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Change to Florida Election Law Impacts Deadline for Candidates to Change Party Affiliation

Change to Florida Election Law Impacts Deadline for Candidates to Change Party Affiliation

Legislation passed recently by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor DeSantis establishes new requirements for candidates who wish to change their party affiliation to run for a partisan office.

Previous law required candidates seeking to qualify for nomination as a candidate of a political party to affirm in writing, under oath, that they have not been a registered member of any other political party in the 365 days before candidate qualifying begins. However, it did not prohibit a registered member of a political party to qualify to run with No Party Affiliation (NPA), regardless of the 365-day period. Nor did it prohibit a person registered with No Party Affiliation (NPA) from changing their party affiliation within the 365-day period to qualify for nomination as a candidate of a political.

Under the new law, at qualifying all candidates for a partisan office will be required to affirm in writing, under oath, that they have been a registered member of the party whose nomination as a candidate they are seeking for 365 days before qualifying begins. In addition, candidates who wish to run with No Party Affiliation (NPA) for a partisan office will be required to affirm in writing, under oath, that they have not been a registered member of any political party for 365 days before qualifying begins.

These requirements apply to partisan offices only, and do not apply to non-partisan offices. Qualifying for federal, state, and local offices begins on June 13, 2022. The 365-day deadline for candidates to change party affiliation is June 13, 2021. Any person who wishes to change their party affiliation may do so using a Florida Voter Registration Application or through RegistertoVoteFlorida.gov.

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