Article IV, s. 5(a); Article VI, ss. 1, 2, 5, 7; Article IX, s. 4(a)
BALLOT ACCESS, PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING, AND ELECTION PROCESS REVISIONS
Provides ballot access requirements for independent and minor party candidates cannot be greater than requirements for majority party candidates; allows all voters, regardless of party, to vote in any party's primary election if the winner will have no general election opposition; provides public financing of campaigns for statewide candidates who agree to campaign spending limits; permits candidates for governor to run in primary elections without lieutenant governor; makes school board elections nonpartisan; corrects voting age.
SECTION 5. Election of governor, lieutenant governor and cabinet members; qualifications; terms.--
(a) At a state-wide general election in each calendar year the number of which is even but not a multiple of four, the electors shall choose a governor and a lieutenant governor and members of the cabinet each for a term of four years beginning on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of the succeeding year. In primary elections, candidates for the office of governor may choose to run without a lieutenant governor candidate. In the general election and in party primaries, if held, , all candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor shall form joint candidacies in a manner prescribed by law so that each voter shall cast a single vote for a candidate for governor and a candidate for lieutenant governor running together.
SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS
SECTION 1. Regulation of elections.--All elections by the people shall be by direct and secret vote. General elections shall be determined by a plurality of votes cast. Registration and elections shall, and political party functions may, be regulated by law; however, the requirements for a candidate with no party affiliation or for a candidate of a minor party for placement of the candidate's name on the ballot shall be no greater than the requirements for a candidate of the party having the largest number of registered voters.
SECTION 2. Electors.--Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen twenty-one years of age and who is has been a permanent resident of for one year in the state and six months in a county, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered that county. Provisions may be made by law for other bona fide residents of the state who are at least twenty-one years of age to vote in the election of presidential electors.
SECTION 5. Primary, general, and special elections.--
(a) A general election shall be held in each county on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each even-numbered year to choose a successor to each elective state and county officer whose term will expire before the next general election and, except as provided herein, to fill each vacancy in elective office for the unexpired portion of the term. A general election may be suspended or delayed due to a state of emergency or impending emergency pursuant to general law. Special elections and referenda shall be held as provided by law.
(b) If all candidates for an office have the same party affiliation and the winner will have no opposition in the general election, all qualified electors, regardless of party affiliation, may vote in the primary elections for that office.
SECTION 7. Campaign spending limits and funding of campaigns for elective state-wide office.--It is the policy of this state to provide for state-wide elections in which all qualified candidates may compete effectively. A method of public financing for campaigns for state-wide office shall be established by law. Spending limits shall be established for such campaigns for candidates who use public funds in their campaigns. The legislature shall provide funding for this provision. General law implementing this paragraph shall be at least as protective of effective competition by a candidate who uses public funds as the general law in effect on January 1, 1998.
SECTION 4. School districts; school boards.--
(a) Each county shall constitute a school district; provided, two or more contiguous counties, upon vote of the electors of each county pursuant to law, may be combined into one school district. In each school district there shall be a school board composed of five or more members chosen by vote of the electors in a nonpartisan election for appropriately staggered terms of four years, as provided by law.