Frequently Asked Questions

How does a person become a candidate?

To become a candidate, official forms must be filed with the appropriate filing officer.


Filing Officers:

  • Division of Elections for State, Multi-County, District and Judicial offices (except County Court Judges)
  • Osceola County Supervisor of Elections for County Court Judge, municipal and County-wide offices

Is filing and qualifying the same?  No. Filing is when you submit your initial paperwork to the appropriate official listed above, before you can begin collecting petition signatures and/or campaign contributions.  Qualifying is when you complete all of the requirements during Qualifying Week. 

When can party changes be made for a person seeking office? A party change can be made 1 year before the beginning of qualifying preceding the general election for which the person seeks to qualify. Florida Statute 99.021(b)(2)

When are campaign treasurer reports due?  Reports shall be filed on the 10th day following the end of each calendar quarter.  View a list of reporting dates.

When may I announce my candidacy? You may announce your candidacy anytime.  However, Florida Statute 106.02 requires that you file a DS-DE 9 with your qualifying official before you can accept or expend any money.

Do I have to designate a treasurer and open a campaign account before I can collect petition signatures? Yes.  The DS-DE 9 must be filed with the appropriate qualifying officer before collecting petition signatures.

Do I have to state my party affiliation in my advertisements when I am seeking a partisan office? Yes.  Generally, political advertisements must include: name, office sought, party affiliation and the political disclaimer.  In addition, if you are not the incumbent seeking office, you must use the word “for” between your name and the office you are seeking.

What information must be included in the political disclaimer? Political ad paid for by the name of the candidate. “Political advertisement paid for and approved by (name of candidate), (party affiliation), for (office sought).” This does not apply to messages used by the candidate if these messages are designed to be worn by a person.

What is an in-kind contribution? An in-kind contribution is anything of value for the purpose of influencing an election.  In-kind contributions are subject to the contribution limit.  In-kind contributions are not actual money but rather goods or services provided that have a monetary value attached to them such as: printing services, wood for signs, office space, office equipment, etc.  

I have tried to balance my report and am unable to, may I submit it anyway? It is your responsibility to submit a balanced report.  Keep in mind checks: checks that have not been added, checks that have not cleared, and bank charges or service charges that have not been applied.  You may contact us with any questions.  

If I filed but did not qualify, must I still submit a Termination Report?  Yes.  Per Division of Elections, you are required to submit a termination report 90 days after the last day of qualifying.   

If I am closing my account and have money left over, what should I do?  You should read Chapter 106 as it pertains to closing out your account and any money left over. 

*If you qualified by the petition method and have money left over you may be required to pay the petition verification fee and election assessment . 

I had no contributions or expenditures; may I submit a waiver for my Termination Report? No, you will need to show your account at zero balance.