Elections
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ELECTION FAQ's

  • For Candidates
    • Filing To Run For Office
      • What are the residency requirements for candidates?
        • Candidates for mayor shall be residents of the city for at least one (1) year prior to qualifying and shall be electors therein. Further, candidates for the city commission shall have resided within the district at least one (1) year before qualifying and be electors in that district, and shall maintain residence in that district for the duration of their term of office.
      • Do I have to designate a campaign treasurer and depository before I make public my intention to run for office?
        • No. Nothing in the election laws prohibits a person from announcing their intention to become a candidate prior to designating a treasurer or depository as long as no contributions are received and no expenditures are made in connection with that announcement.
      • What do I file to run for Office?
        • Submit, in person, original signed copies of DS-DE9 (Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Candidates) and within 10 days the DS-DE84 (Statement of Candidate) to the Office of the City Clerk located at Miami City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive in Coconut Grove
    • Qualifying Period for Candidates
      • When is the Qualifying Period for Candidates?
        • The Qualifying Period for the November 2015 General Municipal Election is presently scheduled to begin on Friday, August 16, 2015 and end at 6:00 PM on Saturday, September 21, 2015.
      • What is required to qualify as a candidate?
        • To become a qualified candidate for Commissioner you must be a registered voter and a resident the Commission District for which you are running for 1 year prior to qualifying.

          Candidates must, at the time of qualifying, pay a Qualifying Fee (consisting of a Filing Fee of $100 and a State Assessment Fee of $582 for Commissioner, $1,500 for Mayor) payable with a check from a campaign account.

          At the time of qualifying, all candidates must also present proof of residence (i.e., copy of deed, lease, mortgage, utility bill, etc.) for one year prior to qualifying date and the present time. Please remember to bring picture identification, voter's registration card and campaign check.
          For More Information .
      • Petitions in Lieu of Qualifying Fee?
        • Before collecting any signatures, all candidates must file the DS-DE9 (Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Candidates) with the Office of the City Clerk.

          The signed petitions representing at least one percent (1%) of the geographical area of the office being sought, must be submitted before noon of the 28th day preceding the first day of the qualifying period for the office sought to the Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections.
      • Resign to Run?
        • The “resign-to-run law” essentially prohibits an elected or appointed “officer” from qualifying as a candidate for another state, district, county or municipal public office if the terms or any part of the terms overlap with each other if the person did not resign from the office the person presently holds.

          An employee of the City of Miami (other than city manager, city attorney, independent auditor general or city clerk) shall take a leave of absence, without pay from his/her employment during the period he/she is seeking election to public office

          A member of a city board of the City of Miami, Florida (other than a city commissioner or mayor), member shall resign to run.
          For More Information
    • Campaign Finance and Reporting
      • Who is responsible for keeping track and reporting campaign contributions and expenditures?
        • The Campaign Treasurer designated on the DS-DE9 (Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Candidates).

          The Candidate may appoint himself/herself as the Campaign Treasurer

          A Deputy Treasure may file a campaign finance report, but the Treasurer is still responsible for the completeness and accuracy of the report
      • When are Campaign Finance Reports to be filed?
        • Campaign Finance Reports shall be filed on the 10th day following the end of each month from the time the campaign treasurer is appointed. If the 10th day is a holiday or weekend, the report will be filed on the next business day.

          Following the last day of qualifying for office, the reports shall be filed bi-weekly, with additional reports due the 25th day, the 11th day and the 4th day immediately preceding the election.
          Campaign Reporting Schedule.
      • Late Report?
        • A report is deemed late if it is filed past 5:00 PM on the day that it is due. A report that is received by a postal service, that has been postmarked before midnight on the due date is deemed timely.

          The fine for a late report is $50 per day for the first 3 days late and, thereafter, $500 per day for each late day, not to exceed 25% of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater for the period covered by the late report. However, for reports immediately preceding the election, the fine shall be $500 per day for each day, not to exceed 25% of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late report.
      • Change of Treasurer?
        • To change a Treasurer, or Deputy Treasurer, File a DS-DE9 (Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Candidates) with the Office of the City Clerk along with a copy of the letter of resignation or removal. Make sure to check the box for "Re-Appointment".
      • Contribution Limits?
        • No person*, political committee, or committee of continuous existence may, in any election, make contributions** in excess of $1,000 to any candidate per election. Cash contributions are limited to $50 from any person*.

          A person* may not make any contribution** through or in the name of another, directly or indirectly, in any election. Candidates may not solicit contributions from any religious, charitable, civic, or other causes or organizations established primarily for the public good.

          * A "person” means an individual or a corporation, association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock company, club, organization, estate, trust, business trust, syndicate, or other combination of individuals having collective capacity. The term includes a political party, political committee, or committee of continuous existence.

          ** A “contribution” is a gift, subscription, conveyance, deposit, loan, payment, or distribution of money or anything of value, including contributions in kind having an attributable monetary value in any form, made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election or making an electioneering communication.
  • For Committees
    • What is a Committee?
      • Political Committee?
        • A Political Committee is created to support or oppose any candidate, issue, other political committee or political party. A sponsor of a municipal initiative or referendum must be a Political Committee if contributions/expenditures exceed $500.
      • Committee of Continuous Existence?
        •  2013 House Bill 569 revokes the certification of all CCEs, prohibits any CCE from accepting any contribution as of August 1, 2013, and requires all current CCEs to have a zero balance by September 30, 2013.
      • Electioneering Communication Organization?
        • An Electioneering Communication Organization's election-related activates are limited to making expenditures for electioneering communications or accepting contributions for the purpose of making electioneering communications.

          This organization may not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate.
    • Creating and Closing the Committee
      • When to file as Committee?
        • A combination of two or more individuals (including organizations) must file as a committee and submit campaign reports when during a calendar year, in excess of $500 aggregate, if they accept contributions or make expenditures to expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate or issue; contribute to any candidate, committee or political party.
      • Where to file committee filing documents?
        • Political Committees and Electioneering Communication Organization submit their initial filing documents and finance reports to the Office of the City Clerk at Miami City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive, in Coconut Grove, if the committee supports or opposes only City of Miami candidates/issues.

          Otherwise initial filings and reports are filed with either the Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections or the State of Florida Division of Elections.

      • What to file?
        • Committees file the original complete and signed DS-DE5 (Statement of Organization), DS-DE6 (Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Political Committees (not required for ECO), and DS-DE41 (Registered Agent Statement of Appointment.)
      • Closing the Committee?
        • Notify the Office of the City Clerk as soon as possible.

          Any remaining funds can be disbursed pursuant to the section relating to disposal of residual funds on the DS-DE5 (Statement of Organization)
    • Campaign Finance and Reporting
      • Who is responsible for keeping track and reporting contributions and expenditures?
        • The Campaign Treasurer designated on the DS-DE6 (Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Political Committees).
      • When are Finance Reports to be filed?
        • Campaign Finance Reports shall be filed on the 10th day following the end of each month from the time the campaign treasurer is appointed. If the 10th day is a holiday or weekend, the report will be filed on the next business day.

          Following the last day of qualifying for office, the reports shall be filed bi-weekly with additional reports due the 25th day, the 11th day and the 4th day immediately preceding the election.
          Campaign Reporting Schedule.
      • Late Report?
        • A report is deemed late if it is filed past 5:00 PM on the day that it is due. A report that is received by a postal service, that has been postmarked before midnight on the due date is deemed timely.

          The fine for a late report is $50 per day for the first 3 days late and, thereafter, $500 per day for each late day, not to exceed 25% of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater for the period covered by the late report. However, for reports immediately preceding the election, the fine shall be $500 per day for each day, not to exceed 25% of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late report.
      • Change of Treasurer?
        • To change a Treasurer, or Deputy Treasurer, File a DS-DE6 (Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Political Committees) with the Office of the City Clerk along with a copy of the letter of resignation or removal. Make sure to check the box for "Re-Appointment".
      • Contribution Limits?
        • There is no limit on the amount that can be contributed to a political committee supporting or opposing a candidate or an issue. (Section 106.08, F.S.)
  • For An Initiative or A Referendum
    • Initiative
      • What is an Initiative?
        • An Initiative is the power given to ELECTORS of the City to adopt ORDINANCES either through the Commission or at the polls in an election process. Ordinances relating to subjects that would be precluded by law are excluded.
      • How does one begin the Initiative process?
        • Any five (5) registered voters of the City may begin the process by filing an affidavit with the Office of the City Clerk. The affidavit will state that the five electors will constitute the committee of the petition and be responsible for circulating the petition and filing it in proper form.

          Please note: If the Committee expects to receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of $500 in a calendar year, the Committees will need to file the original complete and signed DS-DE5 (Statement of Organization), DS-DE6 (Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Political Committees), and DS-DE41 (Registered Agent Statement of Appointment).
      • How many signatures are needed?
        • Signatures of ten percent (10%) of the electors of the City registered at the last general municipal election are required for initiative petitions.

          All papers pertaining to any one ordinance shall be filed with the Office of the City Clerk.
      • Where is there more information regarding the Initiative process?
    • Referendum
      • What is a Referendum?
        • A Referendum provides electors with the power to approve or reject at the polls any measure passes by the City Commission or measure submitted by the City Commission to a vote of the electors.

          Measures relating to subjects that would be precluded by law are excluded.
      • How does one begin the Referendum process?
        • Any five (5) registered voters of the City may begin the Referendum process by filing an affidavit with the Office of the City Clerk. The affidavit will state that the five electors will constitute the committee of the petition and be responsible for circulating the petition and filing it in proper form.

          Please note: If the Committee expects to receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of $500 in a calendar year, the Committees will need to file the original complete and signed DS-DE5 (Statement of Organization), DS-DE6 (Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Political Committees), and DS-DE41 (Registered Agent Statement of Appointment).
      • How many signatures are needed?
        • Signatures of fifteen percent (15%) of the electors of the City registered at the last general municipal election are required for initiative petitions.

          All papers pertaining to any one ordinance shall be filed with the Office of the City Clerk.
      • Where is there more information regarding the Referendum process?

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