OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of State

Elections

What is the purpose of the division?

The Division of Elections provides administrative support to the Secretary of State, Florida's Chief Election Officer, to ensure that Florida has fair and accurate elections. The division is responsible for uniform interpretation and implementation of Florida's election laws and for promoting public participation in the electoral process.

How often are elections held in Florida?

At the federal level, primary and general elections are held in November every even-numbered year. The major state and county elections are held in even-numbered years.  County referenda, special district, and city elections may be held during the odd-numbered years.  In addition, the Governor calls special elections when necessary to fill vacancies created by deaths, resignations, removals, etc.

Who is responsible for the administration of elections?

County supervisors of elections, who are elected constitutional officers in all but one county, are primarily responsible for registering voters, establishing voting precincts, and administering elections. These officials use local, state, and federal funds for these functions.  Each county also has a canvassing board, which is responsible for certifying and transferring the results of state and federal elections to the Division of Elections.

What are the division's responsibilities?

The division has a limited role in the administration of elections and works with other governmental entities to fulfill these local, state, and federal responsibilities.
  • Election Law Compliance. The division issues advisory opinions that provide statewide coordination and direction for interpreting and implementing election law provisions.  The division also qualifies state and federal candidates and is the filing officer for campaign finance reports for federal, state, and multicounty candidates; political committees; and state political parties.  
  • Elections Administration. Although counties have primary responsibility for administering elections, the division also has a limited role. County canvassing boards file certified county election results with the Division of Elections. The division tabulates the certified results from each county and provides statewide vote totals to Florida's Elections Canvassing Commission, which is responsible for certifying the state and federal election results.In addition, the division certifies all voting systems used in Florida and prescribes ballot instructions and overall ballot layout for each voting system through adoption of an administrative rule.
  • Voter Participation. The division promotes participation in elections by conducting National Voter Registration Act workshops for agencies that are required to provide voter registration assistance. It operates and maintains Florida's statewide voter registration system, the official list of all registered voters in the state. The division is also responsible for assisting Supervisors of Elections with the voter registration and removal process and identifying potentially ineligible voters.

How is the division organized?

The Division of Elections is organized into a director's office and three bureaus.
  • Director's Office is responsible for the statewide coordination and direction for the interpretation and enforcement of election laws, as required by Florida statutes, and to provide supervision to the division's bureaus. In addition, the office contains Help America Vote Act and the national Voter Registration Acts units.
  • Bureau of Election Records handles candidate and political committee filings, including campaign finance and qualifying papers.  The bureau also processes commissions of office for elected officials on behalf of the Governor.
  • Bureau of Voter Registration coordinates and manages the official statewide voter registration system including assisting supervisors of election with voter registration and voter removal processes.
  • Bureau of Voting Systems Certification implements Florida's voting systems certification standards for all voting systems in Florida and provides technical assistance to county supervisors of elections on voting systems. 

How are these activities funded?

The division is funded through general revenue funds and Federal Grants Trust Fund. The Federal Grants Trust Fund revenues for the division come from federal Help America Vote Act funds.
Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions
PROGRAM: ELECTIONS
ELECTIONS
36,730,851
52.00
TOTAL
36,730,851
52.00

Updates

Voter Registration List Maintenance Program.  In December 2019, Florida joined an interstate cross-check program with the nongovernmental entity, Electronic Information Registration Center (ERIC)This membership provides list maintenance programs to assist participating states to improve the accuracy of their voter rolls through data match identification of problematic registrations and to increase access to voter registration for eligible but unregistered citizens. Before the 2020 General Election and every federal general election thereafter, the state will conduct a mail outreach to all eligible but unregistered voters to promote voter participation in the electoral process.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 15, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 111, 116, 117, and 119, and s. 20.10, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Maria Matthews, Esq., Director, email:  maria.matthews@dos.myflorida.com

Amber Marconnet, Assistant Director, email:  amber.marconnet@dos.myflorida.com

Division of Elections, 850-245-6200, email:  DivElections@dos.state.fl.us or contact online

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