Section 99.0955, Florida Statutes 2003
99.0955 Candidates with no party affiliation; name on general election ballot.--
(1) Each person seeking to qualify for election as a candidate with no party affiliation shall file his or her qualification papers and pay the qualifying fee or qualify by the alternative method prescribed in subsection (3) with the officer and during the times and under the circumstances prescribed in s. 99.061. Upon qualifying, the candidate is entitled to have his or her name placed on the general election ballot.
(2) The qualifying fee for candidates with no party affiliation shall consist of a filing fee and an election assessment. The amount of the filing fee is 3 percent of the annual salary of the office sought. The amount of the election assessment is 1 percent of the annual salary of the office sought. The election assessment shall be deposited into the Elections Commission Trust Fund. Filing fees paid to the Department of State shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund of the state. Filing fees paid to the supervisor of elections shall be deposited into the general revenue fund of the county.
(3)(a) A candidate with no party affiliation may, in lieu of paying the qualifying fee, qualify for office by the alternative method prescribed in this subsection. A candidate using this petitioning process shall file an oath with the officer before whom the candidate would qualify for the office stating that he or she intends to qualify by this alternative method. If the person is running for an office that requires a group or district designation, the candidate must indicate the designation in his or her oath. The oath shall be filed at any time after the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of the year in which the election is held, but before the 21st day preceding the first day of the qualifying period for the office sought. The Department of State shall prescribe the form to be used in administering and filing the oath. Signatures may not be obtained by a candidate on any petition until the candidate has filed the oath required in this subsection. Upon receipt of the written oath from a candidate, the qualifying officer shall provide the candidate with petition forms in sufficient numbers to facilitate the gathering of signatures. If the candidate is running for an office that requires a group or district designation, the petition must indicate that designation or the signatures obtained on the petition will not be counted.
(b) A candidate shall obtain the signatures of a number of qualified electors in the geographical entity represented by the office sought equal to 1 percent of the registered electors of the geographical entity represented by the office sought, as shown by the compilation by the Department of State for the preceding general election.
(c) Each petition must be submitted before noon of the 21st day preceding the first day of the qualifying period for the office sought, to the supervisor of elections of the county for which such petition was circulated. Each supervisor to whom a petition is submitted shall check the signatures on the petition to verify their status as electors in the county, district, or other geographical entity represented by the office sought. Before the first day for qualifying, the supervisor shall certify the number shown as registered electors.
(d)1. Certifications for candidates for federal, state, or multicounty district office shall be submitted to the Department of State. The Department of State shall determine whether the required number of signatures has been obtained for the name of the candidate to be placed on the ballot and shall notify the candidate.
2. For candidates for county or district office not covered by subparagraph 1., the supervisor of elections shall determine whether the required number of signatures has been obtained for the name of the candidate to be placed on the ballot and shall notify the candidate.
(e) If the required number of signatures has been obtained, the candidate shall, during the time prescribed for qualifying for office, submit a copy of the notice received under paragraph (d) and file his or her qualifying papers and the oath prescribed by s. 99.021 with the qualifying officer.
History.--s. 6, ch. 70-269; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 3, ch. 74-119; s. 7, ch. 77-175; s. 2, ch. 78-188; s. 11, ch. 89-338; s. 10, ch. 90-315; s. 540, ch. 95-147; s. 13, ch. 95-280; s. 4, ch. 99-140; s. 2, ch. 99-318.
Note.--Former s. 99.152.