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(1), 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 and,
- appeals associated with the dissolution of committees.
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 from aiding, abetting, or advising another person to violate the Florida Election Code.
- 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.
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 or political committee from making contributions to a candidate in excess of $1,000 for each election. (There are larger limits for candidates for statewide office.)
- Prohibiting a candidate from accepting contributions from national, state, and county executive committees and their subordinate committees in excess of $50,000. (There are larger limits for candidates for statewide office.)
- Prohibiting the expenditure of campaign funds that have already been obligated.
- 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 $1,000 for each election.
Appeal of Automatic FinesThe Commission hears appeals regarding fines automatically imposed for the late-filing of campaign treasurer's reports. 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. 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. Electioneering communications organizations are also subject to automatic fines under Section 106.703(7)(a), Florida Statutes. The appealing party may request a hearing before the Commission.
Amount of the FinesCandidates, political committees, and electioneering communication organizations 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 or 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 or 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.
Appeal of DissolutionThe Commission hears appeals of dissolution of a political committees, electioneering communications organizations, and political parties by its filing officer. The appealing party must provide the Commission with documentation supporting its claim.
If you have any questions about the procedures for remitting the 1% Election Assessments, please contact our agency at (850) 922-4539.