Election Definitions


As with any business, there are terms that are used specifically with elections, candidates and the voting process, which may have a slightly different meaning than when used outside the industry. Some of the terms are outlined below:

Candidates

Announced Candidate: Any person who has made a public announcement of his/her intent to run for office. Must not accept any contributions or expend funds until he/she becomes a filed candidate.

Filed Candidate: Any person who has appointed a campaign treasurer, designated a financial institution for the purpose of depositing campaign contributions, and filed Form DSDE 9 - Appointment of Campaign Treasurer, with the Supervisor of Elections. Campaign can now accept contributions and expend funds. Within 10 days of filing, must file Form DSDE 84 - Statement of Candidate. Treasurer's reports are due on quarterly basis until qualifying.

Qualified Candidate: Any person who files all of the required forms with the Supervisor of Elections during the qualifying period. Candidate's name will be printed on ballot.

Write-in Candidate: Any person seeking election by write-in. Must file forms with the Supervisor of Elections during the qualifying period. Name will not be printed on the ballot. Space will be provided on ballot for write-in candidate. Candidate must educate voters to write in the candidate's name in the space provided on the General Election Ballot.

Voting Equipment, Locations, and Process

Department: Means the Department of State.

Division: Means the Division of Elections of the Department of State.

Early Voting: Casting a ballot prior to Election Day at a location designated by the Supervisor of Elections and depositing the voted ballot in the tabulation system.

Early Voting Area: The area at which early voting activities occur.

Early Voting Center: The location and building in which early voting occurs.

Election: Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election or presidential preference primary election.

Election Board: The Manager and inspectors appointed to conduct an election. This includes all poll workers serving a precinct on Election Day, with the only exception being the polling deputy, who is not a member of the Election Board.

Elector: Synonymous with the word "voter" or "qualified elector or voter," except where the word is used to describe presidential electors.

General Election: An election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in the even-numbered years, for the purpose of filling national, state, county, and district offices and for voting on constitutional amendments not otherwise provided for by law.

NVRA: National Voter Registration Application forms, also known as VR Apps - Voter Registration Application forms.

Overseas Voter: Members of the uniformed services while in the active service who are permanent residents of the state and are temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia; members of the Merchant Marine of the United States who are permanent residents of the state and are temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia; and/or other citizens of the United States who are permanent residents of the state and are temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia - who are qualified and registered to vote as provided by law.

Overvote: The elector marks or designates more names than there are persons to be elected to an office or designates more than one answer to a ballot question, and the tabulator records no vote for the office or question.

Polling Place: The building which contains the polling room where ballots are cast.

Precinct: The board of county commissioners in each county, upon recommendation and approval of the supervisor, shall alter or create precincts for voting in the county. Each precinct shall be numbered and, as nearly as practicable, composed of contiguous and compact areas. The supervisor shall designate a polling place at a suitable location within each precinct. (F.S. 101.001)

Primary Election: An election held preceding the general election for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted for in the general election to fill a national, state, county, or district office.

Provisional Ballot: A conditional ballot, the validity of which is determined by the Canvassing Board.

Public Office: Any federal, state, county, municipal, school, or other district office or position which is filled by vote of the electors.

Solicitors: Candidates, campaign supporters, petitioners, and news media, allowed only outside the 100 foot radius.

Special Election: A special election called for the purpose of voting on a party nominee to fill a vacancy in the national, state, county, or district office.

Special Primary Election: A special nomination election designated by the Governor, called for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted on in a general or special election.

Supervisor: Means the Supervisor of Elections.

Undervote: The elector does not properly designate any choice for an office or ballot question, and the tabulator records no vote for the office or question.

Universal Primary: Florida constitution provides that if all candidates in a state or federal election have the same party affiliation and the winner will have no opposition in the general election, all qualified voters, regardless of party affiliation, may vote in the primary election for that office

Unitary: In a consolidated government election, a single primary election is held with a single
ballot for all voters within each electoral district, regardless of political party affiliation. Candidates appear on the ballot with party labels and campaign as party candidates. Any candidate winning a majority of votes in the primary is elected; if no candidate for a position wins a majority, the general election serves as a runoff between the top two winners, regardless of party affiliation.

VR Apps: Voter Registration Application forms, also known as NVRA - National Voter Registration Application forms.

Voting Booth: The booth or enclosure wherein an elector casts his/her ballot for tabulation by an electronic or electromechanical device.

Voting System: A method of casting and processing votes that functions wholly or partly by use of electromechanical or electronic apparatus or by use of marksense ballots and includes, but is not limited to, the procedures for casting and processing votes and the programs, operating manuals, supplies, printouts, and other software necessary for the system's operation. 

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