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FAQ - Minor Political Parties

Webpage last updated: May 25, 2022

  1. What is a minor political party?
    • In Florida, a minor political party is defined as a group specified in section 103.095, Florida Statutes which on January 1 preceding a primary election has less than 5% of the registered voters of the state. (Section 97.021(20), Florida Statutes)
  2. Who can become a minor political party in Florida?
    • Any group of citizens organized for the general purpose of electing to office qualified persons and determining public issues under the democratic processes of the United States may become a minor political party.  (Section 97.021(20), Florida Statutes)
  3. How does a group become registered as a minor political party in Florida?
    • The process and requirements for becoming a minor political party in Florida is set forth in law.  The requisite documentation and information must be submitted to the Division of Elections, Department of State, R.A. Gray Building, Room 316, 500 S. Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250. (See Section 103.095, Florida Statutes)
    • Once received, the Division will review the documentation for legal sufficiency and notify the group if the party is approved as a minor political party in Florida. Once approved, the Division shall process the voter registration applications submitted by the members of the executive committee of the minor political party.
    • Recognition of the group in Florida as a minor political party does not mean the group is recognized as a party in other states or at the federal level.
  4. Is there a special form or format for a group to request recognition as a minor political party?
    • No; however, the laws envision the group who is requesting recognition as a minor political party to file a signed document along the lines of:
      • I certify the following: 
      • (1)  The name of the minor political party is the _____________ Party. 
      • (2) The current officers of this party are:  (list name, party office, and address of each officer – the officers must at least include a chair, vice-chair, secretary, and treasurer with all being different individuals, except the secretary and treasurer may be the same person.  All must be registered members of the minor political party).
      • (3) The members of the party’s executive committee are:  (list name, party position, and address of each member; of the executive committee.)
      • Attached are copies of the party’s constitution, bylaws, and rules/regulations.  Also attached are the voter registration applications for each of the party’s officers and members of its executive committee reflecting their desired membership in the party. ___________________________________ (Authorized party officer’s signature)
    • To constitute a “group,” the party organizers must consist of more than one person.  While the same person may occupy the offices of the party’s treasurer and secretary on its executive committee, separate persons must be the chair and vice chair.
    • The party’s officers and the members of its executive committee may be the same people, but the listing of the party’s officers and executive committee members must conform to the requirements as set forth in party’s constitution bylaws, and rules.
  5. Are there any statutory requirements that must be contained in the party’s constitution, bylaws, rules, or regulations?
    • Yes. The requirements can be found in Section 103.095(2), Florida Statutes.
  6. Does the party have to submit anything else to the Division of Elections after the Division approves its registration?
    • The Division will provide the party a letter acknowledging its registration and the letter will inform the party about registration on the state’s campaign electronic finance reporting system, which the party must use in filing periodic campaign finance reports.  The party must report its contributions and expenditures pursuant to Section 106.29, Florida Statutes, on at least a quarterly basis, and on a more expedited schedule before a primary or general election.  The party’s chair and treasurer must certify to the correctness of each report; any chair or treasurer who certifies a report knowing it is incorrect, false, or incomplete commits a felony. (Sections 106.0705 and 106.29,, Florida Statutes)
  7. Are there restrictions on how a political party can use its contributions?
    • Yes.  The officers of the political party must become familiar with Chapter 106, Florida Statutes (Campaign Finance), regarding limitations on the party’s contributions and expenditures.  Please refer to the applicable campaign finance handbook on the Division of Elections’ webpage for publications.  See also e.g., (Sections 106.08 and 106.29, Florida Statutes)For specific questions, please submit inquiries to [email protected].
  8. If the party’s officers, executive committee members, or its constitution or bylaws change, does the party have to notify the Division of Elections?
    • Yes.  If changes occur that reflect a change in the party’s original filing certificate, the party must notify the Division of Elections within 5 days of the change. (Section 103.095(4), Florida Statutes)
  9. Who is responsible for advertising that the minor political party is a political party operating in Florida?
    • The Division of Elections will notify each of the county supervisors of elections regarding the recognition of the newly created political party and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles who in turn will notify all offices issuing driver licenses and state identification cards since those offices offer individuals the opportunity to submit voter registration information.  The Division also will list the minor political party on its political party webpage; however, the party has the sole responsibility to recruit members for the party and have voters register in the party. 
    • If the party collects voter registration applications to recruit persons to register as a member of the party, the party must comply with the third-party voter registration organization law in Section 97.0575, Florida Statutes.  For information about becoming a third-party voter registration organization, please consult the Division’s 3PVRO webpage.
  10. Do candidates who qualify as candidates from a minor political party pay a party assessment?
    • It is the minor party’s discretion to levy a party assessment on its candidates. If levied, the assessment equates to 2% of the annual salary of the office being sought (Section 99.092, Florida Statutes).  The minor political party must inform the Division of Election if it wants the qualifying officer to levy the party assessment, which the qualifying officer will subsequently remit to the party.
  11. Will minor political party candidates appear on primary election ballots?
    • If more than one candidate from the minor political party has qualified for the same office, the names of the candidates will appear on the ballot and only registered members of the minor political party will be permitted to vote for the candidates.  If only one candidate has qualified for the office, the candidate’s name will not be on the primary ballot, but will appear on the general election ballot.
  12. How does a minor political party terminate its status as a minor political party?
    • The authorized party officer provides to the Division of Elections a signed letter indicating that it is withdrawing or terminating its political party status in Florida.  The Division will acknowledge the termination and remove the party from its list of authorized minor political parties in Florida.
  13. Can the party’s status as a political party be terminated involuntarily?
    • Yes. See Rule 1S-2.050 for the possible termination reasons and procedures.  The political party has the right to appeal its termination to the Florida Elections Commission. (Section 103.095(5), Florida Statutes)
  14. If I have questions, who do I contact about becoming a minor political party?
    • Call the Division of Elections, Bureau of Election Records, at 850-245-6240 or email questions to [email protected]. The Division can answer procedural questions, but cannot offer legal advice to any group desiring to form as a minor political party.