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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 is a resource for voters regarding judges and judicial elections. It includes the “Guide for Florida Voters,” an easy-to-read, nonpartisan brochure about the courts, the role of judges and the merit retention process. This page also includes biographies of the jurists in merit retention elections in November and results of The Florida Bar’s merit retention poll of in-state members. It also links to statements submitted by trial court judicial candidates, and includes additional voter resources as well. For copies of the “Guide for Florida Voters,” email [email protected].


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


2018 election results

Results of state races, including merit retention votes and circuit courts (from Florida Division of Elections)


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.


2018 merit retention poll results

Merit retention poll results from 1978-2018

Voter Guide

2018 Voter GuideFlorida 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 17 of the state’s appeals court judges will appear on the ballot.
The 2018 Guide for Florida Voters answers 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?

Download the 2018 Guide for Florida Voters here.

Download the  Spanish 2018 Guide for Florida Voters here.

Voter Resources



Every two years, The Florida Bar provides information on the judges and justices facing merit retention. These include biographies as well as links to the official websites of the judges/justices.

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: