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Florida Constitution Revision Commission

PUB 700344: Suffrage and Elections by Loyal Millett

ARTICLE VI: SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS, Section 1. Regulation of elections.

SECTION 1.Regulation of elections.

All elections by the people shall be by direct and secret vote. General elections shall be determined by a plurality of votes cast. Registration and elections shall, and political party functions may, be regulated by law; however, the requirements for a candidate with no party affiliation or for a candidate of a minor party for placement of the candidate's name on the ballot shall be no greater than the requirements for a candidate of the party having the largest number of registered voters.

ARTICLE VI: SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS, Section 2. Electors.

SECTION 2. Electors.

Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.

ARTICLE VI: SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS, Section 4. Disqualifications.

SECTION 4.Disqualifications.
  1. No person convicted of a felony, or adjudicated in this or any other state to be mentally incompetent, shall be qualified to vote or hold office until restoration of civil rights or removal of disability.
  2. No person may appear on the ballot for re-election to any of the following offices:
    1. Florida representative,
    2. Florida senator,
    3. Florida Lieutenant governor,
    4. any office of the Florida cabinet,
    5. any judicial circuit elective office,
    6. any county elective office,
    7. any municipal elective office, or
    8. any school district elective office
    9. U.S. Representative from Florida, or
    10. U.S. Senator from Florida

    if, by the end of the current term of office, the person will have served (or, but for resignation, would have served) in that office for eight consecutive years.

ARTICLE VI: SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS, Section 5. Primary, general, and special elections.

SECTION 5. Primary, general, and special elections.
  1. A general election shall be held in each county on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each even-numbered year to choose a successor to each elective state and county officer whose term will expire before the next general election and, except as provided herein, to fill each vacancy in elective office for the unexpired portion of the term. A general election may be suspended or delayed due to a state of emergency or impending emergency pursuant to general law. Special elections and referenda shall be held as provided by law.
  2. If all candidates for an office have the same party affiliation and the winner will have no opposition in the general election, all qualified electors, regardless of party affiliation, may vote in the primary elections for that office.

ARTICLE VI: SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS, New Section.

Catchline: Electors.

(a) Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.

(b) Any citizen who will have attained the age of eighteen years on or before the day of a regular election may apply for admission as an elector at such times and in such manner as may be prescribed by law, and, if qualified, shall become an elector on the day of his or her eighteenth birthday. Any citizen who has not yet attained the age of eighteen years but who will have attained the age of eighteen years on or before the day of a regular election, who is otherwise qualified to be an elector and who has applied for admission as an elector in such manner as may be prescribed by law, may vote in any primary election, in such manner as may be prescribed by law, held for such regular election.

ARTICLE VI: SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS, New Section.

Catchline: Primary, general, and special elections.

 

(a) A voter-nomination primary election shall be conducted to select the candidates for congressional and state elective offices in Florida. All voters may vote at a voter-nominated primary election for any candidate for congressional and state elective office without regard to the political party preference disclosed by the candidate or the voter, provided that the voter is otherwise qualified to vote for candidates for the office in question. The candidates who are the top two vote-getters at a voter-nominated primary election for a congressional or state elective office shall, regardless of party preference, compete in the ensuing general election.

(b) A candidate for a congressional or state elective office may have his or her political party preference, or lack of political party preference, indicated upon the ballot for the office in the manner provided by statute. A political party or party central committee shall not nominate a candidate for any congressional or state elective office at the voter-nominated primary. This subdivision shall not be interpreted to prohibit a political party or party central committee from endorsing, supporting, or opposing any candidate for a congressional or state elective office. A political party or party central committee shall not have the right to have its preferred candidate participate in the general election for a voter-nominated office other than a candidate who is one of the two highest vote-getters at the primary election, as provided in subdivision (a).

(c) The Legislature shall provide for partisan elections for presidential candidates, and political party and party central committees, including an open presidential primary whereby the candidates on the ballot are those found by the State to be recognized candidates throughout the nation or throughout Florida for the office of President of the United States, and those whose names are placed on the ballot by petition, but excluding any candidate who has withdrawn by filing an affidavit of noncandidacy.

(d) The voter-nomination primary elections shall be held on a Saturday of such designated month or months as the legislature shall provide by law; provided, however, no voter-nomination primary elections for any Federal, State, County, Municipal, or District office shall be held sooner than the second Saturday of March, nor later than the third Saturday of July.

ARTICLE VI: SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS, New Section.

Catchline: Electoral College.

 

(a) PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS.

(1) In compliance with the United States Constitution, the State shall have a number of presidential electors equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State is entitled in the United States Congress.

(2) Any person, who meets such qualifications as herein provided, may apply to serve as a presidential elector in any year in which the President and Vice-President of the United States are elected. No person may apply to serve as a presidential elector unless:

(I) He/she is a United States citizen

(II) He/she is a registered voter of the State of Florida.

(III) He/she is at least 18 years of age.

(IV) He/she is officially affiliated with any registered political party.

(3) There shall be established by law an electronic registration form to allow any person, who meets the aforementioned qualifications, to apply to serve as a presidential elector, to complete the said registration form online and electronically submit the completed form for examination by the proper registered political party.

(4) Each registered political party shall closely examine each and every application for presidential elector.

(5)(I) Each registered political party shall choose persons, from among the applicants, to serve as presidential electors and to fill vacancies in the office of presidential electors for their party's candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States according to the procedures established in their bylaws.

(II) Each registered political party shall choose at least one presidential elector, whenever possible, from the following age groups:

(i) first group: At least 18 years of age, but no older than 29 years of age.

(ii) second group: At least 30 years of age, but no older than 49 years of age.

(iii) third group: At least 50 years of age.

(III) Whenever possible, neither of the 2 at-large presidential electors may be from the same county or congressional district.

(IV) No public officer, justice, or judge of the State, a county, or municipality, shall be eligible to serve as a presidential elector.

(6) The highest number of votes cast for a political party's presidential and vice-presidential candidates elects the presidential electors selected by that political party.

(7) No presidential elector herein chosen shall receive any salary or other compensation for their services as presidential elector, but shall receive their necessary traveling and other expenses incurred while actually engaged in the discharge of their official duties.

(b) ELECTORAL COLLEGE.

(1) The presidential electors shall meet at the State Capitol at noon on the first Wednesday of the December after their election, or at noon of any other day designated by the Congress of the United States of America.

(2) After convening, the presidential electors shall perform their duties in conformity with the United States Constitution and laws.

(3) The 2 at-large presidential electors shall cast their respective electoral ballots for the presidential and vice-presidential candidate who received the highest number of votes in the State.

(4) Each congressional district presidential elector shall cast his/her electoral ballot for the presidential and vice-presidential candidate who received the highest number of votes in his/her congressional district.

(5) Any presidential elector who does not cast his/her electoral ballot in the manner so required under this subsection is considered to have resigned from the office of presidential elector, his or her vote may not be recorded, and the remaining presidential electors shall appoint another person to fill the vacancy