Topics
Code Section
florida > The Florida Election Code > Election Code: Violations; Penalties

§ 104.185 Petitions; knowingly signing more than once; signing another person’s name or a fictitious name.

Overview of Statute

This statute states it is a misdemeanor of the first degree to knowingly sign a petition for a candidate, a minor party, or an issue more than once. It is also a misdemeanor of the first degree to sign someone else’s name, or a false name to any petition to get ballot access for a candidate, minor party, or an issue.

Statute

(1) A person who knowingly signs a petition or petitions for a candidate, a minor political party, or an issue more than one time commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) A person who signs another person’s name or a fictitious name to any petition to secure ballot position for a candidate, a minor political party, or an issue commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History:

s. 1, ch. 77-178; s. 6, ch. 91-224; s. 23, ch. 97-13.

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 [Issue]

A proposition that is required by the State Constitution, by law or resolution of the Legislature, or by the charter, ordinance, or resolution of a political subdivision of this state to be submitted to the electors for their approval or rejection at an election, or a proposition for which a petition is circulated in order to have such proposition placed on the ballot at an election. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(13).

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 [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: Browning v. Florida Hometown Democracy, Inc., PAC

Citation: 29 So.3d 1053

Year: 2010

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/ad43c65c3746d76b166d523a4c8ba372?query=29%20So[...]

Case Summary: Browning v. Florida Hometown Democracy, Inc., PAC held that the statute establishing petition signature revocation procedures violated the citizen initiative provision of the state constitution and as such were unconstitutional, since it was neither neutral nor nondiscriminatory, nor was it necessary to ensure ballot integrity. The case further held that the state supreme court had mandatory appellate jurisdiction because the district court of appeal implemented regulations that impacted the citizen initiative process.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: Clean Up ’84 v. Heinrich

Citation: 759 F.2d 1511

Federal Circuit Court: 11th Circuit Court

Year: 1985

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/e581e370bd810b11cab080e163077ef9?query=Clean%2[...]

Case Summary: Clean Up '84 v. Heinrich held that a Florida statute prohibiting solicitation of signatures for petitions within 100 yards of a polling place on election day was facially unconstitutionally over-broad.

Regulations & Guidance

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 227, Offenses in connection with voting

  • Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:106, Special state issues

  • “Constitutional Law—Constitutional Interpretation—Signature Revocation Provisions Regulating the Initiative Process were Found to Violate Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Browning v. Fla. Hometown Democracy, Inc., 29 So.3d 1053 (Fla. 2010)” 42 Rutgers L.J. 1077