§ 106.23 Powers of the Division of Elections.
Overview of Statute
This statute outlines the powers of the Division of Elections with regard to campaign finance matters.
(1) In order to carry out the responsibilities prescribed by s. 106.22, the Division of Elections is empowered to subpoena and bring before its duly authorized representatives any person in the state, or any person doing business in the state, or any person who has filed or is required to have filed any application, document, papers, or other information with an office or agency of this state or a political subdivision thereof and to require the production of any papers, books, or other records relevant to any investigation, including the records and accounts of any bank or trust company doing business in this state. Duly authorized representatives of the division are empowered to administer all oaths and affirmations in the manner prescribed by law to witnesses who shall appear before them concerning any relevant matter. Should any witness fail to respond to the lawful subpoena of the division or, having responded, fail to answer all lawful inquiries or to turn over evidence that has been subpoenaed, the division may file a complaint before any circuit court of the state setting up such failure on the part of the witness. On the filing of such complaint, the court shall take jurisdiction of the witness and the subject matter of said complaint and shall direct the witness to respond to all lawful questions and to produce all documentary evidence in the witness’s possession which is lawfully demanded. The failure of any witness to comply with such order of the court shall constitute a direct and criminal contempt of court, and the court shall punish said witness accordingly. However, the refusal by a witness to answer inquiries or turn over evidence on the basis that such testimony or material will tend to incriminate such witness shall not be deemed refusal to comply with the provisions of this chapter.
s. 23, ch. 73-128; s. 3, ch. 76-233; s. 58, ch. 77-175; s. 651, ch. 95-147; s. 47, ch. 97-13; s. 8, ch. 2001-75; ss. 23, 30, ch. 2011-6; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 23, ch. 2013-37.
- Campaign Finance
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 Political Committee
1. A combination of two or more individuals, or a person other than an individual, that, in an aggregate amount in excess of $500 during a single calendar year:
a. Accepts contributions for the purpose of making contributions to any candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party;
b. Accepts contributions for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate or the passage or defeat of an issue;
c. Makes expenditures that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate or the passage or defeat of an issue; or
d. Makes contributions to a common fund, other than a joint checking account between spouses, from which contributions are made to any candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party;
2. The sponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment by initiative who intends to seek the signatures of registered electors.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), the following entities are not considered political committees for purposes of this chapter:
1. National political parties, the state and county executive committees of political parties, and affiliated party committees regulated by chapter 103.
2. Corporations regulated by chapter 607 or chapter 617 or other business entities formed for purposes other than to support or oppose issues or candidates, if their political activities are limited to contributions to candidates, political parties, affiliated party committees, or political committees or expenditures in support of or opposition to an issue from corporate or business funds and if no contributions are received by such corporations or business entities.
3. Electioneering communications organizations as defined in subsection (9). Fla. Stat. § 106.11(16).
4. Definition for 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).
5. Definition for 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).
6. Definition for Division
The Division of Elections of the Department of State. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(8).
7. Definition for Election
Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).
8. Definition for Candidate
Any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:
Case Name: Miller v. Mendez
Citation: 804 So.2d 1243
Case Summary: Miller v. Mendez held that candidates for judicial office were required to meet the eligibility requirements by the beginning date of the term of office, and not at the time of filing the oath.
Case Name: Smith v. Crawford (campaign finance)
Citation: 645 So.2d 513
Case Summary: Smith v. Crawford held that defendant was still qualified to receive public financing in his campaign for commissioner of agriculture, even though he had received public financing in his race for governor and had spent more than $2,000,000 in that race, because the contributions received and expenditures made in the gubernatorial race should not be treated as though they had been made in the race for commissioner of agriculture.
Case Name: Krivanek v. Take Back Tampa Political Committee
Citation: 625 So.2d 840
Case Summary: Krivanek v. Take Back Tampa Political Committee held that "electors whose names have been temporarily removed from the voter registration books are not qualified to sign initiative petitions under the statutory legislative scheme that establishes voter qualifications."
Case Name: Wexler v. Lepore (federal)
Citation: 342 F. Supp. 2d 1097
Federal District Court: Southern District of Florida
Case Summary: Wexler v. Lepore held that Florida's updated standards for manual recounts in counties that used touchscreen or optical scan systems complied with the 5th and 14th Amendments' equal protection requirements because the standards were uniform and non-differential.
Case Name: Bush v. Gore
Citation: 531 U.S. 98
Federal District Court: Eastern District of Virginia
Case Summary: Bush v. Gore held that Florida's recount procedures were inconsistent with the minimum procedures necessary to protect the fundamental right of each voter in the instance of a statewide recount under the authority of a single state judicial officer.
Case Name: Touchston v. McDermott
Citation: 234 F.3d 1133
Federal Circuit Court: 11th Circuit Court
Case Summary: Touchston v. McDermott held that, for the same reasons elaborated on in Siegel v. Lepore, the district court's denial of a preliminary injunction was affirmed.
Regulations & Guidance
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 23, Division of Elections
Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:106, Special state issues