Code Section
Florida > The Florida Election Code > Candidates

§ 99.09651 Signature requirements for ballot position in year of apportionment.

Overview of Statute

This statute states that in apportionment years, candidates for representative to Congress, state Senate, or state House of Representatives seeking to qualify by petition must obtain the number of signatures equal to 1/3 of 1% of the ideal population of the district. Ideal population is the total population of the state based on the most recent census, divided by the number of districts. Ideal population must be calculated by July 1st of the year before apportionment. In apportionment years, signatures can be obtained from any registered voter in the state regardless of affiliation or district.


(1) In a year of apportionment, any candidate for representative to Congress, state Senate, or state House of Representatives seeking ballot position by the petition process prescribed in s. 99.095shall obtain at least the number of signatures equal to one-third of 1 percent of the ideal population for the district of the office being sought.

(2) For the purposes of this section, “ideal population” means the total population of the state based upon the most recent decennial census divided by the number of districts for representative to Congress, state Senate, or state House of Representatives. For the purposes of this section, ideal population shall be calculated as of July 1 of the year prior to apportionment. The ideal population for a state Senate district and a state representative district shall be calculated by dividing the total population of the state by 40 for a state Senate district and by dividing by 120 for a state representative district.
(3) Signatures may be obtained from any registered voter in Florida regardless of party affiliation or district boundaries.
(4) Petitions shall state the name of the office the candidate is seeking, but shall not include a district number.
(5) Except as otherwise provided in this section, all requirements and procedures relating to the petition process shall conform to the requirements and procedures in nonapportionment years.


s. 3, ch. 91-107; s. 4, ch. 99-318; s. 17, ch. 2005-277.

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 [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).


florida Cases

Case Name: Carroll v. Mack

Citation: 766 So.2d 1216

Year: 2000

Case URL:[...]

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.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: U.S. Taxpayers Party of Florida v. Smith

Citation: 871 F.Supp. 426

Federal District Court: Northern District of Florida

Year: 1993

Case URL:[...]

Case Summary: U.S. Taxpayers Party of Florida v. Smith held that the statutes requiring minor parties to file signatures by specified deadlines were not unconstitutional, since Florida had an interest in an early deadline to be able to prepare ballots and verify signatures, and the statutes were necessary to further that interest.

Regulations & Guidance