South Florida Corruption 

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Judicial Elections

 

 

 

 

Florida Local Trial Court Judicial Elections 2016

 

 

 

 

Unopposed races and the practice of post-dating judicial resignations to block elections highlighted questions about the role of democracy in Florida's circuit and county judicial seats in the 2016 election cycle. Only the 60 opposed seats out of the total 252 seats up for election on these courts saw a vote on August 30, 2016. All unopposed candidates were automatically elected without ever appearing on a ballot or facing a public vote.

 

Three judges used advance notice of their resignations to serve almost the entirety of their elected terms before leaving the bench, which effectively blocked the election of their successors.

 

 

Elections

 

 

See also: Florida judicial elections

 

 

Florida is one of 42 states that hold elections for judicial positions. To learn more about judicial selection in Florida, click here. Click on the links below to read detailed election coverage by year.

 

Florida local judicial elections, 2016

Florida local judicial elections, 2014

Florida local judicial elections, 2012

Florida local judicial elections, 2010

 

 

Selection method

 

See also: Nonpartisan elections

 

There are 597 judges on the Florida Circuit Court, each elected via nonpartisan elections. They serve six-year terms, after which they must run for re-election if they wish to retain their seat.

 

The chief judge is selected by peer vote and serves in that capacity for two years.

 

Qualifications

 

To serve on this court, a judge must be:

a qualified elector;

a state resident;

admitted to practice law in the state for five years; and

under the age of 70 (retirement at 70 is mandatory).

 

 

Election rules

 

Primary election

 

The primary is held 12 weeks before the general election. To get on the ballot, candidates for judicial office are required to obtain signatures equal to at least one percent of the number of registered electors in the geographic boundary of the district Trial court judicial candidates compete in nonpartisan primaries designed to narrow the field to two candidates for the general election. Candidates who receive a simple majority (fifty percent plus one vote) of the vote in the primary are considered winners and are not on the ballot in the general election unless a write-in candidate qualifies for the same office.

 

General election

 

In the general election, appellate court judges stand for retention and trial court candidates compete in nonpartisan elections. Partisan organizations and political parties are forbidden from endorsing, supporting, or opposing candidates for office.

 

Retention election

 

Retention elections for appellate judges ask voters a "yes" or "no" question of whether or not to retain a judge to another term. The judges do not face competition on the ballot. If a majority of votes are in favor of a particular judge, that judge will be retained to a new term.

 

Unopposed candidates

 

Unopposed candidates for the circuit and county courts do not appear on any ballot and are considered elected following the general election.

 

 

Footnotes

 

1.  Florida State Courts, "Circuit Courts," accessed January 7, 2015

2.  17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, "Circuit Criminal Judges," accessed August 19, 2014

3.  17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, "Probate Judges," accessed August 19, 2014

4.  17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, "Circuit Criminal Judges," accessed August 19, 2014

5.  17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, "Domestic Violence Judges," accessed August 19, 2014

6.  17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, "Juvenile Judges," accessed August 19, 2014

7.  17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, "Unified Family Court Judges," accessed August 19, 2014

8.  17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, "Court Locations," accessed August 19, 2014

9.  American Judicature Society, "Methods of Judicial selection: Florida," archived October 2, 2014

10.                Florida Secretary of State,"General Voting Information," accessed April 29, 2014.

11.                Florida Election Law, "Sec. 105.035(e)," accessed April 29, 2014

12.                Florida Division of Elections: Frequently Asked Questions

13.                Florida Election Code, "Sec. 105.09," accessed May 4, 2014

14.                   Florida Election Law, "Sec. 105.051," accessed April 29, 2014

 

 

   Categories:

 

*  Florida circuit courts

*  Broward County Florida, Circuit Court

*  Broward County, Florida

 

 

The above information and links were compiled from Ballotpedia.org. Text on Ballotpedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

 

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