general election ballot if a petition is signed by 1 percent of the registered electors of this state, as shown by the compilation by the Department of State for the preceding general election. A separate petition from each county for which signatures are solicited shall be submitted to the supervisors of elections of the respective county no later than July 15 of each presidential election year. The supervisor shall check the names and, on or before the date of the primary election, shall certify the number shown as registered electors of the county. The supervisor shall be paid by the person requesting the certification the cost of checking the petitions as prescribed in s. 99.097. The supervisor shall then forward the certificate to the Department of State, which shall determine whether or not the percentage factor required in this section has been met. When the percentage factor required in this section has been met, the Department of State shall order the names of the candidates for whom the petition was circulated to be included on the ballot and shall permit the required number of persons to be certified as electors in the same manner as other party candidates.
(5) When for any reason a person nominated or elected as a presidential elector is unable to serve because of death, incapacity, or otherwise, the Governor may appoint a person to fill such vacancy who possesses the qualifications required for the elector to have been nominated in the first instance. Such person shall file with the Governor an oath that he or she will support the same candidates for President and Vice President that the person who is unable to serve was committed to support.

History:

s. 1, ch. 25143, 1949; s. 7, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 61-364; s. 1, ch. 67-353; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; ss. 7, 8, ch. 70-269; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 32, ch. 77-175; s. 8, ch. 83-251; s. 13, ch. 85-80; s. 603, ch. 95-147; s. 5, ch. 99-318; s. 61, ch. 2005-277; s. 18, ch. 2005-286; s. 45, ch. 2011-40.

Annotation: October 24, 2016 1:02 am

Rule 1S-2.045 requires that these petitions be submitted by July 15th of the election year for signature verification, although the names of the candidates and electors need not be submitted until September 1st of that year.

Annotation: 12:39 am

Evan McMullin was recently denied ballot access under this statute, see http://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2016/09/ballot-experts-past-rulings-question-scott-administrations-decision-to-block-third-part-presidential-candidate-105562. The Independent Party of Florida filed nominating papers to make McMullen its presidential candidate. But the Florida Division of Elections, overseen by Gov. Rick Scott (who runs a pro-Trump Super PAC), said the Independent Party could not get its nominee placed on the general election ballot because it is not recognized as a “national party” by the FEC. Critics of this decision point out that the “national party” designation is for fundraising, not ballot access.

Annotation: 12:54 am

The Florida Department of State’s recent decision is contrary to its 2011 decision allowing a group called Americans Elect, a non-profit formed to advocate for a national online primary, a place on the Nov. 2012 ballot for its candidate. In a letter, available here (http://www.politico.com/states/f/?id=00000157-34b2-dcf8-a9ff-74fbe9810001), Dept. of State General Counsel Nordby reasoned that if a minor political party registered in Florida filed the required certificate under this section, the Secretary of State would order that the names of the candidates nominated by the minor political party be included on the ballot. But importantly, Nordby cautioned that this placement of candidates on the ballot would not preclude someone else from bringing a legal challenge against a party or its candidates alleging that they are not affiliated with a “national party.”

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 [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).

Definition [Minor Political Party]

Any group as specified in s. 103.095 which on January 1 preceding a primary election does not have registered as members 5 percent of the total registered electors of the state. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(19).

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 [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).

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).

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