Elections

2022 General Election Qualifying Period:

Begins: Monday, July 11, 2022 – 8:00 AM 
Concludes: Friday, July 15, 2020 – 5:00 PM 

In accordance with Code of Ordinances Section 34-2 every candidate for election as a member of the City Commission shall file a notice of candidacy with the City Clerk during the Qualifying Period as set by resolution by the City Commission. Upon filing of the notice, all documents required by this Code, City Charter and/or Florida Statute Election laws shall be given to the City Clerk, and all required Qualifying Fees shall be paid. 

______________________________________________________________
2022 General Election: November 8, 2022

Seats up for Election: Seat 4 and Seat 5


2022 Runoff Election (if necessary): December 13, 2022
______________________________________________________________
2022 General Election Petition Deadline

Friday, July 1, 2022 - Prior to 12 noon
Number of valid petitions required to qualify - 115
In accordance with Sec. 34-4. A person seeking to qualify by the alternative method of qualifying may qualify to have his name placed on the ballot by means of the process as prescribed in F.S. 99.095, which by this reference is hereby incorporated in this section. (b) The person qualifying by this alternative method shall obtain the signatures on petitions in accordance with Florida Statute.  



Elections are held each even numbered year for City Commission Seats as follows:

2022- Seats 4 & 5
2023- No Election
2024- Seats 1, 2, & 3


Newly election Commissioners shall be sworn in and assume the duties of office at the Organizational Meeting of the City Commission held at 5:00pm on the third Tuesday of December, or at such other reasonable time or date that the City Commission may designate, unless the election results are not certified. IN that event, the Commissioners will be sworn in and assume the duties of their offices at the next City Commission Regular Meeting following certification.



2022 General Election Candidate Handbook - coming soon

The 2020 General Election Candidate Handbook contains important candidate/campaign information including qualifying dates, candidate petition deadlines, ad monthly calendar of campaign treasurer reporting dates.
If you need assistance accessing the Candidate Handbook, please contact the City Clerk's Office: (904) 310-3115.


______________________________________________________________
2021 Mail Ballot Election Results:


Question No. 1
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to change the word “groups” to “seats” to be more clear that City Commissioners do not serve districts but are elected at large for one seat? - APPROVED

Question No. 2
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to provide that City Commissioners must complete annual performance evaluations for Charter Officers, and that City Commissioners who directly interfere in administrative duties of City employees may be subject to sanctions by the City Commission and forfeiture of their Commission seat after a public hearing? - APPROVED

Question No. 3
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to provide that a City Commissioner convicted of a felony, is absent from 3 regular meetings in a year or violates the Florida Code of Ethics for Public Officers is suspended from office pending a hearing that can result with the accused Commissioner forfeiting their Commission seat, and that the City Commission fills vacancies on the Commission by appointment? - APPROVED

Question No. 4
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to provide for a binding election by the voters for Mayor instead of the current non-binding straw ballot election of Mayor and appointment by City Commission? - APPROVED

Question No. 5
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to provide that the Mayor is responsible for ensuring that City Commissioners complete annual performance evaluations for all Charter Officers (City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk)? 
- APPROVED

Question No. 6
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to allow a City Commissioner suffering from a serious medical condition to use media technology to attend and cast votes at City Commission meetings? - APPROVED

Question No. 7
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to provide that the City Commission must consider more than one City Manager candidate for hire, that the City Manager must have prior management experience and be a member of a professional organization for city managers, and that the City Manager has 90 days to become a resident of the City after taking the oath of office? - APPROVED

Question No. 8
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to require that the City Attorney be admitted to practice law in all courts of the state and in federal courts, and that it is preferred that the City Attorney be board certified in local government law by the Florida Bar Association? - APPROVED

Question No. 9
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to require referendum approval by the voters in the City before the Police Department could be dissolved? - APPROVED

Question No. 10
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to require referendum approval by the voters in the City before the Fire Department could be dissolved? - APPROVED

Question No. 11
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to require that the City Clerk be a member of a professional clerk’s association, that the City Commission have an employment contract with the City Clerk and that the City Clerk propose a City Clerk pro tem to serve in the absence of the City Clerk? - APPROVED

Question No. 12
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to require that the Comptroller: a) have professional credentials such as Certified Public Accountant; b) be a member of the Florida Government Finance Officers Association; c) propose sound investment policies for the City; and d) schedule an annual financial audit of City accounts by an independent certified public accountant? - APPROVED

Question No. 13
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to prohibit any transfers of money from the Land Conservation Trust Fund to any other City fund and that no funds in the Land Conservation Trust Fund can be appropriated for any purpose other than those set forth in the Fernandina Beach Land Conservation Program? - APPROVED

Question No. 14
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to delete prohibitions on community redevelopment areas (CRA’s) that limit the number to no more than 2 CRA’s in the City and that no CRA can be created with properties valued collectively at more than 2% of the total assessed value of all property in the City? - FAILED

Question No. 15
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to provide for oath of office language for every City employee, board member and City Commissioner that includes requirements of state law and additional affirmations to abide by the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees? - APPROVED

Question No. 16
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to provide that Charter Officers and advisory board members as well as City Commissioners have the power to cause any City department or the conduct of any City officer or employee to be investigated in accordance with City procedures? - APPROVED

Question No. 17
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to provide for a citizen initiative process to introduce new ordinances to the City Commission for approval, and if rejected by the City Commission, the ordinance initiative would go to voters of the City at a referendum election? APPROVED

Question No. 18
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to provide that the City Charter must be reviewed every 8 years and require the City Commission to appoint a Charter Review Committee made up of City electors to make recommendations for changes to the City Charter? - APPROVED

Question No. 19
Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to correct errors and describe the City as: The City of Fernandina was first established in 1825, then abolished and reincorporated in 1921 by the Florida Legislature. The Town of Fernandina Beach was established in 1949 by the Florida Legislature. The City of Fernandina and the Town of Fernandina Beach were consolidated as the City of Fernandina Beach on January 1, 1952 after approval by voters? APPROVED

Question No. 20
Should the City of Fernandina Beach Charter be amended to remove certain provisions that are already covered by state law, clarify certain provisions without changing the meaning by combining sections or moving sections, and revise certain provisions to be consistent with state law? APPROVED

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Canvassing Board Information

In accordance with Section 34.8(a), the members of the City Commission shall constitute the Canvassing Board for the General Election and Runoff Election. The primary duties of the Canvassing Board are to review any questioned absentee ballots or signatures, review and tabulate the absentee ballots, review and tabulate the returns from the polls, review and provisional ballots and certify the results of the election.

All meetings of the Canvassing Board are held at the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections’ Office, Canvassing Board Room in the James S. Page Governmental Complex, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, Florida 32097.

2020 Canvassing Board Schedule



Wednesday, December 2, 2020: 1:00 pm Public Pre-Election Test of the Automatic Tabulation Equipment

Tuesday, December 8, 2020: 3:00 pm Election Day- Open and Canvas Vote by Mail and Provisional Ballots and Precinct Returns; Certify Election Results (if all Provisional Ballots and Cure Affidavits were canvassed.)

Thursday, December 10, 2020: 12:00 pm Recount, if ordered (this meeting will only be held if a recount is ordered).

Thursday, December 10, 2020: 4:00 pm Canvass Provisional Ballots and Vote by Mail Ballot Cure Affidavits; Certify Election Results (this meeting will not be held if the election results were certified on Election Night.)

Friday, December 11, 2020: 10:00 am Conduct Post-Election Audit (unless manual recount conducted.)
  

Mayor and Vice Mayor


The Mayor of the City will be elected by the voters by placement on the ballot as authorized in subsection (b) below and by receiving the highest number of votes for Mayor with such election to be held in conjunction with the regular general election held for the purpose of electing City Commissioners. 

Candidates for the mayoral election must consist of incumbent Commissioners who are not subject to reelection to the City Commission at that same election. Any eligible candidate wishing to be considered for the position of Mayor must request in writing, no later than the City Commission’s deadline for qualifying for running for City Commission in the City general election, to be placed on the ballot.   

The mayoral candidate on the ballot with the second highest number of votes in the mayoral election must be appointed to the Vice-Mayor position.  

On the occasion that only one incumbent City Commissioner should choose to be on the mayoral ballot, there is no need for the mayoral election, and the one mayoral candidate must be appointed to the position of Mayor at the City Commission’s annual organizational meeting.  The City Commission may choose any City Commissioner not appointed as the Mayor to be the Vice-Mayor, including newly-elected Commissioners.  If no incumbent City Commissioner chooses to be on the mayoral ballot, the City Commission must vote to appoint one of the Commissioners to serve as Mayor and one Commissioner to serve as Vice-Mayor, and newly-elected Commissioners may be considered. 

The Mayor and Vice Mayor each serve a term of two (2) years to coincide with the municipal general election. 

The existing Mayor and Vice Mayor will serve until the organizational meeting following the next regular general election held by the City.

 

Terms and Qualifications


In 2018, the term of office for elected officers is four years, with a two-term limit. A candidate seeking to qualify for a City Commission seat must: 

  • Be a qualified, registered voter in the City of Fernandina Beach;
  • File his/her qualification papers during the Qualifying Period;
  • Pay the Election Assessment Fee in an amount equal to one percent of the annual salary of the office sought ($120.00). See Section 99.093(1) Florida Statute;
  • And qualify by one of the following methods for their name to appear on the ballot:

1. Qualifying Fee Method: Pay the Qualifying Fee in a sum equal to three percent (3%) of the annual salary ($12,000) paid to a member of the City Commission of the fiscal year preceding the notice of filing for candidacy in the amount of $360.00. See City Code Section 34-3 and FS 99.092); or

2. Petition Method: Obtain signatures of one percent (1%) of the total number of registered voters (10,528) in the last City General Election which equates to 105 valid petition signatures. If a candidate obtains the signatures of one percent (1%) of registered voters, s/he will not be required to pay the Qualifying Fee in the amount of $360.00.  
 
IMPORTANT: The petition deadline for 108 candidate petitions, with valid City of Fernandina Beach registered voters' 
signatures to be submitted to the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections Office is Friday, June 29, 2018, prior to 12:00 noon.

Newly elected officers shall be sworn in and assume the duties of office at the Organizational Meeting of the City Commission held at 5:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of December, or at such other reasonable time or date that the City Commission may designate, unless the election results are not certified. In that event, the officers will be sworn in and assume the duties of their offices at the next regular City Commission meeting following certification.


Voter Registration


 To register to vote, or make changes to your voter registration; please visit any of the following locations:

  • City Clerk's Office, City Hall, 204 Ash Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 
  • Nassau County Supervisor of Elections Office, Historic Downtown Courthouse, 416 Centre St., Fernandina Beach, FL 
  • Nassau County Supervisor of Elections Office, 96135 Nassau Place, Suite #3, Yulee, FL
To find your voting precinct or request a Vote by Mail Ballot (Absentee Ballot) please visit the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections' Office website: www.votenassau.com or phone (904) 491-7500.