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The Vote’s in YOUR COURT – Judicial Merit Retention

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The Vote's in Your Court
This Vote’s in Your Court page serves as a resource for voters. The Florida Bar will keep it updated to provide background information on the issue of judicial merit retention.Thank you for turning to The Vote’s in Your Court!


On This Page

Merit retention poll
Voter Guide
Voter Resources
Judicial Biographies
Court Decisions

Important Election Dates for 2018

  • Noon, May 4: Qualifying deadline for judicial candidates
  • July 30: Voter registration deadline for primary election
  • Aug. 28: Primary election
  • Oct. 9: Voter registration deadline for general election
  • Nov. 6: General election
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Florida Bar merit retention poll

The statewide merit retention judicial poll for Florida Supreme Court justices and District Courts of Appeal judges is conducted every two years by The Florida Bar. In-state members are asked to rate judges and justices who are up for retention and of whom they have direct knowledge. The merit retention poll is supervised by the Constitutional Judiciary Committee of The Florida Bar.

The 2018 merit retention poll is scheduled to be mailed to in-state Florida Bar members on Aug. 13, 2018, and the results will be released Sept. 11:

Merit retention poll results from 1978-2016


Voter Guide

Florida law requires Florida Supreme Court justices and appeals court judges to be placed on the ballot in nonpartisan elections every six years, so voters can determine whether the judges or justices should remain on their courts for another six-year term.These are called ‘merit retention’ elections. In 2018, one Supreme Court justice and 19 of the state’s appeals court judges are eligible to sppear on the ballot.
The 2018 Guide for Florida Voters will answer questions such as:

  • What is the difference between a county and circuit court judge and an appellate judge?
  • Why is it important to vote in judicial elections and merit retention elections?
  • What exactly does a judge do?



Videos: Merit Selection and RetentionConsumer Videos

Voter Resources


Florida Supreme Court and Appellate Courts decisions

Learn more about the opinions handed down by the Florida Supreme Court and the state’s five appellate courts:

Guide for Florida Voters