Florida Department of State

  • Room 316, R.A. Gray Building
  • 500 South Bronough Street
  • Tallahassee, Fl 32399-0250
  • (850)245-6200

Division of Elections

Constitutional Amendments & Initiative Petitions Frequently Asked Questions

Click on Question below to jump to the answer.

  1. How many signatures does it take to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot?
  2. Do I have to set up a committee first?
  3. Is there a fee for filing as a political committee or to set up an initiative petition?
  4. Is there a certain number of words I can use for my ballot title and ballot summary?
  5. Can we print our petition in Spanish?
  6. How many initiative petitions can one political committee support?
  7. How long does it take the Division of Elections to approve the format of the petition?
  8. Does the Division of Elections have the authority to reject an initiative petition?
  9. If the petition is changed, do we have to get a new approval?
  10. Does the committee submit the original signed petitions to the Division of Elections for verification?
  11. How much do the Supervisors of Elections charge to check petitions?
  12. What is the deadline for submitting petitions for an initiative to be placed on the next general election ballot.
  13. If the committee pays a person to solicit signatures on an initiative petition, may the committee file an Affidavit of Undue Burden to have signatures verified at no charge?
  14. How long is a petition good for?
  15. How or when do you decide to send the proposed initiative to the Attorney General?
  16. When is the petition sent to the Supreme Court for review?
  17. How long does it take the Supreme Court to decide whether or not to put an initiative on the ballot?
  18. Can you change a statutory provision with an initiative petition?

Questions with answers

  1. How many signatures does it take to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot?
  2. It takes signatures from eight percent of the number of voters voting in the last presidential election to place a citizen initiative on the general election ballot. Eight percent of the number of voters voting in the 2012 presidential election is 683,149. That number must come from at least 14 of the 27 congressional districts.Back

  3. Do I have to set up a committee first?
  4. Yes. An individual or group which wants to sponsor an initiative must be registered as a political committee with the Division of Elections.Back

  5. Is there a fee for filing as a political committee or to set up an initiative petition?
  6. NoBack

  7. Is there a certain number of words I can use for my ballot title and ballot summary?
  8. Yes. Ballot titles can be no more than 15 words in length. Ballots summaries can be no more than 75 words in length. Rule 1S-2.009, F.A.C. provides rules on determining word count.Back

  9. Can we print our petition in Spanish?
  10. Yes. However, the Division of Elections does not proof it; that is the committee’s responsibility.Back

  11. How many initiative petitions can one political committee support?
  12. There is no limit. However, when circulating the petitions, each petition must be separate. Petitions cannot be attached or bundled together.Back

  13. How long does it take the Division of Elections to approve the format of the petition?
  14. The Division will approve the petition format within 7 days of receipt.Back

  15. Does the Division of Elections have the authority to reject an initiative petition?
  16. Yes. If the petition does not comply with the petition format requirements, (see Rule 1S-2.009, F.A.C.) the Division will reject the petition.Back

  17. If the petition is changed, do we have to get a new approval?
  18. Yes. Any changes to a previously approved petition must be submitted to the Division for review. Changes to the text, ballot title, ballot summary, punctuation, layout, or to the political disclaimer. Any material change constitutes a request for approval of a new petition form and the committee must start over with the collection of signatures.Back

  19. Does the committee submit the original signed petitions to the Division of Elections for verification?
  20. No. The signed petitions are submitted by the sponsoring political committee to the Supervisors of Elections. The Supervisors of Elections will notify the Division the number of valid signatures once verified.Back

  21. How much do the Supervisors of Elections charge to check petitions?
  22. The charge for checking petitions is 10 cents per name, or the actual cost of checking a signature, whichever is less.Back

  23. What is the deadline for submitting petitions for an initiative to be placed on the next general election ballot.
  24. For the 2014 general election, all signature verifications must be recorded no later than February 1, 2014.Back

  25. If the committee pays a person to solicit signatures on an initiative petition, may the committee file an Affidavit of Undue Burden to have signatures verified at no charge?
  26. If the committee uses a paid petition circulator, an undue burden oath may not be filed in lieu of paying the signature verification fee. See Section 106.191, Florida Statutes.Back

  27. How long is a petition good for?
  28. A political committee may continue for years and there is no time limit. However, a signature on a petition is good for only two years from the date signed.Back

  29. How or when do you decide to send the proposed initiative to the Attorney General?
  30. When the political committee has obtained ten percent of the eight percent required for ballot position, it is automatically forwarded to the Attorney General’s office. For the 2014 election that number is 68,314 and must come from at least seven congressional districts.Back

  31. When is the petition sent to the Supreme Court for review?
  32. The Attorney General will forward the petition to the Supreme Court for review within 30 days of receiving it from the Division of Elections.Back

  33. How long does it take the Supreme Court to decide whether or not to put an initiative on the ballot?
  34. The Supreme Court must render their written opinion no later than April 1 of the year in which the initiative is to be submitted to the voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 5, Florida Constitution.Back

  35. Can you change a statutory provision with an initiative petition?
  36. No. Florida law only provides for amendments to the Florida Constitution by the initiative process. Changes to the Florida Statutes must be made by the Florida Legislature.Back