Candidate Qualifying and Reporting

I. CANDIDATE DECLARES CANDIDACY (Section 106.011, Florida Statutes)

A. Newspaper
B. Radio
C. Television

II. CANDIDATE OPENS CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT (Section 106.021, Florida Statutes)

A. May open account any time prior to election 
        1. no contributions may be accepted until the candidate has opened a campaign account
        2. no candidate may draw a salary from the campaign account or use the account to defray 
            normal living expenses

B. Appoints Campaign Treasurer (DSDE-9)
        1. designates office for which he is a candidate
        2. indicates for which group of district office he is seeking election 
        3. designates treasurer and primary campaign depository

C. Appoints Deputy Treasurers as necessary (DSDE-9)

D. May designate secondary campaign depository

E. Files "Statement of Candidate" (DSDE-84) within 10 days of opening account



III. METHOD OF QUALIFYING (Section 99.092, Florida Statutes)

A. PARTISAN CANDIDATES

1. pay qualifying fee of 6% of one year's salary of office sought
        
        a. breakdown of 6%
                1) 3% filing fee
                2) 2% party assessment
                3) 1% election assessment to Florida Elections Commission        
        
         b. file required qualifying documents
                1) loyalty oath (DSDE-24)
                2) financial disclosure (CE-6)2. petition method (Section 99.095, Florida Statutes)

  1. If you are a major or minor party or non-partisan candidate, after you file your Appointment of Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository (DS-DE 9).
  2. The Supervisor of Elections will provide petition format (DS-DE 104) prescribed by the Division of Elections for you to use in printing your petition cards.  You must obtain signatures equal to at least 1% of the total number of registered voters as of the last general election for the office/district sought.
  3. Each petition must be submitted before noon of the 28th day preceding the first day of qualifying period for the office sought to the Supervisor of Elections of the county in which such petition was circulated for verification.  Petitions to be verified at a cost of ten cents ($.10) per name.  If you file an oath that you can not pay, the fee is waived.   
  4. Once the petitions are checked and the proper number of valid signatures has been reached, a Certificate of Signature Verification will be mailed.  (Payment for petition verification must be made prior to the mailing of the Certificate of Signature Verification)  This certificate is to be submitted at qualifying by the candidate and stands in lieu of the qualifying fee.

B. JUDICIAL & NONPARTISAN CANDIDATES

1. pay qualifying fee of 4% of one year's salary of office sought

a. breakdown of 4%
      1) 3% filing fee
      2) 1% election assessment to Florida Elections Commission       

b. file required qualifying documents
      1) judicial loyalty oath (DSDE-26)
      2) judicial write-in loyalty oath (DSDE-26A)
      3) nonpartisan loyalty oath (DSDE-24B)
      4) financial disclosure (CE-1 or CE-6)2. petition method (Section 99.095, Florida Statutes)

  1. If you are a major or minor party or non-partisan candidate, after you file your Appointment of Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository (DS-DE 9).
  2. The Supervisor of Elections will provide petition format (DS-DE 104) prescribed by the Division of Elections for you to use in printing your petition cards.  You must obtain signatures equal to at least 1% of the total number of registered voters as of the last general election for the office/district sought.
  3. Each petition must be submitted before noon of the 28th day preceding the first day of qualifying period for the office sought to the Supervisor of Elections of the county in which such petition was circulated for verification.  Petitions to be verified at a cost of ten cents ($.10) per name.  If you file an oath that you can not pay, the fee is waived.   
  4. Once the petitions are checked and the proper number of valid signatures has been reached, a Certificate of Signature Verification will be mailed.  (Payment for petition verification must be made prior to the mailing of the Certificate of Signature Verification)  This certificate is to be submitted at qualifying by the candidate and stands in lieu of the qualifying fee.

IV. QUALIFYING (Section 99.061, Florida Statutes)

A. Qualifying begins at noon on the 120th day prior to the Primary and ends at noon on the 
    116th day prior to the Primary for Federal Offices, Judicial Offices or the Office of the State Attorney or
    the Public Defender.

B. Qualifying begins at noon on the 71st day prior to the Primary and ends at noon on the 
    67th day prior to the Primary for a State or Multicounty District Office other than the Office
    of the State Attorney or Public Defender. 

C. Partisan/Nonpartisan candidates are required to:
        1. file candidate oath
        2. file loyalty oath/statement of candidate/party, if applicable
        3. file required financial disclosure
                a. constitutional officers file CE Form 6
                b. other officers file CE Form 1
                c. incumbents also file CE Form 10
        4. satisfy the qualifying fee requirement:
                a. pay the filing fee of 6% or 4% of one year's salary of the office sought
                b. present certification of petition signatures (equal to 1% of the voters as of the last general 
                    election for district/jurisdiction)

D. Write-in candidates are required to:
        1. file candidate oath
        2. file write-in loyalty oath/statement of candidate
        3. file required financial disclosure

E. All candidates have until noon on the 42nd day prior to the election to withdraw as a candidate (with their names removed from the ballot). Any candidate wishing to have his qualifying fee refunded must withdraw prior to noon on the last day of qualifying.

F. At the time of qualifying, candidates are provided with the following documents:
        1. receipt for qualifying papers and fee
        2. notification of test of tabulation equipment prior to the Primary and General Elections


V. CAMPAIGN REPORTS (Section 106.07, Florida Statutes)

A. Campaign reports are filed on the tenth day following the end of each calendar month (DSDE-12 summary, DSDE-13 contributions, DSDE-14 expenditures and DSDE-94 fund transfers) from the time the candidate registers, except that if the 10th day occurs on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the report shall be filed on the next business day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

Candidates must file reports on the 60th day immediately preceding the primary election and bi-weekly on each Friday thereafter through and including the 4th day immediately preceding the general election, with additional reports due on the 25th and 11th days before the primary election and the general election.

Campaign reports are filed with the officer with whom the candidate qualifies.

Unopposed candidates are required to file a final report ninety (90) days from the end of qualifying or from the time they become unopposed.


VI. CONTRIBUTIONS (Section 106.08, Florida Statutes)

A. Three types of contributions:
        1. monetary (check or cash)
        2. loans
        3. in-kind (anything other than money)

B. Limitations on contributions
        1. municipal or county offices
                a. $1,000 per person per election per candidate
                b. no limit on candidate's contributions to himself
        2. multi-county or state offices
                a. $1,00 per person per election per candidate
                b. no limit on candidate's contributions to himself
        3. contribution limits do not apply to contributions from state or county political executive committees or to contributions from candidates to their own campaigns.

C. All contributions must be deposited in the candidate's campaign depository prior to the end of the fifth (5th) business day following the receipt thereof.D. F.S. 106.08(3) and a DOE opinion establishes that midnight of the Thursday preceding each election as the deadline for receiving contributions.  (It is important that you have a sufficient amount of funds deposited by deadlines as it is illegal to add any money after a deadline) Any contribution received after that date and time may not be deposited and must be returned.  These contributions are reported on Form DS-DE 2.

D. Campaign Depositories
        1. one main depository (all checks written from this account)
        2. secondary depository used only for deposits and transfers to main depository

E. Disposition of Excess Funds (Section 106.141, Florida Statutes)
        1. Once a candidate withdraws, becomes unopposed, is eliminated, or elected to office, have ninety (90) days to dispose of
            any surplus funds and file a campaign treasurer's report (termination report) reflecting the disposition of funds.

        2. Prior to Disposing of Surplus Funds
            a. A candidate may be reimbursed by the campaign for any previously reported contributions by the candidate to campaign,
               in full or in part.
            b. A candidate who filed an oath stating that he or she was unable to pay the fee for verification of petition signatures without
                imposing an undue burden on his or her personal resources or on resources otherwise available to him or her, must reimburse
                the state or local government entity, whichever is applicable, for such waived fee prior to disposing of any funds under
                the surplus provisions contained in Section 106.141(4), F.S.

        3. Disposing of Surplus Funds:
            A candidate required to dispose of surplus funds must, at the option of the candidate, dispose of such funds within 90 days by
            any of the following means, or a combination thereof:

            a. Return pro rata to each contributor the funds that have not been spent or obligated.
            b. Donate the funds that have not been spent or obligated to a charitable organization or organizations that meet the    
                qualifications of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
            c. Give to political party
            d. Transfer to an office account


VII. EXPENDITURES (Section 106.011, Florida Statutes)

An expenditure is a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, transfer of funds by a campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer between a primary depository and a separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit, or gift of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election or making an electioneering communication.

A candidate shall:
     1. Pay all campaign expenditures by a check drawn on the campaign account (except petty cash)
     2. Pay the qualifying fee by a check drawn on the campaign account
     3. Pay for all expenses authorized or incurred for the purchase of goods or services upon final delivery and acceptance of the goods or services


VIII. ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS (Section 106.143, Florida Statutes)

106.143  Political advertisements circulated prior to election; requirements.--

         (1)(a)  Any political advertisement that is paid for by a candidate and that is published, displayed, or circulated prior to, or on the day of, any election must prominently state:  “Political advertisement paid for and approved by . . . .(name of candidate) . . . . (party affiliation) . . . . for . . . . (office sought).”

              (b)  Any other political advertisement published, displayed, or circulated prior to, or on the day of, any election must prominently:

             1.  Be marked “paid political advertisement” or with the abbreviation “pd. pol. adv.”

             2.  State the name and address of the persons sponsoring the advertisement.

             3.a.(I)  State whether the advertisement and the cost of production is paid for or provided in kind by or at the expense of the entity publishing, displaying, broadcasting, or circulating the political advertisement; or

         (II)  State who provided or paid for the advertisement and cost of production, if different from the source of sponsorship.

         b. This subparagraph does not apply if the source of the sponsorship is patently clear from the content or format of the political advertisement. This subsection does not apply to campaign messages used by a candidate and the candidate’s supporters if those messages are designed to be worn by a person.

             (2)  Any political advertisement of a candidate running for partisan office shall express the name of the political party of which the candidate is seeking nomination or is the nominee.  If the candidate for partisan office is running as a candidate with no party affiliation, any political advertisement of the candidate must state that the candidate has no party affiliation.

             (3)  It is unlawful for any candidate or person on behalf of a candidate to represent that any person or organization supports such candidate, unless the person or organization so represented has given specific approval in writing to the candidate to make such representation.  However, this subsection does not apply to:

             (a)  Editorial endorsement by any newspaper, radio or television station, or other recognized news medium.

             (b)  Publication by a party committee advocating the candidacy of its nominees.

             (4)(a)  Any political advertisement, including those paid for by a political party, other than an independent expenditure, offered by or on behalf of a candidate must be approved in advance by the candidate.  Such political advertisement must expressly state that the content of the advertisement was approved by the candidate and must state who paid for the advertisement.  The candidate shall provide a written statement of authorization to the newspaper, radio station, television station, or other medium for each such advertisement submitted for publication, display, broadcast, or other distribution.

             (b)  Any person who makes an independent expenditure for a political advertisement shall provide a written statement that no candidate has approved the advertisement to the newspaper, radio station, television station, or other medium for each such advertisement submitted for publication, display, broadcast, or other distribution.  The advertisement must also contain a statement that no candidate has approved the advertisement.

             (c)  This subsection does not apply to campaign messages used by a candidate and his or her supporters if those messages are designed to be worn by a person.

             (5)  No political advertisement of a candidate who is not an incumbent of the office for which the candidate is running shall use the word “re-elect.”  Additionally, such advertisement must include the word “for” between the candidate’s name and the office for which the candidate is running, in order that incumbency is not implied.  This subsection does not apply to bumper stickers or items designed to be worn by a person.

             (6)  This section does not apply to novelty items having a retail value of $10 or less which support, but do not oppose, a candidate or issue.

             (7)  Any political advertisement which is published, displayed, or produced in a language other than English may provide the information required by this section in the language used in the advertisement.

             (8)  Any person who willfully violates any provision of this section is subject to the civil penalties prescribed in s. 106.265.