Florida Division of Elections Implements Emergency Rules – Original Signatures No Longer Required for Petitions

Krisiti Reid Willis, Chief of the Bureau of Election Records announced emergency rules allowing an exemption for the requirements of original signatures on petitions and candidates forms to minimize person to person contact.

Candidates running for office are required to collect a certain number of signed petitions in order to get on the ballot come Election Day. The deadline for turning in the petitions is later this month. The deadline for federal office was March 23rd. Covid-19 related restrictions put in place by local and state officials have made it all but impossible to get original signatures on petitions, as it requires traditionally going to large events or gathering, or door to door.

These new rules allow for candidates to email or make their petitions available digitally, and registered voters can sign them and email them back to the candidate without a face-to-face interaction.

If a candidate cannot collect the required number of petitions for their office, then they have to option to pay a filing fee instead. For US Congress, for example, the required number of petitions is 5,466 or pay a fee of $10,440.

Emergency Rule 1SER20-1– Designation of Division of Elections as Filing Office for Department of State; Requirements for Candidate Qualifying Papers; Withdrawal of Candidacy.

Removes the requirement that the qualifying items be “original[s] and signatures thereon…be made in ink” so that these items can be collected, notarized, and submitted with limited person-to-person contact. Provides for qualifying documents to be submitted via email. Notary statements on required forms will be revised accordingly.

Emergency Rule 1SER20-2 – Candidate Petition Process

Removes the requirement that the voter’s signature on a candidate petition be an “original, ink signature” so that signed petitions can be collected without person-to-person contact.

If you have questions, please contact the Division at ElecRecords@DOS.MyFlorida.com or 850-245-6280.

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