Municipal Elections Talking Points

The Florida League of Cities will OPPOSE legislation to that restricts municipal Home Rule authority to set municipal election dates.

  • The Florida League of Cities OPPOSES HB 7037 (Government Accountability Committee) and CS/SB 1262 (Hutson), which mandate specific municipal election dates.
  • 151 municipalities hold elections in November and 112 hold elections in March. The remaining 149 municipalities hold elections in every other month of the year.
  • At least half of Florida’s municipalities hold runoff elections.
  • The bills would force municipalities to hold their elections on either the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, or on the third Tuesday in March.
  • The bills would force municipalities that provide for runoff elections to hold their general election 10 weeks prior to the runoff election.In short, these municipalities would have to hold their general election in January/August, and hold their runoff election in March/November.
  • The optimal time and date for a municipal election will vary based on community needs and preferences.  
  • It’s a false assumption that high voter turnout in November elections translates into increased voter participation on municipal ballot issues in that same election.
  • Consolidating municipal elections into only two “seasons” will make it difficult for municipal candidates to compete for voter attention in saturated media markets and other venues.
  • For over half of cities that provide for runoff elections, this bill will force their general elections to occur in January and August. This means that municipal campaigns will be in full swing during a period when voters are highly distracted or absent, and media outlets exceedingly expensive.   
  • Local citizens should have the right to decide for themselves when they want to have municipal elections. This is a purely local decision that should stay local.