HOW TO BECOME A CANDIDATE IN FOUR EASY STEPS
STEP 1 – File Your Initial Paperwork
In order to become a candidate, you must file two forms with the office of the Supervisor of Elections:
1.) Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository Form DS-DE 9
- This form MUST be filed prior to opening the campaign depository, accepting contributions, making expenditures, or circulating petition forms.
- Filing your intent for candidacy is not complete until filing forms are accepted and date/time stamped by the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office.
- Special District Candidates are not required to file DS-DE 9 or open a campaign account unless you collect contributions or make expenditures for anything other than the qualifying fee or petition verification fee (F.S. 99.061).
2.) Statement of Candidate Form DS-DE 84
- File this form no later than 10 days after filing the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository. It is also allowable to file this form along with the DS-DE 9.
- Judicial Candidates must also file a Statement of Candidate for Judicial Office DS-DE 83.
STEP 2 – Filing Campaign Finance Reports
Once an individual has filed a DS-DE 9 and becomes a candidate for office, he or she will be required to file regular campaign treasurer reports with the qualifying officer.
- These reports provide information on campaign contributions and expenditures.
- Generally, reports are submitted monthly, but as the election gets closer, they will be reported more often.
- Campaign finance reporting deadlines are included in candidate packets and at PBCElections.org.
STEP 3 – Choose One of the following Methods to Qualify as a Candidate
1.) Pay Qualifying Fee (F.S. 99.092)
Candidates that are filing for partisan office and affiliated with a political party have a qualifying fee based on 6% of the annual salary, as of July 1, 2019, of the office sought; candidates affiliated with no party or who are seeking a nonpartisan office pay 4% of the annual salary.
FEES BY OFFICE
- County Court Judge –$ 6,072.88
- Sheriff –Partisan Candidate - $10,857.12; Nonpartisan Candidate - $7,238.08
- Clerk of the Circuit Court, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections and Tax Collector – Partisan Candidate - $10,291.50; Nonpartisan Candidate - $6,861.00
- County Commission – Partisan Candidate - $6,060.36; Nonpartisan Candidate - $4,040.24
- School Board - $1,795.68
- Port of Palm Beach – Partisan Candidate - $570.00; Nonpartisan Candidate - $380.00
- Special Districts and Community Development Districts - $25.00
2.) Petition Process Form DS-DE 104 (F.S. 99.095 & Rule 1S-2.045)
Candidates have an option to waive the qualifying fee by collecting petitions instead. The number of signatures required is based on the number of registered voters as of the immediately preceding general election.
The deadline for submitting petitions to the Supervisor of Elections for signature verification is noon, the 28th day preceding the first day of the qualifying period for the office being sought.
Click here to download the 2020 Candidate Petition Handbook provided by the Florida Division of Elections.
Click here to download Emergency Rule 1SER20-2 - Removes the requirement that the voter's signature on the candidate petition be an "original, ink signature" so that signed petitions can be collected without person-to-person contact.
PETITION SUBMISSION DEADLINES
- Judicial Candidates: Noon, Monday, March 23, 2020
- County & District Office Candidates: Noon, Monday, May 11, 2020
PETITION REQUIREMENTS BY OFFICE
- Constitutional Officers - 9,304
- Port of Palm Beach – 2,911
- Special Districts and Community Development Districts – 25
3.) Write-In Candidate (F.S. 99.061 (4))
Candidates seeking election as a write-in candidate shall not be required to pay a qualifying fee or obtain signatures on petitions. A write-in candidate in not entitled to have his or her name printed on any ballot; however, space for a write-in candidates name to be written in will be provided on the general election ballot
STEP 4 – Qualify During the Official Qualifying Period
1.) File two (2) forms with the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections office:
- Candidate Oath – Forms vary according to partisan, nonpartisan, school board and judicial offices. Your name must be printed as you wish it to appear on the ballot and it must be notarized.
- Financial Disclosure Form (Form 1 or Form 6 depending on the office sought; Form 6 must be notarized).
2.) Pay the qualifying fee or submit Official Petition Certification (exception – Write-In Candidates).
The fee must be paid by a properly executed check drawn on the campaign account. Petition Certification will be provided by the Supervisor of Elections after completion of the signature verification process.
- Judicial Candidates: Noon, Monday, April 20, 2020 – Noon, Friday, April 24, 2020.
- Constitutional, County, & District Offices: Noon, Monday, June 8, 2020 – Noon, Friday, June 12, 2020.
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Main Office – 240 South Military Trail, West Palm Beach FL 33415; firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, please contact the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office at 561-656-6200.
Candidates, Political Committees and Political Party Executive Committees are required to submit regular financial reports that include contributions and expenditures, following the deadlines specified by the Florida Division of Elections:
Candidates 2020 Cycle
Committees 2020 Cycle
Parties 2020 Cycle
Candidates 2022 Cycle
These reports are also known as Campaign Finance Reports and should be submitted to our office electronically. A Handbook for Candidates and Committees has step by step information on How to File Financial Reports Online.
Once you file for office, you will be listed as a candidate on our 2020 Announced Candidate page and your financial reports will be publicly posted on our website.
More information about Filing and Qualifying can be found on the Florida Division of Elections website.