The Vote’s in Your Court 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.
Guide for Florida Voters
- 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?
Printed guides available in both English and Spanish are distributed to supervisors of elections offices and public libraries across the state.
County court candidates run in nonpartisan, contested elections for six-year terms. Circuit court judges serve six-year terms and are elected by voters of the circuits in nonpartisan, contested elections.
Judicial Candidate Voluntary Self-Disclosure Statements
Judicial Candidate Voluntary Self-Disclosure Statements give county and circuit court judicial candidates the opportunity to share information about their education, credentials and other relevant details with voters.
Supreme Court justices and District Courts of Appeal (DCA) judges are appointed by the governor. Newly appointed judges go on the ballot for the first time within two years after appointment. If the voters retain them, they then go on the ballot again every six years.
Florida Bar Merit Retention Poll
Every two years, the Florida Bar’s Constitutional Judiciary Committee oversees a statewide merit retention poll that asks in-state Florida Bar members to rate judges and justices who are up for retention votes and of whom they have direct knowledge. The poll results may be useful to Florida voters.
The merit retention poll for the 2022 election cycle went to active Florida Bar members located in-state in August. Results were distributed in September.
Voter & Candidate Resources
- Sources of authority and guidance regarding political activity by judges and judicial campaigns. This page includes links to many of the laws, rules and opinions governing candidates running for judicial office.
- Canon 7 of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct
- Florida Supreme Court page on merit retention