Political advertising is governed primarily by Chapter 106 of the Florida Statutes. Candidates and their campaign staffs should make themselves familiar with Chapter 106's provisions before beginning any campaign activities. There are several rules in particular that candidates and political organizations should be aware of from the outset of a campaign.
2020 Electioneering Communications Handbook
- Any political advertisement or campaign literature must contain the phrase “paid political advertisement." The ad or literature must also identify the persons or organizations sponsoring the ad and who approved the ad, and state whether the ad is paid for or provided in-kind. This requirement does not apply to campaign messages which are designed to be worn by a person, but does apply to telephone banks and other non-printed media.
- Any tickets or advertising for a campaign fund raiser must comply with the requirements of section F.S. 106.143.
- Any political advertisement paid for by an independent expenditure must prominently state: "Paid political advertisement paid for by name and address of person paying for advertisement, independently of any candidate (or committee)." F.S. 106.071(2)
- If you are a candidate for office in a partisan election (one where the candidates are identified by political party on the ballot), you must indicate your party affiliation on all of your campaign ads and literature.
Telephone And Internet Campaigning
Any telephone call supporting or opposing a candidate, elected official, or ballot proposal must identify the persons or organizations sponsoring the call by stating either: "paid for by ______________" (insert name of persons or organizations sponsoring the call) or "paid for on behalf of ________________" (insert name of persons or organizations authorizing the call) F.S. 106.147. The prior written consent of the candidate or sponsor of the ballot proposal must be filed with the Supervisor of Elections. F.S. 106.147(2)
A message placed on the internet must include all information required for political advertisements.
If you or your organization advertises your endorsement of a political candidate, the ad must state whether the permission of the candidate has been obtained to advertise this endorsement. In addition, a campaign is not permitted to publicize that it has been endorsed by a person or organization unless it has specific written approval from that person or organization.
Organizations that intend to advertise their endorsement of or opposition to a candidate or referendum issue may be required to file papers with the Elections Office prior to publishing such advertisements. In general, a statement of an organization's endorsement or opposition published in the organization's newsletters and circulated only to the organization's members is exempt from this provision. Check with the Elections Office prior to running an advertisement if you are unsure whether this provision applies to your organization.
In general, campaign signs, such as yard signs, should be removed within 7 days after a campaign ends. Campaigns must not put their signs in any roadway right-of-way. Illegally placed signs are subject to removal, with the cost of such removal being charged to the candidate or campaign. Municipalities may impose additional restrictions on political signs (check with the applicable municipal code enforcement office).
City of Gainesville Restrictions
Use Of Party Name
PAC's and other political committees may not use the name, symbol, or abbreviation of a political party in their name or advertising without the written permission of the chair of that party's state executive committee.
Campaigning Near Polling Places
Check with the Supervisor of Elections for rules and regulations regarding campaigning at the polls. No solicitation is allowed within 150 feet from the entrance to the polling place or early voting site.
File a Complaint
File a Complaint with the Florida Division of Elections
File a Complaint with the Florida Elections Commission