(1) If a dependent special district has an elected governing board, elections shall be conducted by the supervisor of elections of the county wherein the district is located in accordance with the Florida Election Code, chapters 97-106.
(2)(a) Any independent special district located entirely in a single county may provide for the conduct of district elections by the supervisor of elections for that county. Any independent special district that conducts its elections through the office of the supervisor shall make election procedures consistent with the Florida Election Code.
(b) Any independent special district not conducting district elections through the supervisor of elections shall report to the supervisor in a timely manner the purpose, date, authorization, procedures, and results of each election conducted by the district.
(c) A candidate for a position on a governing board of a single-county special district that has its elections conducted by the supervisor of elections shall qualify for the office with the county supervisor of elections in whose jurisdiction the district is located. Elections for governing board members elected by registered electors shall be nonpartisan, except when partisan elections are specified by a district’s charter. Candidates shall qualify as directed by chapter 99. The qualifying fee shall be remitted to the general revenue fund of the qualifying officer to help defray the cost of the election.
(3)(a) If a multicounty special district has a popularly elected governing board, elections for the purpose of electing members to such board shall conform to the Florida Election Code, chapters 97-106.
(b) With the exception of those districts conducting elections on a one-acre/one-vote basis, qualifying for multicounty special district governing board positions shall be coordinated by the Department of State. Elections for governing board members elected by registered electors shall be nonpartisan, except when partisan elections are specified by a district’s charter. Candidates shall qualify as directed by chapter 99. The qualifying fee shall be remitted to the Department of State.
(4) With the exception of elections of special district governing board members conducted on a one-acre/one-vote basis, in any election conducted in a special district the decision made by a majority of those voting shall prevail, except as otherwise specified by law.
(5)(a) The department may provide, contract for, or assist in conducting education programs, as its budget permits, for all newly elected or appointed members of district boards. The education programs shall include, but are not limited to, courses on the code of ethics for public officers and employees, public meetings and public records requirements, public finance, and parliamentary procedure. Course content may be offered by means of the following: videotapes, live seminars, workshops, conferences, teleconferences, computer-based training, multimedia presentations, or other available instructional methods.
(b) An individual district board, at its discretion, may bear the costs associated with educating its members. Board members of districts which have qualified for a zero annual fee for the most recent invoicing period pursuant to s. 189.427 shall not be required to pay a fee for any education program the department provides, contracts for, or assists in conducting.
(6) The provisions of this section shall not apply to community development districts established pursuant to chapter 190 or to water management districts created and operated pursuant to chapter 373.
(7) Nothing in this act requires that a special district governed by an appointed board convert to an elected governing board.