Bill Text: FL S7066 | 2019 | Regular Session | Prefiled

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Election Administration

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (? 2-0)

Status: (Passed) 2019-07-01 - Chapter No. 2019-162 [S7066 Detail]

Download: Florida-2019-S7066-Prefiled.html
       Florida Senate - 2019                   (PROPOSED BILL) SPB 7066
       
       
        
       FOR CONSIDERATION By the Committee on Ethics and Elections
       
       
       
       
       
       582-02532A-19                                         20197066pb
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to ballot processes; amending 98.077,
    3         F.S.; modifying requirements for updating voter
    4         registration signatures, to conform; amending s.
    5         99.063, F.S.; revising dates relating to the selection
    6         and qualification of a lieutenant governor running
    7         mate, to conform; amending s. 100.061, F.S.; revising
    8         the date of the primary election; amending s. 101.048,
    9         F.S.; modifying the Provisional Ballot Voter’s
   10         Certificate and Affirmation; establishing a process to
   11         cure a provisional ballot with a signature deficiency;
   12         establishing related requirements and deadlines;
   13         revising requirements for the canvassing and counting
   14         of provisional ballots; creating exemptions; requiring
   15         the supervisor to process a signature update following
   16         submission of a valid provisional ballot cure
   17         affidavit; modifying post-election elector
   18         notification processes, to conform; amending 101.151,
   19         F.S.; revising requirements for department rules
   20         governing ballot design; amending s. 101.62, F.S.;
   21         revising deadlines for requests for, and the mailing
   22         of, vote-by-mail ballots; removing a limitation as to
   23         when the supervisor may begin mailing domestic vote
   24         by-mail ballots before an election; amending s.
   25         101.64, F.S.; modifying the vote-by-mail ballot
   26         Voter’s Certificate; amending s. 101.65, F.S.;
   27         modifying vote-by-mail ballot instructions, to
   28         conform; amending 101.68, F.S.; clarifying that
   29         supervisors must immediately compare voters’
   30         signatures on vote-by-mail ballots upon receipt;
   31         providing for earlier canvassing of vote-by-mail
   32         ballots; prescribing additional notification
   33         requirements for certain vote-by-mail ballots with
   34         defective signatures; creating exemptions; revising
   35         the deadline by which vote-by-mail ballot cure
   36         affidavits must be submitted; requiring the supervisor
   37         to process a signature update following submission of
   38         a valid vote-by-mail ballot cure affidavit; modifying
   39         post-election elector notification processes, to
   40         conform; amending 101.6923, F.S.; modifying special
   41         vote-by-mail ballot instructions for certain first
   42         time voters, to conform; amending 102.111, F.S.;
   43         revising the date on which the Elections Canvassing
   44         Commission certifies the primary election; adding an
   45         additional meeting of the Elections Canvassing
   46         Commission for certification of ballot votes in any
   47         general election races with pending recounts; amending
   48         s. 102.112, F.S.; modifying deadlines for submitting
   49         certain county ballot returns to the Department of
   50         State, to conform; amending s. 102.141, F.S.;
   51         modifying immediate reporting times for certain types
   52         of ballots and deadlines for unofficial results in
   53         primary elections and certain general election
   54         contests; amending s. 102.166, F.S.; modifying
   55         certification requirements for voting systems to
   56         require the functionality to simultaneously sort and
   57         count ballot overvotes and undervotes; providing an
   58         effective date.
   59          
   60  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   61  
   62         Section 1. Subsection (4) of section 98.077, Florida
   63  Statutes, is amended to read:
   64         98.077 Update of voter signature.—
   65         (4) Except as authorized in ss. 101.048 and 101.68:
   66         (a) All signature updates for use in verifying vote-by-mail
   67  and provisional ballots must be received by the appropriate
   68  supervisor of elections no later than the start of the
   69  canvassing of vote-by-mail ballots by the canvassing board.
   70         (b) The signature on file at the start of the canvass of
   71  the vote-by-mail ballots is the signature that shall be used in
   72  verifying the signature on the vote-by-mail and provisional
   73  ballot certificates.
   74         Section 2. Subsections (1) and (2) of section 99.063,
   75  Florida Statutes, are amended to read
   76         99.063 Candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor.—
   77         (1) No later than 5 p.m. of the 14th 9th day following the
   78  primary election, each candidate for Governor shall designate a
   79  Lieutenant Governor as a running mate. Such designation must be
   80  made in writing to the Department of State.
   81         (2) No later than 5 p.m. of the 14th 9th day following the
   82  primary election, each designated candidate for Lieutenant
   83  Governor shall file with the Department of State:
   84         (a) The candidate’s oath required by s. 99.021, which must
   85  contain the name of the candidate as it is to appear on the
   86  ballot; the office sought; and the signature of the candidate,
   87  which must be verified under oath or affirmation pursuant to s.
   88  92.525(1)(a).
   89         (b) If the office sought is partisan, the written statement
   90  of political party affiliation required by s. 99.021(1)(b).
   91         (c) The full and public disclosure of financial interests
   92  pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution. A public
   93  officer who has filed the full and public disclosure with the
   94  Commission on Ethics prior to qualifying for office may file a
   95  copy of that disclosure at the time of qualifying.
   96         Section 3. Section 100.061, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   97  read:
   98         100.061 Primary election.—In each year in which a general
   99  election is held, a primary election for nomination of
  100  candidates of political parties shall be held on the Tuesday 11
  101  10 weeks prior to the general election. The candidate receiving
  102  the highest number of votes cast in each contest in the primary
  103  election shall be declared nominated for such office. If two or
  104  more candidates receive an equal and highest number of votes for
  105  the same office, such candidates shall draw lots to determine
  106  which candidate is nominated.
  107         Section 4. Section 101.048, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  108  read:
  109         101.048 Provisional ballots.—
  110         (1) At all elections, a voter claiming to be properly
  111  registered in the state and eligible to vote at the precinct in
  112  the election but whose eligibility cannot be determined, a
  113  person whom an election official asserts is not eligible, and
  114  other persons specified in the code shall be entitled to vote a
  115  provisional ballot. Once voted, the provisional ballot shall be
  116  placed in a secrecy envelope and thereafter sealed in a
  117  provisional ballot envelope. The provisional ballot shall be
  118  deposited in a ballot box. All provisional ballots shall remain
  119  sealed in their envelopes for return to the supervisor of
  120  elections. The department shall prescribe the form of the
  121  provisional ballot envelope. A person casting a provisional
  122  ballot shall have the right to present written evidence
  123  supporting his or her eligibility to vote to the supervisor of
  124  elections by not later than 5 p.m. on the second day following
  125  the election.
  126         (2)(a) The county canvassing board shall examine each
  127  Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and Affirmation to
  128  determine if the person voting that ballot was entitled to vote
  129  at the precinct where the person cast a vote in the election and
  130  that the person had not already cast a ballot in the election.
  131  In determining whether a person casting a provisional ballot is
  132  entitled to vote, the county canvassing board shall review the
  133  information provided in the Voter’s Certificate and Affirmation,
  134  written evidence provided by the person pursuant to subsection
  135  (1), information provided in any cure affidavit and accompanying
  136  supporting documentation pursuant to subsection (6), any other
  137  evidence presented by the supervisor of elections, and, in the
  138  case of a challenge, any evidence presented by the challenger. A
  139  ballot of a person casting a provisional ballot shall be
  140  canvassed pursuant to paragraph (b) counted unless the
  141  canvassing board determines by a preponderance of the evidence
  142  that the person was not entitled to vote.
  143         (b)1. If it is determined that the person was registered
  144  and entitled to vote at the precinct where the person cast a
  145  vote in the election, the canvassing board must shall compare
  146  the signature on the Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and
  147  Affirmation or the provisional ballot cure affidavit with the
  148  signature on the voter’s registration or precinct register and,
  149  if it matches, shall count the ballot. A provisional ballot may
  150  be counted only if:
  151         1. The signature on the voter’s certificate or the cure
  152  affidavit matches the elector’s signature in the registration
  153  books or the precinct register; however, in the case of a cure
  154  affidavit, the supporting identification listed in subsection
  155  (6) must also confirm the identity of the elector; or
  156         2. The cure affidavit contains a signature that does not
  157  match the elector’s signature in the registration books or the
  158  precinct register, but the elector has submitted a current and
  159  valid Tier 1 form of identification confirming his or her
  160  identity pursuant to subsection (6).
  161         2. If it is determined that the person voting the
  162  provisional ballot was not registered or entitled to vote at the
  163  precinct where the person cast a vote in the election, the
  164         (c) Any provisional ballot shall not be counted must and
  165  the ballot shall remain in the envelope containing the
  166  Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and Affirmation and the
  167  envelope shall be marked “Rejected as Illegal.”
  168         (d) If a provisional ballot is validated following the
  169  submission of a cure affidavit, the supervisor must make a copy
  170  of the affidavit, affix it to a voter registration application,
  171  and immediately process it as a valid request for a signature
  172  update pursuant to s. 98.077.
  173         (3) The Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and
  174  Affirmation shall be in substantially the following form:
  175  
  176  STATE OF FLORIDA
  177  COUNTY OF ....
  178  
  179         I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that my name is ....; that
  180  my date of birth is ....; that I am registered and qualified to
  181  vote in .... County, Florida; that I am registered in the ....
  182  Party; that I am a qualified voter of the county; and that I
  183  have not voted in this election. I understand that if I commit
  184  any fraud in connection with voting, vote a fraudulent ballot,
  185  or vote more than once in an election, I can be convicted of a
  186  felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or
  187  imprisoned for up to 5 years.
  188         Further, by providing my information below, I authorize the
  189  use of e-mail, text message, and phone call for the limited
  190  purpose of signature and ballot validation.
  191  ...(Printed Name of Voter)...
  192  ...(Signature of Voter)...
  193  ...(Current Residence Address)...
  194  ...(Current Mailing Address)...
  195  ...(City, State, Zip Code)...
  196  ...(Driver License Number or Last Four Digits of Social Security
  197  Number)...
  198  ...(E-Mail Address)...
  199  ...(Home Telephone Number)...
  200  ...(Mobile Telephone Number)...
  201  
  202  Sworn to and subscribed before me this .... day of ........,
  203  ...(year)....
  204  
  205  ...(Election Official)...
  206  
  207  Precinct # ....                  Ballot Style/Party Issued: ....
  208  
  209         (4) Notwithstanding the requirements of subsections (1),
  210  (2), and (3), the supervisor of elections may, and for persons
  211  with disabilities shall, provide the appropriate provisional
  212  ballot to the voter by electronic means that meet the
  213  requirements of s. 101.56062, as provided for by the certified
  214  voting system. Each person casting a provisional ballot by
  215  electronic means shall, prior to casting his or her ballot,
  216  complete the Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and
  217  Affirmation as provided in subsection (3).
  218         (5) Each person casting a provisional ballot shall be given
  219  written instructions regarding the person’s right to provide the
  220  supervisor of elections with written evidence of his or her
  221  eligibility to vote and regarding the free access system
  222  established pursuant to subsection (7) (6). The instructions
  223  must shall contain the supervisors’ contact information along
  224  with information on how to access the system and the information
  225  the voter will need to provide to obtain information on his or
  226  her particular ballot. The instructions shall also must include
  227  the following statement: “If this is a primary election, you
  228  should contact the supervisor of elections’ office immediately
  229  to confirm that you are registered and can vote in the general
  230  election.”
  231         (6)(a) As soon as practicable, the supervisor shall, on
  232  behalf of the county canvassing board, attempt to notify an
  233  elector who has submitted a provisional ballot that does not
  234  include the elector’s signature or contains a signature that
  235  does not match the elector’s signature in the registration books
  236  or precinct register by:
  237         1. Providing the notice to the elector by e-mail;
  238         2. Notifying the elector of the signature deficiency by
  239  text message and directing the elector to the cure affidavit and
  240  instructions on the supervisor’s website; and
  241         3. Notifying the elector of the signature deficiency by
  242  telephone and directing the elector to the cure affidavit and
  243  instructions on the supervisor’s website.
  244  
  245  If the voter’s certificate or the elector’s records do not
  246  contain any telephone or electronic contact information, the
  247  supervisor must immediately send the notice to the elector by
  248  first-class mail. If the elector has provided such information,
  249  the supervisor may continue to attempt to contact the elector by
  250  telephone or electronic means for up to 24 hours before mailing
  251  the physical notice. The supervisor need not provide any notice
  252  required by this paragraph if the canvassing board has already
  253  determined that the elector is not entitled to vote pursuant to
  254  paragraph (2)(a), or if the supervisor has already confirmed the
  255  elector’s receipt of notice.
  256         (b) Until 5 p.m. on the 11th day after an election, the
  257  supervisor of elections shall allow an elector who has submitted
  258  a provisional ballot with a signature deficiency to complete and
  259  submit a cure affidavit.
  260         (c) The elector must complete a cure affidavit in
  261  substantially the following form:
  262  
  263                  PROVISIONAL BALLOT CURE AFFIDAVIT                
  264         I, ...., am a qualified voter in this election and a
  265  registered voter of .... County, Florida. I do solemnly swear or
  266  affirm that I voted a provisional ballot and that I have not and
  267  will not vote more than one ballot in this election. I
  268  understand that if I commit or attempt any fraud in connection
  269  with voting, vote a fraudulent ballot, or vote more than once in
  270  an election, I may be convicted of a felony of the third degree,
  271  fined up to $5,000, and imprisoned for up to 5 years. I
  272  understand that my failure to sign this affidavit may invalidate
  273  my ballot.
  274  
  275  ...(Voter’s Signature)...
  276  
  277  ...(Address)...
  278  
  279         (d) Instructions must accompany the cure affidavit in
  280  substantially the following form:
  281  
  282         READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE COMPLETING THE
  283  AFFIDAVIT. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY CAUSE YOUR
  284  BALLOT NOT TO COUNT.
  285  
  286         1. In order to cure the missing signature or the signature
  287  discrepancy on your Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and
  288  Affirmation, your affidavit should be completed and returned as
  289  soon as possible so that it can reach the supervisor of
  290  elections of the county in which your precinct is located no
  291  later than 5 p.m. on the 11th day after the election.
  292         2. You must sign your name on the line above (Voter’s
  293  Signature).
  294         3. You must make a copy of one of the following forms of
  295  identification:
  296         a. Tier 1 identification.—Current and valid identification
  297  that includes your name and photograph: Florida driver license;
  298  Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway
  299  Safety and Motor Vehicles; United States passport; debit or
  300  credit card; military identification; student identification;
  301  retirement center identification; neighborhood association
  302  identification; public assistance identification; veteran health
  303  identification card issued by the United States Department of
  304  Veterans Affairs; Florida license to carry a concealed weapon or
  305  firearm; or employee identification card issued by any branch,
  306  department, agency, or entity of the Federal Government, the
  307  state, a county, or a municipality; or
  308         b. Tier 2 identification.—ONLY IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A TIER 1
  309  FORM OF IDENTIFICATION, identification that shows your name and
  310  current residence address: current utility bill; bank statement;
  311  government check; paycheck; or government document (excluding
  312  voter identification card).
  313         4. Place the envelope bearing the affidavit into a mailing
  314  envelope addressed to the supervisor. Insert a copy of your
  315  identification in the mailing envelope. Mail (if time permits),
  316  deliver, or have delivered the completed affidavit along with
  317  the copy of your identification to your county supervisor of
  318  elections. Be sure there is sufficient postage if mailed and
  319  that the supervisor’s address is correct. Remember, your
  320  information MUST reach your county supervisor of elections no
  321  later than 5 p.m. on the 11th day following the election or your
  322  ballot will not count.
  323         5. Alternatively, you may fax or e-mail your completed
  324  affidavit and a copy of your identification to the supervisor of
  325  elections. If e-mailing, please provide these documents as
  326  attachments. E-mail should be used only as a last resort, as it
  327  is not a secure communication method and could result in third
  328  parties having access to your personal information.
  329         6. Submitting a provisional ballot affidavit does not
  330  establish your eligibility to vote in this election or guarantee
  331  that your ballot will be counted. The county canvassing board
  332  determines your eligibility to vote through information provided
  333  on the Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and Affirmation,
  334  written evidence provided by you, including information in your
  335  cure affidavit along with any supporting identification, and any
  336  other evidence presented by the supervisor of elections or a
  337  challenger. You may still be required to present additional
  338  written evidence to support your eligibility to vote.
  339         (e) The department and each supervisor of elections shall
  340  include the affidavit and instructions on their respective
  341  websites. The supervisor of elections shall include his or her
  342  office mailing address, e-mail address, and fax number on the
  343  page containing the affidavit instructions, and the department’s
  344  instruction page must include the office mailing addresses, e
  345  mail addresses, and fax numbers of all supervisors of elections
  346  or provide a conspicuous link to such addresses.
  347         (f) The supervisor of elections shall attach each affidavit
  348  received to the appropriate provisional ballot envelope
  349  containing the Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and
  350  Affirmation.
  351         (7)(a)(6) Each supervisor of elections shall establish a
  352  free access system that allows each person who casts a
  353  provisional ballot to determine whether his or her provisional
  354  ballot was counted in the final canvass of votes and, if not,
  355  the reasons why. Information regarding provisional ballots shall
  356  be available no later than 30 days following the election. The
  357  system established must restrict information regarding an
  358  individual ballot to the person who cast the ballot.
  359         (b) In addition, unless processed as a signature update
  360  pursuant to subsection (2), the supervisor shall mail a voter
  361  registration application to the elector to be completed
  362  indicating the elector’s current signature if the signature on
  363  the voter’s certificate or cure affidavit did not match the
  364  elector’s signature in the registration books or precinct
  365  register.
  366         Section 5. Subsection (9) of section 101.151, Florida
  367  Statutes, is amended to read:
  368         101.151 Specifications for ballots.—
  369         (9)(a) The Department of State shall adopt rules
  370  prescribing a uniform primary and general election ballot for
  371  each certified voting system. The rules must shall incorporate
  372  the requirements set forth in this section and must shall
  373  prescribe additional matters and forms that include, without
  374  limitation:
  375         1. The ballot title followed by clear and unambiguous
  376  ballot instructions and directions limited to a single location
  377  on the ballot, either:
  378         a. Centered across the top; or
  379         b. In the leftmost column, with no individual races in that
  380  column unless it is the only column on the ballot;
  381         2. Individual race layout; and
  382         3. Overall ballot layout.
  383         (b) The department rules must shall graphically depict a
  384  sample uniform primary and general election ballot form for each
  385  certified voting system.
  386         Section 6. Subsection (2) and paragraph (b) of subsection
  387  (4) of section 101.62, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  388         101.62 Request for vote-by-mail ballots.—
  389         (2) A request for a vote-by-mail ballot to be mailed to a
  390  voter must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the 10th sixth
  391  day before the election by the supervisor of elections. The
  392  supervisor of elections shall mail vote-by-mail ballots to
  393  voters requesting ballots by such deadline no later than 8 4
  394  days before the election.
  395         (4)
  396         (b) The supervisor of elections shall mail a vote-by-mail
  397  ballot to each absent qualified voter, other than those listed
  398  in paragraph (a), who has requested such a ballot, no later than
  399  the 28th day between the 35th and 28th days before the
  400  presidential preference primary election, primary election, and
  401  general election. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2)
  402  and after the period described in this paragraph, the supervisor
  403  shall mail vote-by-mail ballots within 2 business days after
  404  receiving a request for such a ballot.
  405         Section 7. Subsection (1) of section 101.64, Florida
  406  Statutes, is amended to read:
  407         101.64 Delivery of vote-by-mail ballots; envelopes; form.—
  408         (1) The supervisor shall enclose with each vote-by-mail
  409  ballot two envelopes: a secrecy envelope, into which the absent
  410  elector shall enclose his or her marked ballot; and a mailing
  411  envelope, into which the absent elector shall then place the
  412  secrecy envelope, which shall be addressed to the supervisor and
  413  also bear on the back side a certificate in substantially the
  414  following form:
  415  
  416           Note: Please Read Instructions Carefully Before         
  417         Marking Ballot and Completing Voter’s Certificate.        
  418  
  419                         VOTER’S CERTIFICATE                       
  420         I, ...., do solemnly swear or affirm that I am a qualified
  421  and registered voter of .... County, Florida, and that I have
  422  not and will not vote more than one ballot in this election. I
  423  understand that if I commit or attempt to commit any fraud in
  424  connection with voting, vote a fraudulent ballot, or vote more
  425  than once in an election, I can be convicted of a felony of the
  426  third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to
  427  5 years. I also understand that failure to sign this certificate
  428  may will invalidate my ballot.
  429         Further, by providing my information below, I authorize the
  430  use of e-mail, text messages, and telephone calls for the
  431  limited purpose of correcting a missing or nonmatching
  432  signature.
  433  
  434  ...(Date)...                           ...(Voter’s Signature)...
  435  ...(E-Mail Address)... ...(Home Telephone Number)...
  436  ...(Mobile Telephone Number)...
  437         Section 8. Section 101.65, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  438  read:
  439         101.65 Instructions to absent electors.—The supervisor
  440  shall enclose with each vote-by-mail ballot separate printed
  441  instructions in substantially the following form:
  442  
  443                  READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY                
  444                       BEFORE MARKING BALLOT.                      
  445         1. VERY IMPORTANT. In order to ensure that your vote-by
  446  mail ballot will be counted, it should be completed and returned
  447  as soon as possible so that it can reach the supervisor of
  448  elections of the county in which your precinct is located no
  449  later than 7 p.m. on the day of the election. However, if you
  450  are an overseas voter casting a ballot in a presidential
  451  preference primary or general election, your vote-by-mail ballot
  452  must be postmarked or dated no later than the date of the
  453  election and received by the supervisor of elections of the
  454  county in which you are registered to vote no later than 10 days
  455  after the date of the election. Note that the later you return
  456  your ballot, the less time you will have to cure any signature
  457  deficiencies, which is authorized until 5 p.m. on the 11th day
  458  after the election.
  459         2. Mark your ballot in secret as instructed on the ballot.
  460  You must mark your own ballot unless you are unable to do so
  461  because of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write.
  462         3. Mark only the number of candidates or issue choices for
  463  a race as indicated on the ballot. If you are allowed to “Vote
  464  for One” candidate and you vote for more than one candidate,
  465  your vote in that race will not be counted.
  466         4. Place your marked ballot in the enclosed secrecy
  467  envelope.
  468         5. Insert the secrecy envelope into the enclosed mailing
  469  envelope which is addressed to the supervisor.
  470         6. Seal the mailing envelope and completely fill out the
  471  Voter’s Certificate on the back of the mailing envelope.
  472         7. VERY IMPORTANT. In order for your vote-by-mail ballot to
  473  be counted, you must sign your name on the line above (Voter’s
  474  Signature). A vote-by-mail ballot will be considered illegal and
  475  not be counted if the signature on the voter’s certificate does
  476  not match the signature on record. The signature on file at the
  477  start of the canvass of the vote-by-mail ballots is the
  478  signature that will be used to verify your signature on the
  479  voter’s certificate. If you need to update your signature for
  480  this election, send your signature update on a voter
  481  registration application to your supervisor of elections so that
  482  it is received no later than the start of the canvassing of
  483  vote-by-mail ballots, which occurs no earlier than the 22nd 15th
  484  day before election day.
  485         8. VERY IMPORTANT. If you are an overseas voter, you must
  486  include the date you signed the Voter’s Certificate on the line
  487  above (Date) or your ballot may not be counted.
  488         9. Mail, deliver, or have delivered the completed mailing
  489  envelope. Be sure there is sufficient postage if mailed.
  490         10. FELONY NOTICE. It is a felony under Florida law to
  491  accept any gift, payment, or gratuity in exchange for your vote
  492  for a candidate. It is also a felony under Florida law to vote
  493  in an election using a false identity or false address, or under
  494  any other circumstances making your ballot false or fraudulent.
  495         Section 9. Subsection (1), paragraph (a) of subsection (2),
  496  and subsection (4) of section 101.68, Florida Statutes, are
  497  amended to read:
  498         101.68 Canvassing of vote-by-mail ballot.—
  499         (1) The supervisor of the county where the absent elector
  500  resides shall receive the voted ballot, at which time the
  501  supervisor immediately shall compare the signature of the
  502  elector on the voter’s certificate with the signature of the
  503  elector in the registration books or the precinct register to
  504  determine whether the elector is duly registered in the county
  505  and may record on the elector’s registration certificate that
  506  the elector has voted. An elector who dies after casting a vote
  507  by-mail ballot but on or before election day shall remain listed
  508  in the registration books until the results have been certified
  509  for the election in which the ballot was cast. The supervisor
  510  shall safely keep the ballot unopened in his or her office until
  511  the county canvassing board canvasses the vote. Except as
  512  provided in subsection (4), after a vote-by-mail ballot is
  513  received by the supervisor, the ballot is deemed to have been
  514  cast, and changes or additions may not be made to the voter’s
  515  certificate.
  516         (2)(a) The county canvassing board may begin the canvassing
  517  of vote-by-mail ballots at 7 a.m. on the 22nd 15th day before
  518  the election, but not later than noon on the day following the
  519  election. In addition, for any county using electronic
  520  tabulating equipment, the processing of vote-by-mail ballots
  521  through such tabulating equipment may begin at 7 a.m. on the
  522  22nd 15th day before the election. However, notwithstanding any
  523  such authorization to begin canvassing or otherwise processing
  524  vote-by-mail ballots early, no result shall be released until
  525  after the closing of the polls in that county on election day.
  526  Any supervisor of elections, deputy supervisor of elections,
  527  canvassing board member, election board member, or election
  528  employee who releases the results of a canvassing or processing
  529  of vote-by-mail ballots prior to the closing of the polls in
  530  that county on election day commits a felony of the third
  531  degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.
  532  775.084.
  533         (4)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), the supervisor
  534  must shall, on behalf of the county canvassing board,
  535  immediately notify an elector who has returned a vote-by-mail
  536  ballot that does not include the elector’s signature or contains
  537  a signature that does not match the elector’s signature in the
  538  registration books or precinct register.
  539         (b) For timely domestic vote-by-mail ballots received
  540  beginning on the 4th day before an election, and for timely
  541  overseas vote-by-mail ballots received beginning on the 10th day
  542  before an election, the supervisor must attempt to:
  543         1. Provide the notice to the elector by e-mail;
  544         2. Notify the elector of the signature deficiency by text
  545  message and direct the elector to the cure affidavit and
  546  instructions on the supervisor’s website; and
  547         3. Notify the elector of the signature deficiency by
  548  telephone and direct the elector to the cure affidavit and
  549  instructions on the supervisor’s website.
  550  
  551  If the voter’s certificate or the elector’s records do not
  552  contain any telephone or electronic contact information, the
  553  supervisor must immediately send the notice to an in-county
  554  elector by first-class mail or to any other elector by expedited
  555  delivery. If the elector has provided such information, the
  556  supervisor may continue to attempt to contact the elector by
  557  telephone or electronic means for up to 48 hours before sending
  558  physical notice, time permitting. The supervisor need not
  559  provide any notice required by this subsection which is not
  560  expected to reach the elector until after 5 p.m. on the 11th day
  561  after the election, or when the supervisor has already confirmed
  562  the elector’s receipt of notice.
  563         (c) The supervisor shall allow such an elector to complete
  564  and submit an affidavit in order to cure the vote-by-mail ballot
  565  until 5 p.m. on the 11th day after before the election.
  566         (d)(b) The elector must complete a cure affidavit in
  567  substantially the following form:
  568  
  569                 VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT CURE AFFIDAVIT                
  570         I, ...., am a qualified voter in this election and
  571  registered voter of .... County, Florida. I do solemnly swear or
  572  affirm that I requested and returned the vote-by-mail ballot and
  573  that I have not and will not vote more than one ballot in this
  574  election. I understand that if I commit or attempt any fraud in
  575  connection with voting, vote a fraudulent ballot, or vote more
  576  than once in an election, I may be convicted of a felony of the
  577  third degree and fined up to $5,000 and imprisoned for up to 5
  578  years. I understand that my failure to sign this affidavit may
  579  invalidate my ballot means that my vote-by-mail ballot will be
  580  invalidated.
  581  
  582  ...(Voter’s Signature)...
  583  
  584  ...(Address)...
  585         (e)(c) Instructions must accompany the cure affidavit in
  586  substantially the following form:
  587  
  588         READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE COMPLETING THE
  589  AFFIDAVIT. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY CAUSE YOUR
  590  BALLOT NOT TO COUNT.
  591  
  592         1. In order to ensure that your vote-by-mail ballot will be
  593  counted, your affidavit should be completed and returned as soon
  594  as possible so that it can reach the supervisor of elections of
  595  the county in which your precinct is located no later than 5
  596  p.m. on the 11th day after before the election.
  597         2. You must sign your name on the line above (Voter’s
  598  Signature).
  599         3. You must make a copy of one of the following forms of
  600  identification:
  601         a. Tier 1 identification.—Current and valid identification
  602  that includes your name and photograph: Florida driver license;
  603  Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway
  604  Safety and Motor Vehicles; United States passport; debit or
  605  credit card; military identification; student identification;
  606  retirement center identification; neighborhood association
  607  identification; public assistance identification; veteran health
  608  identification card issued by the United States Department of
  609  Veterans Affairs; a Florida license to carry a concealed weapon
  610  or firearm; or an employee identification card issued by any
  611  branch, department, agency, or entity of the Federal Government,
  612  the state, a county, or a municipality; or
  613         b. Tier 2 identification.—ONLY IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A TIER 1
  614  FORM OF IDENTIFICATION, identification that shows your name and
  615  current residence address: current utility bill, bank statement,
  616  government check, paycheck, or government document (excluding
  617  voter identification card).
  618         4. Place the envelope bearing the affidavit into a mailing
  619  envelope addressed to the supervisor. Insert a copy of your
  620  identification in the mailing envelope. Mail (if time permits),
  621  deliver, or have delivered the completed affidavit along with
  622  the copy of your identification to your county supervisor of
  623  elections. Be sure there is sufficient postage if mailed and
  624  that the supervisor’s address is correct. Remember, your
  625  information MUST reach your county supervisor of elections no
  626  later than 5 p.m. on the 11th day following the election, or
  627  your ballot will not count.
  628         5. Alternatively, you may fax or e-mail your completed
  629  affidavit and a copy of your identification to the supervisor of
  630  elections. If e-mailing, please provide these documents as
  631  attachments. E-mail should be used only as a last resort, as it
  632  is not a secure communication method and could result in third
  633  parties having access to your personal information.
  634         (f)(d) The department and each supervisor shall include the
  635  affidavit and instructions on their respective websites. The
  636  supervisor must include his or her office’s mailing address, e
  637  mail address, and fax number on the page containing the
  638  affidavit instructions, and; the department’s instruction page
  639  must include the office mailing addresses, e-mail addresses, and
  640  fax numbers of all supervisors of elections or provide a
  641  conspicuous link to such addresses.
  642         (g)(e) The supervisor shall attach each affidavit received
  643  to the appropriate vote-by-mail ballot mailing envelope.
  644         (h)(f)If a vote-by-mail ballot is validated following the
  645  submission of a cure affidavit, the supervisor must make a copy
  646  of the affidavit, affix it to a voter registration application,
  647  and immediately process it as a valid request for a signature
  648  update pursuant to s. 98.077.
  649         (i) After all election results on the ballot have been
  650  certified, the supervisor shall, on behalf of the county
  651  canvassing board, notify each elector whose ballot has been
  652  rejected as illegal and provide the specific reason the ballot
  653  was rejected. In addition, unless processed as a signature
  654  update pursuant to paragraph (h), the supervisor shall mail a
  655  voter registration application to the elector to be completed
  656  indicating the elector’s current signature if the signature on
  657  the voter’s certificate or cure affidavit did not match the
  658  elector’s signature in the registration books or precinct
  659  register. This section does not prohibit the supervisor from
  660  providing additional methods for updating an elector’s
  661  signature.
  662         Section 10. Section 101.6923, Florida Statutes, is amended
  663  to read:
  664         101.6923 Special vote-by-mail ballot instructions for
  665  certain first-time voters.—
  666         (1) The provisions of this section apply to voters who are
  667  subject to the provisions of s. 97.0535 and who have not
  668  provided the identification or information required by s.
  669  97.0535 by the time the vote-by-mail ballot is mailed.
  670         (2) A voter covered by this section shall be provided with
  671  printed instructions with his or her vote-by-mail ballot in
  672  substantially the following form:
  673  
  674         READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE MARKING YOUR
  675         BALLOT. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY CAUSE
  676         YOUR BALLOT NOT TO COUNT.
  677  
  678         1. In order to ensure that your vote-by-mail ballot will be
  679  counted, it should be completed and returned as soon as possible
  680  so that it can reach the supervisor of elections of the county
  681  in which your precinct is located no later than 7 p.m. on the
  682  date of the election. However, if you are an overseas voter
  683  casting a ballot in a presidential preference primary or general
  684  election, your vote-by-mail ballot must be postmarked or dated
  685  no later than the date of the election and received by the
  686  supervisor of elections of the county in which you are
  687  registered to vote no later than 10 days after the date of the
  688  election.
  689         2. Mark your ballot in secret as instructed on the ballot.
  690  You must mark your own ballot unless you are unable to do so
  691  because of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write.
  692         3. Mark only the number of candidates or issue choices for
  693  a race as indicated on the ballot. If you are allowed to “Vote
  694  for One” candidate and you vote for more than one, your vote in
  695  that race will not be counted.
  696         4. Place your marked ballot in the enclosed secrecy
  697  envelope and seal the envelope.
  698         5. Insert the secrecy envelope into the enclosed envelope
  699  bearing the Voter’s Certificate. Seal the envelope and
  700  completely fill out the Voter’s Certificate on the back of the
  701  envelope.
  702         a. You must sign your name on the line above (Voter’s
  703  Signature).
  704         b. If you are an overseas voter, you must include the date
  705  you signed the Voter’s Certificate on the line above (Date) or
  706  your ballot may not be counted.
  707         c. A vote-by-mail ballot will be considered illegal and
  708  will not be counted if the signature on the Voter’s Certificate
  709  does not match the signature on record. The signature on file at
  710  the start of the canvass of the vote-by-mail ballots is the
  711  signature that will be used to verify your signature on the
  712  Voter’s Certificate. If you need to update your signature for
  713  this election, send your signature update on a voter
  714  registration application to your supervisor of elections so that
  715  it is received no later than the start of canvassing of vote-by
  716  mail ballots, which occurs no earlier than the 22nd 15th day
  717  before election day.
  718         6. Unless you meet one of the exemptions in Item 7., you
  719  must make a copy of one of the following forms of
  720  identification:
  721         a. Identification which must include your name and
  722  photograph: United States passport; debit or credit card;
  723  military identification; student identification; retirement
  724  center identification; neighborhood association identification;
  725  public assistance identification; veteran health identification
  726  card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs;
  727  a Florida license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm; or an
  728  employee identification card issued by any branch, department,
  729  agency, or entity of the Federal Government, the state, a
  730  county, or a municipality; or
  731         b. Identification which shows your name and current
  732  residence address: current utility bill, bank statement,
  733  government check, paycheck, or government document (excluding
  734  voter identification card).
  735         7. The identification requirements of Item 6. do not apply
  736  if you meet one of the following requirements:
  737         a. You are 65 years of age or older.
  738         b. You have a temporary or permanent physical disability.
  739         c. You are a member of a uniformed service on active duty
  740  who, by reason of such active duty, will be absent from the
  741  county on election day.
  742         d. You are a member of the Merchant Marine who, by reason
  743  of service in the Merchant Marine, will be absent from the
  744  county on election day.
  745         e. You are the spouse or dependent of a member referred to
  746  in paragraph c. or paragraph d. who, by reason of the active
  747  duty or service of the member, will be absent from the county on
  748  election day.
  749         f. You are currently residing outside the United States.
  750         8. Place the envelope bearing the Voter’s Certificate into
  751  the mailing envelope addressed to the supervisor. Insert a copy
  752  of your identification in the mailing envelope. DO NOT PUT YOUR
  753  IDENTIFICATION INSIDE THE SECRECY ENVELOPE WITH THE BALLOT OR
  754  INSIDE THE ENVELOPE WHICH BEARS THE VOTER’S CERTIFICATE OR YOUR
  755  BALLOT WILL NOT COUNT.
  756         9. Mail, deliver, or have delivered the completed mailing
  757  envelope. Be sure there is sufficient postage if mailed.
  758         10. FELONY NOTICE. It is a felony under Florida law to
  759  accept any gift, payment, or gratuity in exchange for your vote
  760  for a candidate. It is also a felony under Florida law to vote
  761  in an election using a false identity or false address, or under
  762  any other circumstances making your ballot false or fraudulent.
  763         Section 11. Subsection (2) of section 102.111, Florida
  764  Statutes, is amended to read:
  765         102.111 Elections Canvassing Commission.—
  766         (2)(a) The Elections Canvassing Commission shall meet at 9
  767  a.m. on the 9th day after a primary election and at 9 a.m. on
  768  the 14th day after a primary election or a general election to
  769  certify the returns of the election for each federal, state, and
  770  multicounty office, except for those contests with a pending
  771  general election recount.
  772         (b) The commission shall meet at 9 a.m. on the 21st day
  773  after a general election to certify the returns in the remaining
  774  recount contests.
  775  
  776  If a member of a county canvassing board that was constituted
  777  pursuant to s. 102.141 determines, within 5 days after the
  778  certification by the Elections Canvassing Commission, that a
  779  typographical error occurred in the official returns of the
  780  county, the correction of which could result in a change in the
  781  outcome of an election, the county canvassing board must certify
  782  corrected returns to the Department of State within 24 hours,
  783  and the Elections Canvassing Commission must correct and
  784  recertify the election returns as soon as practicable.
  785         Section 12. Subsection (2) of section 102.112, Florida
  786  Statutes, is amended to read:
  787         102.112 Deadline for submission of county returns to the
  788  Department of State.—
  789         (2)(a) Returns must be filed by 5 p.m. on the 7th day
  790  following a primary election and by noon on the 12th day
  791  following the primary election and the general election for all
  792  contests, except those contests with a pending general election
  793  recount.
  794         (b) For contests with a pending general election recount,
  795  returns must be filed by noon on the 19th day following the
  796  general election.
  797         (c)However, The Department of State may correct
  798  typographical errors, including the transposition of numbers, in
  799  any returns submitted to the Department of State pursuant to s.
  800  102.111(2).
  801         Section 13. Paragraph (b) of subsection (4), subsection
  802  (5), and paragraph (c) of subsection (7) of section 102.141,
  803  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  804         102.141 County canvassing board; duties.—
  805         (4)
  806         (b) The canvassing board shall report all early voting and
  807  all tabulated vote-by-mail results to the Department of State
  808  within 30 minutes after the polls close. Thereafter, the
  809  canvassing board shall report, with the exception of provisional
  810  ballot results, updated precinct election results to the
  811  department at least every hour 45 minutes until 2 a.m. the next
  812  day. Thereafter, the canvassing board must report results on an
  813  hourly basis from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. each day until all results
  814  are completely reported. The supervisor of elections shall
  815  notify the department immediately of any circumstances that do
  816  not permit periodic updates as required. Results shall be
  817  submitted in a format prescribed by the department.
  818         (5) The canvassing board shall submit on forms or in
  819  formats provided by the division unofficial returns to the
  820  Department of State for each federal, statewide, state, or
  821  multicounty office or ballot measure no later than noon on the
  822  third day after any primary election and no later than noon on
  823  the fourth day after any primary, general or other election.
  824  Such returns shall include the canvass of all ballots as
  825  required by subsection (2).
  826         (7) If the unofficial returns reflect that a candidate for
  827  any office was defeated or eliminated by one-half of a percent
  828  or less of the votes cast for such office, that a candidate for
  829  retention to a judicial office was retained or not retained by
  830  one-half of a percent or less of the votes cast on the question
  831  of retention, or that a measure appearing on the ballot was
  832  approved or rejected by one-half of a percent or less of the
  833  votes cast on such measure, a recount shall be ordered of the
  834  votes cast with respect to such office or measure. The Secretary
  835  of State is responsible for ordering recounts in federal, state,
  836  and multicounty races. The county canvassing board or the local
  837  board responsible for certifying the election is responsible for
  838  ordering recounts in all other races. A recount need not be
  839  ordered with respect to the returns for any office, however, if
  840  the candidate or candidates defeated or eliminated from
  841  contention for such office by one-half of a percent or less of
  842  the votes cast for such office request in writing that a recount
  843  not be made.
  844         (c) The canvassing board shall submit on forms or in
  845  formats provided by the division a second set of unofficial
  846  returns to the Department of State for each federal, statewide,
  847  state, or multicounty office or ballot measure. The returns for
  848  all primary election contests and general election contests not
  849  subject to a recount shall be filed no later than 3 p.m. on the
  850  9th 5th day after the any primary or general election, and no
  851  later than 5 p.m. 3 p.m. on the 12th 9th day after the any
  852  general election for any contest in which a recount was ordered
  853  by the Secretary of State. If the canvassing board is unable to
  854  complete the recount prescribed in this subsection by the
  855  deadline, the second set of unofficial returns submitted by the
  856  canvassing board shall be identical to the initial unofficial
  857  returns and the submission shall also include a detailed
  858  explanation of why it was unable to timely complete the recount.
  859  However, the canvassing board shall complete the recount
  860  prescribed in this subsection, along with any manual recount
  861  prescribed in s. 102.166, and certify election returns in
  862  accordance with the requirements of this chapter.
  863         Section 14. Subsection (2) of section 102.166, Florida
  864  Statutes, is amended to read:
  865         102.166 Manual recounts of overvotes and undervotes.—
  866         (2)(a) Any hardware or software used to identify and sort
  867  overvotes and undervotes for a given race or ballot measure must
  868  be certified by the Department of State as part of the voting
  869  system pursuant to s. 101.015. Any such hardware or software
  870  must be capable of simultaneously identifying and sorting
  871  overvotes and undervotes in multiple races while simultaneously
  872  counting votes.
  873         (b) Overvotes and undervotes must shall be identified and
  874  sorted while recounting ballots pursuant to s. 102.141, if the
  875  hardware or software for this purpose has been certified or the
  876  department’s rules so provide.
  877         Section 15. This act shall take effect January 1, 2020.

feedback