Common Violations & Appeals
The Commission has jurisdiction over violations of Chapters 104 and 106 of the Florida Statutes. Section 106.25(3), Florida Statutes, provides that "[f]or the purposes of commission jurisdiction, a violation shall mean the willful performance of an act prohibited by this chapter or chapter 104 or the willful failure to perform an act required by this chapter or chapter 104." Section 106.265, Florida Statutes, authorizes the Commission to impose a fine not to exceed $1,000 per violation. There are also several enhanced penalty provisions in Chapter 106, Florida Statutes.
This page contains information on the following:
- common violations in Chapter 104 and Chapter 106,
- the appeal of automatic fines,
- the appeals associated with the dissolution or decertification of committees, and
- the appeal of fines by members of county canvassing boards.
Common Violations in Chapter 104There are over 60 separate violations in Chapter 104, Florida Statutes. Those violations include the following:
- Prohibiting a person from falsely swearing an oath in connection with or arising out of voting or elections.
- Prohibiting any official from refusing or neglecting to perform his duty as prescribed in the Florida Election Code.
- Prohibiting a person from giving or promising anything of value to a person intending to buy that person's vote.
- Prohibiting a candidate from giving, paying, expending, or contributing any money or other thing of value to any other candidate.
- Prohibiting a person who knows that he is not a qualified elector from voting in any election.
- Prohibiting a person from voting or attempting to vote both in person and by absentee ballot in any election.
§104.17 and 104.18, F.S.
- Prohibiting a person from knowingly signing a petition or petitions for a candidate, a minor political party, or an issue more than one time.
- Prohibiting a candidate from falsely and maliciously charging that an opposing candidate violated a provision of the Florida Election Code.
- Prohibiting a candidate from making false factual statements with malice about an opposing candidate.
- Prohibiting a person from aiding, abetting, or advising another person to violate the Election Code.
Common Violations in Chapter 106There are almost 100 separate violations in Chapter 106, Florida Statutes. The most common violations are as follows:
- Prohibiting a candidate or political committee from accepting contributions or making expenditures prior to appointing a campaign treasurer and designating a campaign depository.
- Failure of a political committee to file a statement of organization.
- Failure of the treasurer of a candidate or political committee to file regular reports of all contributions received, and all expenditures made, by or on behalf of the candidate or political committee.
- Prohibiting a campaign treasurer, candidate, or political committee chair from certifying a campaign treasurer's report as true, correct, and complete when it is not.
- Failure of a person who makes independent expenditures of $5,000 or more to file periodic reports of the expenditures.
- Prohibiting a person, political committee, or committee of continuous existence from making contributions to a candidate or political committee in excess of $500 for each election.
- Prohibiting a candidate from accepting contributions from national, state, and county executive committees and their subordinate committees in excess of $50,000 prior to the general election. (There are larger limits for candidates for statewide office.)
- Failure of a person to prominently mark all political advertisements with a proper political disclaimer.
- Prohibiting a person or organization from accepting a contribution in excess of $500 for each election.
- Prohibiting the expenditure of campaign funds that have already been obligated.
Appeal of Automatic FinesThe Commission hears appeals from candidates, committees, or political parties regarding fines automatically imposed for the late-filing of its campaign treasurer's reports. Section 106.04(9)(a), Florida Statutes, provides that a committee of continuous existence that fails to timely file its campaign treasurer's report on the designated due date is subject to an automatic fine. Section 106.07(8)(a), Florida Statutes, provides that a candidate or political committee that fails to timely file is also subject to an automatic fine. Finally, Section 106.29(3)(a), Florida Statutes, provides that a state or county executive committee of a political party is automatically fined for each day its report is late. Rule 2B-1.005, Florida
Amount of the FinesA committee of continuous existence is charged $500 per day for each late day, not to exceed 25% of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater. Candidates and political committees are charged $50 for the first three days late and, thereafter, $500 per day for each day late, not to exceed 25% of the total receipts and expenditures, whichever is greater. However, for the reports immediately preceding each primary and general election, the fine is $500 per day. A county executive committee is charged $50 per day and a state executive committee is charged $1,000 per day for each day its report is late, not to exceed 25% of total receipts and expenditures, whichever is greater. However, if executive committees fail to file a report on the Friday immediately preceding the general election, the fine is $500 per day for county executive committees and $10,000 per day for state executive committees. The candidate or committee may appeal or dispute the fine and request a hearing before the Commission.
Appeal of Dissolution or Decertification of CommitteesThe Commission hears appeals of dissolution of a political committee by its filing officer and decertification of a committee of continuous existence by the Division of Elections. The committee must provide the Commission with documentation supporting its claim. The Commission's determination after hearing is final agency action.
If you have any questions about the procedures for remitting the 1% Election Assessments, please contact our agency at (850) 922-4539.