QUALIFICATION AND REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS
97.011 - Short title
Chapters 97-106 inclusive shall be known and may be cited as “The Florida Election Code.”
History.- s. 1, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 65-60; s. 1, ch. 77-175.
97.0115 - Preemption
All matters set forth in chapters 97-105 are preempted to the state, except as otherwise specifically authorized by state or federal law. The conduct of municipal elections shall be governed by s. 100.3605.
History.- s. 1, ch. 2010-167.
97.012 - Secretary of State as chief election officer
The Secretary of State is the chief election officer of the state, and it is his or her responsibility to:
History.- s. 1, ch. 75-98; s. 21, ch. 84-302; s. 2, ch. 89-348; s. 1, ch. 90-315; s. 2, ch. 94-224; s. 1381, ch. 95-147; s. 34, ch. 97-13; s. 1, ch. 98-129; s. 1, ch. 2003-415; s. 1, ch. 2005-277; s. 1, ch. 2005-278; s. 1, ch. 2008-95; s. 1, ch. 2011-40.
- (1) Obtain and maintain uniformity in the interpretation and implementation of the election laws. In order to obtain and maintain uniformity in the interpretation and implementation of the election laws, the Department of State may, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, adopt by rule uniform standards for the proper and equitable interpretation and implementation of the requirements of chapters 97-102 and chapter 105 of the Election Code.
- (2) Provide uniform standards for the proper and equitable implementation of the registration laws by administrative rule of the Department of State adopted pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54.
- (3) Actively seek out and collect the data and statistics necessary to knowledgeably scrutinize the effectiveness of election laws.
- (4) Provide technical assistance to the supervisors of elections on voter education and election personnel training services.
- (5) Provide technical assistance to the supervisors of elections on voting systems.
- (6) Provide voter education assistance to the public.
- (7) Coordinate the state’s responsibilities under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
- (8) Provide training to all affected state agencies on the necessary procedures for proper implementation of this chapter.
- (9) Ensure that all registration applications and forms prescribed or approved by the department are in compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
- (10) Coordinate with the United States Department of Defense so that armed forces recruitment offices administer voter registration in a manner consistent with the procedures set forth in this code for voter registration agencies.
- (11) Create and administer a statewide voter registration system as required by the Help America Vote Act of 2002. The secretary may delegate voter registration duties and records maintenance activities to voter registration officials. Any responsibilities delegated by the secretary shall be performed in accordance with state and federal law.
- (12) Maintain a voter fraud hotline and provide election fraud education to the public.
- (13) Designate an office within the department to be responsible for providing information regarding voter registration procedures and absentee ballot procedures to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters.
- (14) Bring and maintain such actions at law or in equity by mandamus or injunction to enforce the performance of any duties of a county supervisor of elections or any official performing duties with respect to chapters 97-102 and chapter 105 or to enforce compliance with a rule of the Department of State adopted to interpret or implement any of those chapters.
- (a) Venue for such actions shall be in the Circuit Court of Leon County.
- (b) When the secretary files an action under this section and not more than 60 days remain before an election as defined in s. 97.021, or during the time period after the election and before certification of the election pursuant to s. 102.112 or s. 102.121, the court, including an appellate court, shall set an immediate hearing, giving the case priority over other pending cases.
- (c) Prior to filing an action to enforce performance of the duties of the supervisor of elections or any official described in this subsection, the secretary or his or her designee first must confer, or must make a good faith attempt to confer, with the supervisor of elections or the official to ensure compliance with chapters 97-102 and chapter 105 or the rules of the Department of State adopted under any of those chapters.
- (15) Conduct preliminary investigations into any irregularities or fraud involving voter registration, voting, candidate petition, or issue petition activities and report his or her findings to the statewide prosecutor or the state attorney for the judicial circuit in which the alleged violation occurred for prosecution, if warranted. The Department of State may prescribe by rule requirements for filing an elections-fraud complaint and for investigating any such complaint.
- (16) Provide written direction and opinions to the supervisors of elections on the performance of their official duties with respect to the Florida Election Code or rules adopted by the Department of State.
97.021 - Definitions
For the purposes of this code, except where the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term:
History.- s. 2, ch. 6469, 1913; RGS 300; s. 1, ch. 8582, 1921; CGL 356; s. 1, ch. 13761, 1929; s. 1, ch. 18060, 1937; s. 1, ch. 19663, 1939; s. 1, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 28156, 1953; s. 1, ch. 61-370; s. 2, ch. 65-60; s. 1, ch. 67-32; s. 2, ch. 67-142; s. 2, ch. 67-386; s. 1, ch. 69-137; s. 1, ch. 69-280; s. 1, ch. 69-377; s. 1, ch. 70-269; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 1, ch. 71-206; s. 1, ch. 73-157; s. 31, ch. 73-333; s. 23, ch. 77-104; s. 1, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 79-157; s. 24, ch. 79-400; s. 1, ch. 81-105; s. 15, ch. 82-143; s. 22, ch. 84-302; s. 1, ch. 87-184; ss. 5, 12, ch. 87-363; s. 1, ch. 89-338; s. 3, ch. 89-348; s. 2, ch. 90-315; s. 3, ch. 94-224; s. 1382, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 96-57; s. 54, ch. 96-175; s. 1, ch. 96-327; s. 35, ch. 97-13; s. 3, ch. 98-129; ss. 2, 34, ch. 2001-40; s. 4, ch. 2002-281; s. 2, ch. 2003-415; s. 9, ch. 2004-252; s. 2, ch. 2005-277; s. 2, ch. 2005-278; s. 2, ch. 2005-286; s. 1, ch. 2007-30; s. 2, ch. 2010-167; s. 1, ch. 2010-209; s. 2, ch. 2011-40.
- (1) “Absent elector” means any registered and qualified voter who casts an absentee ballot.
- (2) “Absent uniformed services voter” means:
- (a) A member of a uniformed service on active duty who, by reason of such active duty, is absent from the place of residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote;
- (b) A member of the merchant marine who, by reason of service in the merchant marine, is absent from the place of residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote; or
- (c) A spouse or dependent of a member referred to in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) who, by reason of the active duty or service of the member, is absent from the place of residence where the spouse or dependent is otherwise qualified to vote.
- (3) “Alternative formats” has the meaning ascribed in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336, 42 U.S.C. ss. 12101 et seq., including specifically the technical assistance manuals promulgated thereunder, as amended.
- (4) “Ballot” or “official ballot” when used in reference to:
- (a) “Marksense ballots” means that printed sheet of paper, used in conjunction with an electronic or electromechanical vote tabulation voting system, containing the names of candidates, or a statement of proposed constitutional amendments or other questions or propositions submitted to the electorate at any election, on which sheet of paper an elector casts his or her vote.
- (b) “Electronic or electromechanical devices” means a ballot that is voted by the process of electronically designating, including by touchscreen, or marking with a marking device for tabulation by automatic tabulating equipment or data processing equipment.
- (5) “Candidate” means any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:
- (a) Any person who seeks to qualify for nomination or election by means of the petitioning process.
- (b) Any person who seeks to qualify for election as a write-in candidate.
- (c) Any person who receives contributions or makes expenditures, or gives his or her consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures, with a view to bringing about his or her nomination or election to, or retention in, public office.
- (d) Any person who appoints a treasurer and designates a primary depository.
- (e) Any person who files qualification papers and subscribes to a candidate’s oath as required by law.
However, this definition does not include any candidate for a political party executive committee.
- (6) “Department” means the Department of State.
- (7) “Division” means the Division of Elections of the Department of State.
- (8) “Early voting” means casting a ballot prior to election day at a location designated by the supervisor of elections and depositing the voted ballot in the tabulation system.
- (9) “Early voting area” means the area designated by the supervisor of elections at an early voting site at which early voting activities occur, including, but not limited to, lines of voters waiting to be processed, the area where voters check in and are processed, and the area where voters cast their ballots.
- (10) “Early voting site” means those locations specified in s. 101.657 and the building in which early voting occurs.
- (11) “Election” means any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election.
- (12) “Election board” means the clerk and inspectors appointed to conduct an election.
- (13) “Election costs” shall include, but not be limited to, expenditures for all paper supplies such as envelopes, instructions to voters, affidavits, reports, ballot cards, ballot booklets for absentee voters, postage, notices to voters; advertisements for registration book closings, testing of voting equipment, sample ballots, and polling places; forms used to qualify candidates; polling site rental and equipment delivery and pickup; data processing time and supplies; election records retention; and labor costs, including those costs uniquely associated with absentee ballot preparation, poll workers, and election night canvass.
- (14) “Elector” is synonymous with the word “voter” or “qualified elector or voter,” except where the word is used to describe presidential electors.
- (15) “General election” means an election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in the even-numbered years, for the purpose of filling national, state, county, and district offices and for voting on constitutional amendments not otherwise provided for by law.
- (16) “Lists of registered electors” means names and associated information of registered electors maintained by the department in the statewide voter registration system or generated or derived from the statewide voter registration system. Lists may be produced in printed or electronic format.
- (17) “Member of the Merchant Marine” means an individual, other than a member of a uniformed service or an individual employed, enrolled, or maintained on the Great Lakes for the inland waterways, who is:
- (a) Employed as an officer or crew member of a vessel documented under the laws of the United States, a vessel owned by the United States, or a vessel of foreign-flag registry under charter to or control of the United States; or
- (b) Enrolled with the United States for employment or training for employment, or maintained by the United States for emergency relief service, as an officer or crew member of such vessel.
- (18) “Minor political party” is any group as specified in s. 103.095 which on January 1 preceding a primary election does not have registered as members 5 percent of the total registered electors of the state.
- (19) “Newspaper of general circulation” means a newspaper printed in the language most commonly spoken in the area within which it circulates and which is readily available for purchase by all inhabitants in the area of circulation, but does not include a newspaper intended primarily for members of a particular professional or occupational group, a newspaper the primary function of which is to carry legal notices, or a newspaper that is given away primarily to distribute advertising.
- (20) “Nominal value” means having a retail value of $10 or less.
- (21) “Nonpartisan office” means an office for which a candidate is prohibited from campaigning or qualifying for election or retention in office based on party affiliation.
- (22) “Office that serves persons with disabilities” means any state office that takes applications either in person or over the telephone from persons with disabilities for any program, service, or benefit primarily related to their disabilities.
- (23) “Overseas voter” means:
- (a) An absent uniformed services voter who, by reason of active duty or service, is absent from the United States on the date of the election involved;
- (b) A person who resides outside the United States and is qualified to vote in the last place in which the person was domiciled before leaving the United States; or
- (c) A person who resides outside the United States and, but for such residence, would be qualified to vote in the last place in which the person was domiciled before leaving the United States.
- (24) “Overvote” means that the elector marks or designates more names than there are persons to be elected to an office or designates more than one answer to a ballot question, and the tabulator records no vote for the office or question.
- (25) “Persons with disabilities” means individuals who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
- (26) “Polling place” is the building which contains the polling room where ballots are cast.
- (27) “Polling room” means the actual room in which ballots are cast on election day and during early voting.
- (28) “Primary election” means an election held preceding the general election for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted for in the general election to fill a national, state, county, or district office.
- (29) “Provisional ballot” means a conditional ballot, the validity of which is determined by the canvassing board.
- (30) “Public assistance” means assistance provided through the food assistance program under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; the Medicaid program; the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children; and the Temporary Cash Assistance Program.
- (31) “Public office” means any federal, state, county, municipal, school, or other district office or position which is filled by vote of the electors.
- (32) “Qualifying educational institution” means any public or private educational institution receiving state financial assistance which has, as its primary mission, the provision of education or training to students who are at least 18 years of age, provided such institution has more than 200 students enrolled in classes with the institution and provided that the recognized student government organization has requested this designation in writing and has filed the request with the office of the supervisor of elections in the county in which the institution is located.
- (33) “Special election” is a special election called for the purpose of voting on a party nominee to fill a vacancy in the national, state, county, or district office.
- (34) “Special primary election” is a special nomination election designated by the Governor, called for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted on in a general or special election.
- (35) “Supervisor” means the supervisor of elections.
- (36) “Tactile input device” means a device that provides information to a voting system by means of a voter touching the device, such as a keyboard, and that complies with the requirements of s. 101.56062(1)(k) and (l).
- (37) “Third-party registration organization” means any person, entity, or organization soliciting or collecting voter registration applications. A third-party voter registration organization does not include:
- (a) A person who seeks only to register to vote or collect voter registration applications from that person’s spouse, child, or parent; or
- (b) A person engaged in registering to vote or collecting voter registration applications as an employee or agent of the division, supervisor of elections, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, or a voter registration agency.
- (38) “Undervote” means that the elector does not properly designate any choice for an office or ballot question, and the tabulator records no vote for the office or question.
- (39) “Uniformed services” means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- (40) “Voter interface device” means any device that communicates voting instructions and ballot information to a voter and allows the voter to select and vote for candidates and issues.
- (41) “Voter registration agency” means any office that provides public assistance, any office that serves persons with disabilities, any center for independent living, or any public library.
- (42) “Voter registration official” means any supervisor of elections or individual authorized by the Secretary of State to accept voter registration applications and execute updates to the statewide voter registration system.
- (43) “Voting booth” or “booth” means that booth or enclosure wherein an elector casts his or her ballot for tabulation by an electronic or electromechanical device.
- (44) “Voting system” means a method of casting and processing votes that functions wholly or partly by use of electromechanical or electronic apparatus or by use of marksense ballots and includes, but is not limited to, the procedures for casting and processing votes and the programs, operating manuals, supplies, printouts, and other software necessary for the system’s operation.
Note.- Former s. 102.02.
97.023 - Procedures on complaints of violations
History.- s. 4, ch. 94-224; s. 1383, ch. 95-147.
- (1)(a) Any person who is aggrieved by a violation of either the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 or a voter registration or removal procedure under the Florida Election Code may file a written complaint with the department, which shall serve as notice to the Secretary of State.
- (b) A complaint must state the alleged violation and the person or entity responsible, who must be the department, a voter registration agency, a supervisor, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, or an Armed Forces Recruitment Center. If the department determines that a complaint fails to allege both a violation and a person or entity responsible for the violation, the department shall inform the complainant that he or she has not given sufficient notice and the steps that must be taken in order to give proper notice.
- (c) For the purposes of this section, a violation of either the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 or a voter registration or removal procedure under the Florida Election Code is the failure to perform an act required or the performance of an act prohibited by either the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 or a voter registration or removal procedure under the Florida Election Code.
- (d) The department has primary jurisdiction over complaints filed under the provisions of this section.
- (2) When a complaint is filed with the department, the parties to the complaint must be given the opportunity to resolve the complaint through an informal dispute resolution process to be established by the department. This process must provide for:
- (a) A time limitation of 30 days on the process, unless the alleged violation occurred within 120 days before the date of an election, in which case there must be a time limitation of 20 days;
- (b) A mediator provided by the department, who may be a department employee unless the department is alleged to be responsible for the violation, in which case the Governor must appoint a mediator who is not a department employee;
- (c) Notice to a complainant;
- (d) Notice to a respondent of the allegations filed against him or her in the complaint;
- (e) An opportunity for the parties to submit written statements, present oral argument either in person or by telephone, and present evidence; and
- (f) A written statement by the mediator to the department stating the outcome of the dispute resolution process.
- (3) If an alleged violation occurred within 30 days before the date of a state or federal election and the alleged violation will affect the registrant’s right to vote in that election, the complainant may immediately bring an action in the circuit court in the county where the alleged violation occurred. Otherwise, the following are conditions precedent for a complainant to bring an action for declaratory or injunctive relief in the circuit court in the county where the alleged violation occurred:
- (a) The complainant gave proper written notice of the alleged violation to the Secretary of State;
- (b) The complainant participated in the informal dispute resolution process; and
- (c) An agreement is not reached or an alleged violation is not corrected within 90 days after receipt of notice or 20 days after receipt of notice if the alleged violation occurred within 120 days before the date of an election.
97.025 - Election Code; copies thereof
A pamphlet of a reprint of the Election Code, adequately indexed, shall be prepared by the Department of State. The pamphlet shall be made available to each candidate who qualifies with the department. The pamphlet shall be made available to each supervisor, prior to the first day of qualifying, so that each candidate who qualifies with the supervisor and each clerk of elections have access to the pamphlet. The cost of making the pamphlets available shall be paid out of funds appropriated for conducting elections.
History.- s. 38, ch. 3879, 1889; RS 192; s. 69, ch. 4328, 1895; GS 253; RGS 297; CGL 353; s. 2, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 17, ch. 65-134; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 5, ch. 77-175; s. 2, ch. 79-365; s. 5, ch. 94-224; s. 3, ch. 2011-40.
Note.- Former s. 99.54; s. 98.251.
97.026 - Forms to be available in alternative formats and via the Internet
It is the intent of the Legislature that all forms required to be used in chapters 97-106 shall be made available upon request, in alternative formats. Such forms shall include absentee ballots as alternative formats for such ballots become available and the Division of Elections is able to certify systems that provide them. Whenever possible, such forms, with the exception of absentee ballots, shall be made available by the Department of State via the Internet. Sections that contain such forms include, but are not limited to, ss. 97.051, 97.052, 97.053, 97.057, 97.058, 97.0583, 97.071, 97.073, 97.1031, 98.075, 99.021, 100.361, 100.371, 101.045, 101.171, 101.20, 101.6103, 101.62, 101.64, 101.65, 101.657, 105.031, 106.023, and 106.087.
History.- s. 5, ch. 2002-281; s. 3, ch. 2005-278; s. 24, ch. 2012-116.
97.028 - Procedures on complaints of violations of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002
History.- s. 5, ch. 2003-415.
- (1)(a) Any person who believes that a violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur may file a complaint with the department.
- (b) The complaint must be in writing and must be signed and sworn to before a notary by the person filing the complaint. Further, the complaint must state the alleged violation and the person or entity responsible for the violation. The department shall prescribe the form for complaints filed under this section. If the department determines that the complaint fails to allege both a violation and a person or entity responsible for the violation, or that the complaint is not properly executed, the department shall inform the complainant in writing that the complaint is legally insufficient.
- (c) For purposes of this section, a violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 is the failure to perform an act required or the performance of an act prohibited by Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 by a covered person or entity.
- (d) The department shall have sole jurisdiction over complaints filed under the provisions of this section.
- (e) This section provides the sole avenue of redress for alleged violations of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and does not give rise to any other cause of action.
- (f) The department may consolidate complaints filed under this section.
- (g) All proceedings under this section are exempt from chapter 120.
- (2)(a) When a legally sufficient complaint is filed with the department, the agency head shall designate a hearing officer who shall:
- 1. Provide the subject of the complaint with a copy of the complaint. The subject of the complaint shall, within 10 days after receipt of the complaint, file with the department a written, sworn response to the complaint.
- 2. Upon receipt of the response, the hearing officer shall review both sworn filings to determine whether a violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur. The complaint and the response shall constitute the official hearing record to be considered by the hearing officer. The hearing officer shall provide the complainant with a copy of the response.
- 3. At the hearing officer’s discretion, the complainant and the respondent may be ordered by the hearing officer to provide additional sworn oral or written statements or additional documents to assist the hearing officer in making his or her determination. Further, other relevant witnesses may also be ordered by the hearing officer to give sworn testimony or to provide relevant documents to assist the hearing officer in making his or her determination. Any such statements or documents received by the hearing officer shall also become part of the official hearing record. For purposes of this section, the hearing officer is authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas.
- 4. The hearing officer shall advise both the complainant and respondent in writing of their determination. If the hearing officer determines that no violation has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur, the department shall dismiss the complaint and publish its determination. If the hearing officer determines that a violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur, the department shall issue and deliver an order directing the appropriate remedy to persons responsible for effecting such remedy. The issuance of an order does not constitute agency action for which a hearing under s. 120.569 or s. 120.57 may be sought. For purposes of enforcing the order, the department may initiate a proceeding in the name of the state seeking issuance of an injunction, a writ of mandamus, or other equitable remedy against any person who violates any provision of such order.
- 5. The department shall make a final determination with respect to the complaint within 90 days after the date that the complaint was filed, unless the complainant consents to a longer period for making such a determination.
- (b) If the department fails to meet the deadline established in subparagraph (a)5., the complaint shall be forwarded to mediation. Mediation shall occur within 60 days after the department’s failure to make a determination within the timeframe established in subparagraph (a)5. The record created under this section shall be made available for use in the mediation.
FLORIDA VOTER REGISTRATION ACT
97.032 - Short title
This part may be cited as the “Florida Voter Registration Act.”
History.- s. 7, ch. 94-224.
97.041 - Qualifications to register or vote
History.- ss. 1, chs. 3850, 3879, 1889; RS 154; s. 1, ch. 4328, 1895; GS 170; RGS 215; s. 1, ch. 8583, 1921; CGL 248; s. 1, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 2, ch. 28156, 1953; s. 1, ch. 63-408; s. 3, ch. 65-60; s. 1, ch. 67-67; ss. 1, 4, ch. 71-108; s. 1, ch. 72-197; s. 2, ch. 73-157; s. 31, ch. 73-333; s. 1, ch. 74-5; s. 1, ch. 77-175; s. 2, ch. 89-338; s. 8, ch. 94-224; s. 12, ch. 2007-30; s. 2, ch. 2008-95.
- (1)(a) A person may become a registered voter only if that person:
- 1. Is at least 18 years of age;
- 2. Is a citizen of the United States;
- 3. Is a legal resident of the State of Florida;
- 4. Is a legal resident of the county in which that person seeks to be registered; and
- 5. Registers pursuant to the Florida Election Code.
- (b) A person who is otherwise qualified may preregister on or after that person’s 16th birthday and may vote in any election occurring on or after that person’s 18th birthday.
- (2) The following persons, who might be otherwise qualified, are not entitled to register or vote:
- (a) A person who has been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting in this or any other state and who has not had his or her right to vote restored pursuant to law.
- (b) A person who has been convicted of any felony by any court of record and who has not had his or her right to vote restored pursuant to law.
- (3) A person who is not registered may not vote.
Note.- Former s. 98.01.
97.051 - Oath upon registering
A person registering to vote must subscribe to the following oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida, that I am qualified to register as an elector under the Constitution and laws of the State of Florida, and that all information provided in this application is true.”
History.- s. 7, ch. 3879, 1889; RS 161; s. 8, ch. 4328, 1895; GS 178; RGS 222; CGL 257; s. 4, ch. 25383, 1949; s. 1, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 3, ch. 69-280; ss. 2, 4, ch. 71-108; s. 1, ch. 72-63; s. 2, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 81-304; s. 9, ch. 94-224; s. 3, ch. 2005-277; s. 4, ch. 2005-278.
Note.- Former s. 98.11.
97.052 - Uniform statewide voter registration application
History.- s. 5, ch. 25391, 1949; s. 2, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 59-231; s. 8, ch. 65-134; s. 1, ch. 67-170; s. 8, ch. 69-377; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 72-63; s. 5, ch. 77-175; s. 23, ch. 84-302; s. 6, ch. 89-338; s. 10, ch. 94-224; s. 2, ch. 96-327; s. 26, ch. 97-13; s. 4, ch. 98-129; ss. 1, 7, ch. 2002-189; s. 3, ch. 2003-415; s. 4, ch. 2005-277; s. 5, ch. 2005-278; s. 1, ch. 2013-192.
- (1) The department shall prescribe by rule a uniform statewide voter registration application for use in this state.
- (a) The uniform statewide voter registration application must be accepted for any one or more of the following purposes:
- 1. Initial registration.
- 2. Change of address.
- 3. Change of party affiliation.
- 4. Change of name.
- 5. Replacement of a voter information card.
- 6. Signature update.
- (b) The department is responsible for printing the uniform statewide voter registration application and the voter registration application form prescribed by the Election Assistance Commission pursuant to federal law. The applications and forms must be distributed, upon request, to the following:
- 1. Individuals seeking to register to vote or update a voter registration record.
- 2. Individuals or groups conducting voter registration programs. A charge of 1 cent per application shall be assessed on requests for 10,000 or more applications.
- 3. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
- 4. Voter registration agencies.
- 5. Armed forces recruitment offices.
- 6. Qualifying educational institutions.
- 7. Supervisors, who must make the applications and forms available in the following manner:
- a. By distributing the applications and forms in their offices to any individual or group.
- b. By distributing the applications and forms at other locations designated by each supervisor.
- c. By mailing the applications and forms to applicants upon the request of the applicant.
- (c) The uniform statewide voter registration application may be reproduced by any private individual or group, provided the reproduced application is in the same format as the application prescribed by rule under this section.
- (2) The uniform statewide voter registration application must be designed to elicit the following information from the applicant:
- (a) Last, first, and middle name, including any suffix.
- (b) Date of birth.
- (c) Address of legal residence.
- (d) Mailing address, if different.
- (e) E-mail address and whether the applicant wishes to receive sample ballots by e-mail.
- (f) County of legal residence.
- (g) Race or ethnicity that best describes the applicant:
- 1. American Indian or Alaskan Native.
- 2. Asian or Pacific Islander.
- 3. Black, not Hispanic.
- 4. White, not Hispanic.
- 5. Hispanic.
- (h) State or country of birth.
- (i) Sex.
- (j) Party affiliation.
- (k) Whether the applicant needs assistance in voting.
- (l) Name and address where last registered.
- (m) Last four digits of the applicant’s social security number.
- (n) Florida driver’s license number or the identification number from a Florida identification card issued under s. 322.051.
- (o) An indication, if applicable, that the applicant has not been issued a Florida driver’s license, a Florida identification card, or a social security number.
- (p) Telephone number (optional).
- (q) Signature of applicant under penalty for false swearing pursuant to s. 104.011, by which the person subscribes to the oath required by s. 3, Art. VI of the State Constitution and s. 97.051, and swears or affirms that the information contained in the registration application is true.
- (r) Whether the application is being used for initial registration, to update a voter registration record, or to request a replacement voter information card.
- (s) Whether the applicant is a citizen of the United States by asking the question “Are you a citizen of the United States of America?” and providing boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant is or is not a citizen of the United States.
- (t) Whether the applicant has been convicted of a felony, and, if convicted, has had his or her civil rights restored by including the statement “I affirm I am not a convicted felon, or, if I am, my rights relating to voting have been restored.” and providing a box for the applicant to check to affirm the statement.
- (u) Whether the applicant has been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting or, if so adjudicated, has had his or her right to vote restored by including the statement “I affirm I have not been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting, or, if I have, my competency has been restored.” and providing a box for the applicant to check to affirm the statement.
The registration application must be in plain language and designed so that convicted felons whose civil rights have been restored and persons who have been adjudicated mentally incapacitated and have had their voting rights restored are not required to reveal their prior conviction or adjudication.
- (3) The uniform statewide voter registration application must also contain:
- (a) The oath required by s. 3, Art. VI of the State Constitution and s. 97.051.
- (b) A statement specifying each eligibility requirement under s. 97.041.
- (c) The penalties provided in s. 104.011 for false swearing in connection with voter registration.
- (d) A statement that, if an applicant declines to register to vote, the fact that the applicant has declined to register will remain confidential and may be used only for voter registration purposes.
- (e) A statement that informs the applicant who chooses to register to vote or update a voter registration record that the office at which the applicant submits a voter registration application or updates a voter registration record will remain confidential and may be used only for voter registration purposes.
- (f) A statement informing an applicant who has not been issued a Florida driver’s license, a Florida identification card, or a social security number that if the application is submitted by mail and the applicant is registering for the first time in this state, the applicant will be required to provide identification prior to voting the first time.
- (4) A supervisor may produce a voter registration application that has the supervisor’s direct mailing address if the department has reviewed the application and determined that it is substantially the same as the uniform statewide voter registration application.
- (5) The voter registration application form prescribed by the Election Assistance Commission pursuant to federal law or the federal postcard application must be accepted as an application for registration in this state if the completed application or postcard application contains the information required by the constitution and laws of this state.
- (6) If a voter registration applicant fails to provide any of the required information on the voter registration application form, the supervisor shall notify the applicant of the failure by mail within 5 business days after the supervisor has the information available in the voter registration system. The applicant shall have an opportunity to complete the application form to vote in the next election up until the book closing for that next election.
Note.- Former s. 97.05; s. 98.111.