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Senate Bill 3004

Senate Bill sb3004

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3004

    By Senator Cowin





    20-1863-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to elections; amending s.

  3         97.021, F.S.; redesignating "paper ballot" as

  4         "marksense ballot" and redefining the term

  5         "voting system"; amending s. 97.052, F.S.;

  6         providing an additional purpose for statewide

  7         voter registration applications; amending s.

  8         99.095, F.S.; revising procedures for

  9         qualification by petition; amending s. 99.0955,

10         F.S.; revising method of qualification by

11         candidates with no party affiliation; amending

12         s. 99.096, F.S.; revising method of

13         qualification by minor party candidates;

14         amending s. 100.011, F.S.; providing that

15         electors in line to vote at the closing of the

16         polls must be allowed to vote; amending s.

17         100.111, F.S.; revising procedures to be

18         followed in the event of a vacancy in

19         nomination; amending s. 101.031, F.S.; revising

20         provisions regarding the responsibility for

21         furnishing instructions for electors; amending

22         ss. 101.048, 101.049, F.S.; providing for

23         voting of provisional ballots by persons with

24         disabilities; amending s. 101.131, F.S.;

25         revising the number of authorized poll

26         watchers; providing for certain political

27         committees to have poll watchers; revising

28         provisions for designation of poll watchers;

29         amending s. 101.151, F.S.; revising

30         specifications for ballots; amending s.

31         101.171, F.S.; providing for copies of proposed

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3004
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 1         constitutional amendments to be provided in

 2         booklet or poster form; amending s. 101.253,

 3         F.S.; prescribing duties of the supervisor of

 4         elections with respect to ballots in cases of

 5         vacancy in nomination; amending s. 101.294,

 6         F.S.; prohibiting governing bodies from

 7         deploying uncertified voting equipment;

 8         prohibiting vendors of voting equipment from

 9         providing uncertified voting systems; requiring

10         vendors of voting equipment to provide

11         certifications that voting systems have been

12         certified; amending s. 101.295, F.S.; providing

13         penalties for unlawfully providing voting

14         systems; amending s. 101.5606, F.S.; conforming

15         to a change in terminology; providing an

16         additional requirement for voting systems;

17         amending s. 101.595, F.S.; revising duties of

18         the supervisor of elections with respect to

19         reporting under votes and overvotes; amending

20         s. 101.6103, F.S.; allowing mail ballots to

21         begin being canvassed 4 days before the

22         election; amending s. 101.62, F.S.; revising

23         provisions relating to absentee ballots for

24         overseas voters; amending s. 101.64, F.S.;

25         requiring absentee voters voting pursuant to

26         the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee

27         Voting Act to use a standard oath as prescribed

28         by federal law; amending s. 101.68, F.S.;

29         providing an exemption from the witness

30         requirement for absentee ballots for certain

31         voters; amending s. 101.6923, F.S.; revising

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3004
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 1         requirements for instructions for certain

 2         first-time voters voting an absentee ballot;

 3         amending s. 101.694, F.S.; revising guidelines

 4         for absentee envelopes; amending s. 101.697,

 5         F.S.; requiring the Department of State to

 6         determine security of electronic transmissions

 7         of certain absentee ballots before adopting

 8         rule; amending s. 102.012, F.S.; providing for

 9         a single election board in each precinct;

10         amending s. 102.111, F.S.; allowing the

11         Elections Canvassing Commission to delegate the

12         authority to order recounts to the chief

13         election officer; amending s. 102.071, F.S.;

14         deleting the requirement that the certificate

15         of results be prepared in triplicate; amending

16         s. 102.141, F.S.; deleting the requirement that

17         the canvass be filed with the county court

18         judge; clarifying responsibility for ordering

19         recounts; deleting the requirement for the

20         logic and accuracy test at the completion of

21         the recount; extending the deadline for

22         reporting results of the machine recount;

23         amending s. 102.166, F.S.; clarifying

24         responsibility for ordering manual recounts;

25         clarifying that manual recounts are only

26         conducted with marksense ballots and when the

27         number of overvotes and undervotes could change

28         the outcome of the election; amending s.

29         102.168, F.S.; revising provisions with respect

30         to the time for contesting an election;

31         declaring the county canvassing board and the

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 1         Elections Canvassing Commission indispensable

 2         parties in contested elections; amending s.

 3         105.031, F.S.; exempting write-in candidates

 4         for certain office from payment of the

 5         qualifying fee; amending s. 105.035, F.S.;

 6         revising procedures for qualifying as candidate

 7         for judicial or school board office by

 8         petition; amending s. 106.011, F.S.; defining

 9         the term "eliminated candidate"; amending s.

10         106.07, F.S.; revising requirements for filing

11         campaign reports; allowing electronic receipts

12         to be used as proof of filing; creating s.

13         106.0705, F.S.; providing for electronic filing

14         of campaign treasurer's reports; providing

15         standards and guidelines; amending s. 106.075,

16         F.S.; revising requirement with respect to

17         reporting loans; amending s. 106.08, F.S.;

18         prohibiting candidates from expending funds

19         from campaign account to obtain endorsements;

20         amending s. 106.087, F.S.; exempting committees

21         of continuous existence from certain

22         prohibitions with respect to expenditures;

23         amending s. 106.09, F.S.; prohibiting

24         acceptance of certain contributions made by

25         money order; providing penalties; amending s.

26         106.11, F.S.; revising provisions relating to

27         reporting use of debit cards; amending s.

28         106.29, F.S.; revising provisions relating to

29         reports by political parties; requiring voting

30         systems to meet certain requirements by a date

31         certain; repealing s. 98.181, F.S., relating to

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 1         the supervisor of elections making up indexes

 2         or records; repealing s. 101.635, F.S.,

 3         relating to distribution of blocks of printed

 4         ballots; repealing s. 102.061, F.S., relating

 5         to duties of elections boards; repealing s.

 6         106.085, F.S., relating to independent

 7         expenditures; repealing s. 106.144, F.S.,

 8         relating to endorsements or opposition by

 9         certain groups and organizations; amending s.

10         22, ch. 2002-281, Laws of Florida; changing the

11         effective date of certain sections of ch.

12         2002-281, Laws of Florida; amending s. 287.057,

13         F.S.; adding an exemption to the competitive

14         solicitation requirement to exempt certain

15         voter education activities; providing effective

16         dates.

17  

18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

19  

20         Section 1.  Subsections (3) and (38) of section 97.021,

21  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

22         97.021  Definitions.--For the purposes of this code,

23  except where the context clearly indicates otherwise, the

24  term:

25         (3)  "Ballot" or "official ballot" when used in

26  reference to:

27         (a)  "Marksense Paper ballots" means that printed sheet

28  of paper, used in conjunction with an electronic or

29  electromechanical vote tabulation voting system, containing

30  the names of candidates, or a statement of proposed

31  constitutional amendments or other questions or propositions

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 1  submitted to the electorate at any election, on which sheet of

 2  paper an elector casts his or her vote.

 3         (b)  "Electronic or electromechanical devices" means a

 4  ballot that is voted by the process of electronically

 5  designating, including by touchscreen, or marking with a

 6  marking device for tabulation by automatic tabulating

 7  equipment or data processing equipment.

 8         (38)  "Voting system" means a method of casting and

 9  processing votes that functions wholly or partly by use of

10  electromechanical or electronic apparatus or by use of

11  marksense paper ballots and includes, but is not limited to,

12  the procedures for casting and processing votes and the

13  programs, operating manuals, supplies tabulating cards,

14  printouts, and other software necessary for the system's

15  operation.

16         Section 2.  Subsection (1) of section 97.052, Florida

17  Statutes, is amended to read:

18         97.052  Uniform statewide voter registration

19  application.--

20         (1)  The department shall prescribe a uniform statewide

21  voter registration application for use in this state.

22         (a)  The uniform statewide voter registration

23  application must be accepted for any one or more of the

24  following purposes:

25         1.  Initial registration.

26         2.  Change of address.

27         3.  Change of party affiliation.

28         4.  Change of name.

29         5.  Replacement of voter registration identification

30  card.

31         6.  Signature updates.

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 1         (b)  The department is responsible for printing the

 2  uniform statewide voter registration application and the voter

 3  registration application form prescribed by the Federal

 4  Election Commission pursuant to the National Voter

 5  Registration Act of 1993. The applications and forms must be

 6  distributed, upon request, to the following:

 7         1.  Individuals seeking to register to vote.

 8         2.  Individuals or groups conducting voter registration

 9  programs. A charge of 1 cent per application shall be assessed

10  on requests for 10,000 or more applications.

11         3.  The Department of Highway Safety and Motor

12  Vehicles.

13         4.  Voter registration agencies.

14         5.  Armed forces recruitment offices.

15         6.  Qualifying educational institutions.

16         7.  Supervisors, who must make the applications and

17  forms available in the following manner:

18         a.  By distributing the applications and forms in their

19  offices to any individual or group.

20         b.  By distributing the applications and forms at other

21  locations designated by each supervisor.

22         c.  By mailing the applications and forms to applicants

23  upon the request of the applicant.

24         (c)  The uniform statewide voter registration

25  application may be reproduced by any of the entities described

26  in paragraph (b) private individual or group, provided the

27  reproduced application is in the same format as the

28  application prescribed under this section.

29         Section 3.  Effective January 1, 2005, section 99.095,

30  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

31         (Substantial rewording of section. See

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 1         s. 99.095, F.S., for present text.)

 2         99.095  Petition process in lieu of qualifying fee and

 3  party assessment.--

 4         (1)  A person seeking to qualify as a candidate for any

 5  office is not required to pay the qualifying fee or party

 6  assessment required by this chapter if he or she meets the

 7  petition requirements of this section.

 8         (2)(a)  A candidate shall obtain the signatures of

 9  voters in the geographical area represented by the office

10  sought equal to at least 1 percent of the total number of

11  voters of that geographical area, as shown by the compilation

12  by the department for the last preceding general election.

13  Signatures may not be obtained until the candidate has filed

14  the appointment of campaign treasurer and designation of

15  campaign depository pursuant to s. 106.021.

16         (b)  The format of the petition shall be prescribed by

17  the division and shall be used by candidates to reproduce

18  petitions for circulation. If the candidate is running for an

19  office that requires a group or district designation, the

20  petition must indicate that designation and if it does not,

21  the signatures are not valid. A separate petition is required

22  for each candidate.

23         (3)  Each petition must be submitted before noon of the

24  28th day preceding the first day of the qualifying period for

25  the office sought to the supervisor of elections of the county

26  in which such petition was circulated. Each supervisor shall

27  check the signatures on the petitions to verify their status

28  as voters in the county, district, or other geographical area

29  represented by the office sought. No later than the 7th day

30  before the first day of the qualifying period, the supervisor

31  shall certify the number of valid signatures.

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 1         (4)(a)  Certifications for candidates for federal,

 2  state, or multicounty district office shall be submitted to

 3  the division. The division shall determine whether the

 4  required number of signatures has been obtained and shall

 5  notify the candidate.

 6         (b)  For candidates for county or district office not

 7  covered by paragraph (a), the supervisor shall determine

 8  whether the required number of signatures has been obtained

 9  and shall notify the candidate.

10         (5)  If the required number of signatures has been

11  obtained, the candidate is eligible to qualify pursuant to s.

12  99.061.

13         Section 4.  Effective January 1, 2005, section 99.0955,

14  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

15         99.0955  Candidates with no party affiliation; name on

16  general election ballot.--

17         (1)  Each person seeking to qualify for election as a

18  candidate with no party affiliation shall file his or her

19  qualifying qualification papers and pay the qualifying fee or

20  qualify by the petition process pursuant to s. 99.095,

21  alternative method prescribed in subsection (3) with the

22  officer and during the times and under the circumstances

23  prescribed in s. 99.061. Upon qualifying, the candidate is

24  entitled to have his or her name placed on the general

25  election ballot.

26         (2)  The qualifying fee for candidates with no party

27  affiliation shall consist of a filing fee and an election

28  assessment.  The amount of the filing fee is 3 percent of the

29  annual salary of the office sought.  The amount of the

30  election assessment is 1 percent of the annual salary of the

31  office sought.  The election assessment shall be deposited

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3004
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 1  into the Elections Commission Trust Fund.  Filing fees paid to

 2  the Department of State shall be deposited into the General

 3  Revenue Fund of the state.  Filing fees paid to the supervisor

 4  of elections shall be deposited into the general revenue fund

 5  of the county.

 6         (3)(a)  A candidate with no party affiliation may, in

 7  lieu of paying the qualifying fee, qualify for office by the

 8  alternative method prescribed in this subsection.  A candidate

 9  using this petitioning process shall file an oath with the

10  officer before whom the candidate would qualify for the office

11  stating that he or she intends to qualify by this alternative

12  method.  If the person is running for an office that requires

13  a group or district designation, the candidate must indicate

14  the designation in his or her oath.  The oath shall be filed

15  at any time after the first Tuesday after the first Monday in

16  January of the year in which the election is held, but before

17  the 21st day preceding the first day of the qualifying period

18  for the office sought.  The Department of State shall

19  prescribe the form to be used in administering and filing the

20  oath.  Signatures may not be obtained by a candidate on any

21  petition until the candidate has filed the oath required in

22  this subsection. Upon receipt of the written oath from a

23  candidate, the qualifying officer shall provide the candidate

24  with petition forms in sufficient numbers to facilitate the

25  gathering of signatures.  If the candidate is running for an

26  office that requires a group or district designation, the

27  petition must indicate that designation or the signatures

28  obtained on the petition will not be counted.

29         (b)  A candidate shall obtain the signatures of a

30  number of qualified electors in the geographical entity

31  represented by the office sought equal to 1 percent of the

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 1  registered electors of the geographical entity represented by

 2  the office sought, as shown by the compilation by the

 3  Department of State for the preceding general election.

 4         (c)  Each petition must be submitted before noon of the

 5  21st day preceding the first day of the qualifying period for

 6  the office sought, to the supervisor of elections of the

 7  county for which such petition was circulated. Each supervisor

 8  to whom a petition is submitted shall check the signatures on

 9  the petition to verify their status as electors in the county,

10  district, or other geographical entity represented by the

11  office sought.  Before the first day for qualifying, the

12  supervisor shall certify the number shown as registered

13  electors.

14         (d)1.  Certifications for candidates for federal,

15  state, or multicounty district office shall be submitted to

16  the Department of State. The Department of State shall

17  determine whether the required number of signatures has been

18  obtained for the name of the candidate to be placed on the

19  ballot and shall notify the candidate.

20         2.  For candidates for county or district office not

21  covered by subparagraph 1., the supervisor of elections shall

22  determine whether the required number of signatures has been

23  obtained for the name of the candidate to be placed on the

24  ballot and shall notify the candidate.

25         (e)  If the required number of signatures has been

26  obtained, the candidate shall, during the time prescribed for

27  qualifying for office, submit a copy of the notice received

28  under paragraph (d) and file his or her qualifying papers and

29  the oath prescribed by s. 99.021 with the qualifying officer.

30         Section 5.  Effective January 1, 2005, section 99.096,

31  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

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 1         99.096  Minor party candidates; names on ballot.--

 2         (1)  The executive committee of a minor political party

 3  shall, no later than noon of the third day prior to the first

 4  day of the qualifying period prescribed for federal

 5  candidates, submit to the Department of State a list of

 6  federal candidates nominated by the party to be on the general

 7  election ballot. and No later than noon of the third day prior

 8  to the first day of the qualifying period for state

 9  candidates, the executive committee of a minor party shall

10  submit to the Department of State the official list of the

11  state, multicounty, and county respective candidates nominated

12  by that party to be on the ballot in the general election to

13  the filing officer for each of the candidates.  The Department

14  of State shall notify the appropriate supervisors of elections

15  of the name of each minor party candidate eligible to qualify

16  before such supervisor.  The official list of nominated

17  candidates may not be changed by the party after having been

18  filed with the filing officers Department of State, except

19  that candidates who have qualified may withdraw from the

20  ballot pursuant to the provisions of this code, and vacancies

21  in nominations may be filled pursuant to s. 100.111.

22         (2)  Each person seeking to qualify for election as a

23  candidate of a minor party shall file his or her qualifying

24  qualification papers with, and pay the qualifying fee and, if

25  one has been levied, the party assessment, or qualify by the

26  petition process pursuant to s. 99.095 alternative method

27  prescribed in subsection (3), with the officer and at the

28  times and under the circumstances provided in s. 99.061.

29         (3)(a)  A minor party candidate may, in lieu of paying

30  the qualifying fee and party assessment, qualify for office by

31  the alternative method prescribed in this subsection.  A

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 1  candidate using this petitioning process shall file an oath

 2  with the officer before whom the candidate would qualify for

 3  the office stating that he or she intends to qualify by this

 4  alternative method.  If the person is running for an office

 5  that requires a group or district designation, the candidate

 6  must indicate the designation in his or her oath.  The oath

 7  must be filed at any time after the first Tuesday after the

 8  first Monday in January of the year in which the election is

 9  held, but before the 21st day preceding the first day of the

10  qualifying period for the office sought.  The Department of

11  State shall prescribe the form to be used in administering and

12  filing the oath.  Signatures may not be obtained by a

13  candidate on any petition until the candidate has filed the

14  oath required in this section.  Upon receipt of the written

15  oath from a candidate, the qualifying officer shall provide

16  the candidate with petition forms in sufficient numbers to

17  facilitate the gathering of signatures.  If the candidate is

18  running for an office that requires a group or district

19  designation, the petition must indicate that designation or

20  the signatures on such petition will not be counted.

21         (b)  A candidate shall obtain the signatures of a

22  number of qualified electors in the geographical entity

23  represented by the office sought equal to 1 percent of the

24  registered electors in the geographical entity represented by

25  the office sought, as shown by the compilation by the

26  Department of State for the last preceding general election.

27         (c)  Each petition shall be submitted prior to noon of

28  the 21st day preceding the first day of the qualifying period

29  for the office sought to the supervisor of elections of the

30  county for which the petition was circulated. Each supervisor

31  to whom a petition is submitted shall check the signatures on

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 1  the petition to verify their status as electors in the county,

 2  district, or other geographical entity represented by the

 3  office sought.  Before the first day for qualifying, the

 4  supervisor shall certify the number shown as registered

 5  electors.

 6         (d)1.  Certifications for candidates for federal,

 7  state, or multicounty district office shall be submitted to

 8  the Department of State. The Department of State shall

 9  determine whether the required number of signatures has been

10  obtained for the name of the candidate to be placed on the

11  ballot and shall notify the candidate.

12         2.  For candidates for county or district office not

13  covered by subparagraph 1., the supervisor of elections shall

14  determine whether the required number of signatures has been

15  obtained for the name of the candidate to be placed on the

16  ballot and shall notify the candidate.

17         (e)  If the required number of signatures has been

18  obtained, the candidate shall, during the prescribed time for

19  qualifying for office, submit a copy of the notice received

20  under paragraph (d) and file his or her qualifying papers and

21  the oath prescribed by s. 99.021 with the qualifying officer.

22         (4)  A minor party candidate whose name has been

23  submitted pursuant to subsection (1) and who has qualified for

24  office is entitled to have his or her name placed on the

25  general election ballot.

26         Section 6.  Subsection (1) of section 100.011, Florida

27  Statutes, is amended to read:

28         100.011  Opening and closing of polls, all elections;

29  expenses.--

30         (1)  The polls shall be open at the voting places at

31  7:00 a.m., on the day of the election, and shall be kept open

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 1  until 7:00 p.m., of the same day, and the time shall be

 2  regulated by the customary time in standard use in the county

 3  seat of the locality.  The inspectors shall make public

 4  proclamation of the opening and closing of the polls.  During

 5  the election and canvass of the votes, the ballot box shall

 6  not be concealed. Any elector in line at the official closing

 7  shall be allowed to cast a vote in the election.

 8         Section 7.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (4) of section

 9  100.111, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

10         100.111  Filling vacancy.--

11         (4)

12         (b)  If the vacancy in nomination occurs later than

13  September 15, or if the vacancy in nomination occurs with

14  respect to a candidate of a minor political party which has

15  obtained a position on the ballot, no special primary election

16  shall be held and the Department of State shall notify the

17  chair of the appropriate state, district, or county political

18  party executive committee of such party; and, within 7 days,

19  the chair shall call a meeting of his or her executive

20  committee to consider designation of a nominee to fill the

21  vacancy.  The name of any person so designated shall be

22  submitted to the Department of State within 14 days of notice

23  to the chair in order that the person designated may have his

24  or her name printed or otherwise placed on the ballot of the

25  ensuing general election, but in no event shall the supervisor

26  of elections be required to place on a ballot a name submitted

27  less than 21 days prior to the election. If the name of the

28  new nominee is submitted after the ballots have been printed

29  or programmed into the machines and the supervisor of

30  elections is not able to reprint or reprogram the ballots or

31  otherwise strike the former nominee's name and insert the new

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 1  nominee's name vacancy occurs less than 21 days prior to the

 2  election, the person designated by the political party will

 3  replace the former party nominee even though the former party

 4  nominee's name will be on the ballot.  Any ballots cast for

 5  the former party nominee will be counted for the person

 6  designated by the political party to replace the former party

 7  nominee.  If there is no opposition to the party nominee, the

 8  person designated by the political party to replace the former

 9  party nominee will be elected to office at the general

10  election. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "district

11  political party executive committee" means the members of the

12  state executive committee of a political party from those

13  counties comprising the area involving a district office.

14         Section 8.  Subsection (1) of section 101.031, Florida

15  Statutes, is amended to read:

16         101.031  Instructions for electors.--

17         (1)  The Department of State, or in case of municipal

18  elections the governing body of the municipality, shall print,

19  in large type on cards, instructions for the electors to use

20  in voting.  It shall provide not less than two cards for each

21  voting precinct for each election and furnish such cards to

22  each supervisor upon requisition.  Each supervisor of

23  elections shall send a sufficient number of these cards to the

24  precincts prior to an election. The election inspectors shall

25  display the cards in the polling places as information for

26  electors.  The cards shall contain information about how to

27  vote and such other information as the Department of State may

28  deem necessary. The cards must also include the list of rights

29  and responsibilities afforded to Florida voters, as described

30  in subsection (2).

31  

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 1         Section 9.  Effective January 1, 2006, subsections (2)

 2  and (4) of section 101.048, Florida Statutes, are amended to

 3  read:

 4         101.048  Provisional ballots.--

 5         (2)(a)  The county canvassing board shall examine each

 6  Provisional Ballot Voter's Certificate and Affirmation

 7  envelope to determine if the person voting that ballot was

 8  entitled to vote at the precinct where the person cast a vote

 9  in the election and that the person had not already cast a

10  ballot in the election.

11         (b)1.  If it is determined that the person was

12  registered and entitled to vote at the precinct where the

13  person cast a vote in the election, the canvassing board shall

14  compare the signature on the Provisional Ballot Voter's

15  Certificate and Affirmation envelope with the signature on the

16  voter's registration and, if it matches, shall count the

17  ballot.

18         2.  If it is determined that the person voting the

19  provisional ballot was not registered or entitled to vote at

20  the precinct where the person cast a vote in the election, the

21  provisional ballot shall not be counted and the ballot shall

22  remain in the envelope containing the Provisional Ballot

23  Voter's Certificate and Affirmation and the envelope shall be

24  marked "Rejected as Illegal."

25         (4)  Notwithstanding the requirements of subsections

26  (1) through (3) In counties where the voting system does not

27  utilize a paper ballot, the supervisor of elections may, and

28  for persons with disabilities shall, provide the appropriate

29  provisional ballot to the voter by electronic means that meet

30  the requirements of s. 101.56062 as provided for by the

31  certified voting system. Each person casting a provisional

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 1  ballot by electronic means shall, prior to casting his or her

 2  ballot, complete the Provisional Ballot Voter's Certificate

 3  and Affirmation as provided in subsection (3).

 4         Section 10.  Effective January 1, 2006, subsection (5)

 5  of section 101.049, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 6         101.049  Provisional ballots; special circumstances.--

 7         (5)  As an alternative, provisional ballots cast

 8  pursuant to this section may, and for persons with

 9  disabilities shall, be cast in accordance with the provisions

10  of s. 101.048(4).

11         Section 11.  Section 101.131, Florida Statutes, is

12  amended to read:

13         101.131  Watchers at polls.--

14         (1)  Each political party and each candidate may have

15  one watcher in each polling room at any one time during the

16  election. A political committee, if formed for the specific

17  purpose of opposing or supporting a named issue on the ballot,

18  may have one watcher for each polling room at any one time

19  during the election. No watcher shall be permitted to come

20  closer to the officials' table or the voting booths than is

21  reasonably necessary to properly perform his or her functions,

22  but each shall be allowed within the polling room to watch and

23  observe the conduct of electors and officials.  The watchers

24  shall furnish their own materials and necessities and shall

25  not obstruct the orderly conduct of any election.  Each

26  watcher shall be a qualified and registered elector of the

27  county in which he or she serves.

28         (2)  Each party, each committee, and each candidate

29  requesting to have poll watchers shall designate, in writing,

30  poll watchers for each polling room precinct prior to noon of

31  the second Tuesday preceding the election. The designation

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 1  shall include specific times for each watcher to be in the

 2  polling room. The poll watchers for each polling room precinct

 3  shall be approved by the supervisor of elections on or before

 4  the Tuesday before the election.  The supervisor shall furnish

 5  to each election board precinct a list of the poll watchers

 6  designated and approved for such polling room precinct.

 7         (3)  A No candidate or sheriff, deputy sheriff, police

 8  officer, or other law enforcement officer may not be

 9  designated as a poll watcher.

10         Section 12.  Subsection (1) of section 101.151, Florida

11  Statutes, is amended to read:

12         101.151  Specifications for ballots.--

13         (1)  Marksense Paper ballots shall be printed on paper

14  of such thickness that the printing cannot be distinguished

15  from the back and shall meet the specifications of the voting

16  system that will be used to read the ballots.

17         Section 13.  Section 101.171, Florida Statutes, is

18  amended to read:

19         101.171  Copy of constitutional amendment to be

20  posted.--Whenever any amendment to the State Constitution is

21  to be voted upon at any election, the Department of State

22  shall have printed, and shall furnish to each supervisor of

23  elections, a sufficient number of copies of the amendment,

24  either in poster or booklet form, and the supervisor shall

25  have a copy thereof conspicuously posted or available at each

26  precinct upon the day of election.

27         Section 14.  Section 101.253, Florida Statutes, is

28  amended to read:

29         101.253  When names not to be printed on ballot.--

30         (1)  No candidate's name, which candidate is required

31  to qualify with a supervisor of elections for any primary or

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 1  general election, shall be printed on the ballot if such

 2  candidate has notified the supervisor of elections in writing,

 3  under oath, on or before the 42nd day before the election that

 4  the candidate will not accept the nomination or office for

 5  which he or she filed qualification papers. The supervisor of

 6  elections may, in his or her discretion with the approval of

 7  the Department of State, allow such a candidate to withdraw

 8  after the 42nd day before an election, upon receipt of written

 9  notice, sworn to under oath, that the candidate will not

10  accept the nomination or office for which he or she qualified.

11         (2)  No candidate's name, which candidate is required

12  to qualify with the Department of State for any primary or

13  general election, shall be printed on the ballot if such

14  candidate has notified the Department of State in writing,

15  under oath, on or before the 42nd day before the election that

16  the candidate will not accept the nomination or office for

17  which he or she filed qualification papers.  The Department of

18  State may in its discretion allow such a candidate to withdraw

19  after the 42nd day before an election upon receipt of a

20  written notice, sworn to under oath, that the candidate will

21  not accept the nomination or office for which he or she

22  qualified.

23         (3)  If ballots are printed or programmed into the

24  machines before the death, resignation, removal, or withdrawal

25  of a candidate, the supervisor of elections may:

26         (a)  Strike the name of the candidate and, if

27  necessary, insert the name of the new nominee;

28         (b)  Reprint or reprogram the ballot; or

29         (c)  Provide notice in a newspaper of general

30  circulation in the county, post a notice in each voting booth,

31  and provide an insert with each absentee ballot mailed to a

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 1  voter explaining the consequences of a vote for the former

 2  candidate. In no case shall the supervisor be required to

 3  print on the ballot a name which is submitted less than 21

 4  days prior to the election.  In the event the ballots are

 5  printed 21 days or more prior to the election, the name of any

 6  candidate whose death, resignation, removal, or withdrawal

 7  created a vacancy in office or nomination shall be stricken

 8  from the ballot with a rubber stamp or appropriate printing

 9  device, and the name of the new nominee shall be inserted on

10  the ballot in a like manner.  The supervisor may, as an

11  alternative, reprint the ballots to include the name of the

12  new nominee.

13         Section 15.  Subsections (4) and (5) are added to

14  section 101.294, Florida Statutes, to read:

15         101.294  Purchase and sale of voting equipment.--

16         (4)  A vendor of voting equipment may not provide an

17  uncertified voting system, voting system component, or voting

18  system upgrade to a governing body or supervisor of elections

19  in this state.

20         (5)  Before or in conjunction with providing a voting

21  system, voting system component, or voting system upgrade, the

22  vendor shall provide the governing body or supervisor of

23  elections with a sworn certification that the voting system,

24  voting system component, or voting system upgrade being

25  provided has been certified by the Division of Elections.

26         Section 16.  Section 101.295, Florida Statutes, is

27  amended to read:

28         101.295  Penalties for violation.--

29         (1)  Any member of a governing body which purchases or

30  sells voting equipment in violation of the provisions of ss.

31  101.292-101.295, which member knowingly votes to purchase or

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 1  sell voting equipment in violation of the provisions of ss.

 2  101.292-101.295, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first

 3  degree, punishable as provided by s. 775.082 or s. 775.083,

 4  and shall be subject to suspension from office on the grounds

 5  of malfeasance.

 6         (2)  Any vendor, chief executive officer, or vendor

 7  representative of voting equipment who provides a voting

 8  system, voting system component, or voting system upgrade in

 9  violation of this chapter commits a felony of the third

10  degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or

11  s. 775.084.

12         Section 17.  Effective January 1, 2006, subsection (4)

13  of section 101.5606, Florida Statutes, is amended, and

14  subsection (16) is added to that section, to read:

15         101.5606  Requirements for approval of systems.--No

16  electronic or electromechanical voting system shall be

17  approved by the Department of State unless it is so

18  constructed that:

19         (4)  For systems using marksense paper ballots, it

20  accepts a rejected ballot pursuant to subsection (3) if a

21  voter chooses to cast the ballot, but records no vote for any

22  office that has been overvoted or undervoted.

23         (16)  All electronic voter interface devices are

24  capable of allowing voters to cast both regular and

25  provisional ballots while allowing the elections administrator

26  to preserve the secrecy of voted ballots.

27         Section 18.  Subsection (1) of section 101.595, Florida

28  Statutes, is amended to read:

29         101.595  Analysis and reports of voting problems.--

30         (1)  No later than December 15 of each general election

31  year, the supervisor of elections in each county shall report

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 1  to the Department of State the total number of overvotes and

 2  undervotes in either the presidential or the gubernatorial

 3  race, whichever is applicable first race appearing on the

 4  ballot pursuant to s. 101.151(2), along with the likely

 5  reasons for such overvotes and undervotes and other

 6  information as may be useful in evaluating the performance of

 7  the voting system and identifying problems with ballot design

 8  and instructions which may have contributed to voter

 9  confusion.

10         Section 19.  Subsection (1) of section 101.6103,

11  Florida Statutes, is amended, present subsection (6) of that

12  section is renumbered as subsection (7), and a new subsection

13  (6) is added to that section to read:

14         101.6103  Mail ballot election procedure.--

15         (1)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (7)

16  (6), the supervisor of elections shall mail all official

17  ballots with a secrecy envelope, a return mailing envelope,

18  and instructions sufficient to describe the voting process to

19  each elector entitled to vote in the election not sooner than

20  the 20th day before the election and not later than the 10th

21  day before the date of the election.  All such ballots shall

22  be mailed by first-class mail. Ballots shall be addressed to

23  each elector at the address appearing in the registration

24  records and placed in an envelope which is prominently marked

25  "Do Not Forward."

26         (6)  The canvassing board may begin the canvassing of

27  mail ballots at 7 a.m. on the fourth day before the election,

28  including processing the ballots through the tabulating

29  equipment. However, results may not be released until after 7

30  p.m. on election day. Any canvassing board member or election

31  employee who releases any result prior 7 p.m. on election day

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 1  commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided

 2  in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

 3         Section 20.  Section 101.62, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         101.62  Request for absentee ballots.--

 6         (1)(a)  The supervisor may accept a request for an

 7  absentee ballot from an elector in person or in writing.

 8  Except as provided in s. 101.694, one request shall be deemed

 9  sufficient to receive an absentee ballot for all elections

10  which are held within a calendar year, unless the elector or

11  the elector's designee indicates at the time the request is

12  made the elections for which the elector desires to receive an

13  absentee ballot. Such request may be considered canceled when

14  any first-class mail sent by the supervisor to the elector is

15  returned as undeliverable.

16         (b)  The supervisor may accept a written or telephonic

17  request for an absentee ballot from the elector, or, if

18  directly instructed by the elector, a member of the elector's

19  immediate family, or the elector's legal guardian. For

20  purposes of this section, the term "immediate family" has the

21  same meaning as specified in paragraph (3)(b) (4)(b).  The

22  person making the request must disclose:

23         1.  The name of the elector for whom the ballot is

24  requested;

25         2.  The elector's address;

26         3.  The elector's date of birth;

27         4.  The requester's name;

28         5.  The requester's address;

29         6.  The requester's driver's license number, if

30  available;

31         7.  The requester's relationship to the elector; and

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 1         8.  The requester's signature (written requests only).

 2         (2)  If a request for an absentee ballot is received

 3  after the Friday before the election by the supervisor of

 4  elections from an absent elector overseas, the supervisor

 5  shall send a notice to the elector acknowledging receipt of

 6  his or her request and notifying the elector that the ballot

 7  will not be forwarded due to insufficient time for return of

 8  the ballot by the required deadline.

 9         (2)(3)  For each request for an absentee ballot

10  received, the supervisor shall record the date the request was

11  made, the date the absentee ballot was delivered or mailed,

12  the date the ballot was received by the supervisor, and such

13  other information he or she may deem necessary.  This

14  information shall be confidential and exempt from the

15  provisions of s. 119.07(1) and shall be made available to or

16  reproduced only for a canvassing board, an election official,

17  a political party or official thereof, a candidate who has

18  filed qualification papers and is opposed in an upcoming

19  election, and registered political committees or registered

20  committees of continuous existence, for political purposes

21  only.

22         (3)(4)(a)  To each absent qualified elector overseas

23  who has requested an absentee ballot, the supervisor of

24  elections shall, not fewer than 35 days before the first

25  primary election, mail an absentee ballot.  Not fewer than 45

26  days before the second primary and general election, the

27  supervisor of elections shall mail an absentee ballot. If the

28  regular absentee ballots are not available, the supervisor

29  shall mail an advance absentee ballot to those persons

30  requesting ballots for such elections.  The advance absentee

31  ballot for the second primary shall be the same as the first

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 1  primary absentee ballot as to the names of candidates, except

 2  that for any offices where there are only two candidates,

 3  those offices and all political party executive committee

 4  offices shall be omitted.  Except as provided in s. 99.063(4),

 5  the advance absentee ballot for the general election shall be

 6  as specified in s. 101.151, except that in the case of

 7  candidates of political parties where nominations were not

 8  made in the first primary, the names of the candidates placing

 9  first and second in the first primary election shall be

10  printed on the advance absentee ballot. The advance absentee

11  ballot or advance absentee ballot information booklet shall be

12  of a different color for each election and also a different

13  color from the absentee ballots for the first primary, second

14  primary, and general election.  The supervisor shall mail an

15  advance absentee ballot for the second primary and general

16  election to each qualified absent elector for whom a request

17  is received until the absentee ballots are printed.  The

18  supervisor shall enclose with the advance second primary

19  absentee ballot and advance general election absentee ballot

20  an explanation stating that the absentee ballot for the

21  election will be mailed as soon as it is printed; and, if both

22  the advance absentee ballot and the absentee ballot for the

23  election are returned in time to be counted, only the absentee

24  ballot will be counted. The Department of State may prescribe

25  by rule the requirements for preparing and mailing absentee

26  ballots to absent qualified electors overseas.

27         (b)  As soon as the remainder of the absentee ballots

28  are printed, the supervisor shall provide an absentee ballot

29  to each elector by whom a request for that ballot has been

30  made by one of the following means:

31  

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 1         1.  By nonforwardable, return-if-undeliverable mail to

 2  the elector's current mailing address on file with the

 3  supervisor, unless the elector specifies in the request that:

 4         a.  The elector is absent from the county and does not

 5  plan to return before the day of the election;

 6         b.  The elector is temporarily unable to occupy the

 7  residence because of hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, or other

 8  emergency or natural disaster; or

 9         c.  The elector is in a hospital, assisted-living

10  facility, nursing home, short-term medical or rehabilitation

11  facility, or correctional facility,

12  

13  in which case the supervisor shall mail the ballot by

14  nonforwardable, return-if-undeliverable mail to any other

15  address the elector specifies in the request.

16         2.  By forwardable mail to voters who are entitled to

17  vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas

18  Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

19         3.  By personal delivery to the elector, upon

20  presentation of the identification required in s. 101.657.

21         4.  By delivery to a designee on election day or up to

22  4 days prior to the day of an election. Any elector may

23  designate in writing a person to pick up the ballot for the

24  elector; however, the person designated may not pick up more

25  than two absentee ballots per election, other than the

26  designee's own ballot, except that additional ballots may be

27  picked up for members of the designee's immediate family.  For

28  purposes of this section, "immediate family" means the

29  designee's spouse or the parent, child, grandparent, or

30  sibling of the designee or of the designee's spouse.  The

31  designee shall provide to the supervisor the written

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 1  authorization by the elector and a picture identification of

 2  the designee and must complete an affidavit.  The designee

 3  shall state in the affidavit that the designee is authorized

 4  by the elector to pick up that ballot and shall indicate if

 5  the elector is a member of the designee's immediate family

 6  and, if so, the relationship.  The department shall prescribe

 7  the form of the affidavit. If the supervisor is satisfied that

 8  the designee is authorized to pick up the ballot and that the

 9  signature of the elector on the written authorization matches

10  the signature of the elector on file, the supervisor shall

11  give the ballot to that designee for delivery to the elector.

12         (4)(5)  In the event that the Elections Canvassing

13  Commission is unable to certify the results of an election for

14  a state office in time to comply with subsection (4), the

15  Department of State is authorized to prescribe rules for a

16  ballot to be sent to absent electors overseas.

17         (5)(6)  Nothing other than the materials necessary to

18  vote absentee shall be mailed or delivered with any absentee

19  ballot.

20         Section 21.  Section 101.64, Florida Statutes, is

21  amended to read:

22         101.64  Delivery of absentee ballots; envelopes;

23  form.--

24         (1)  The supervisor shall enclose with each absentee

25  ballot two envelopes:  a secrecy envelope, into which the

26  absent elector shall enclose his or her marked ballot; and a

27  mailing envelope, into which the absent elector shall then

28  place the secrecy envelope, which shall be addressed to the

29  supervisor and also bear on the back side a certificate in

30  substantially the following form:

31  

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 1         Note:  Please Read Instructions Carefully Before

 2        Marking Ballot and Completing Voter's Certificate.

 3  

 4                       VOTER'S CERTIFICATE

 5         I, ...., do solemnly swear or affirm that I am a

 6  qualified and registered voter of .... County, Florida, and

 7  that I have not and will not vote more than one ballot in this

 8  election. I understand that if I commit or attempt to commit

 9  any fraud in connection with voting, vote a fraudulent ballot,

10  or vote more than once in an election, I can be convicted of a

11  felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or

12  imprisoned for up to 5 years.  I also understand that failure

13  to sign this certificate and have my signature properly

14  witnessed will invalidate my ballot.

15  

16  ...(Date)...                         ...(Voter's Signature)...

17  

18  Note: Your Signature Must Be Witnessed By One Witness 18 Years

19  of Age or Older as provided in the Instruction Sheet.

20  

21  I swear or affirm that the voter signed this Voter's

22  Certificate in my presence.

23  

24  ...(Signature of Witness)...

25  

26  ...(Address)...

27                                              ...(City/State)...

28  

29         (2)  The certificate shall be arranged on the back of

30  the mailing envelope so that the lines for the signatures of

31  the absent elector and the attesting witness are across the

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 1  seal of the envelope; however, no statement shall appear on

 2  the envelope which indicates that a signature of the voter or

 3  witness must cross the seal of the envelope.  The absent

 4  elector and the attesting witness shall execute the

 5  certificate on the envelope.

 6         (3)  In lieu of the voter's certificate provided in

 7  this section, the supervisor of elections shall provide each

 8  person voting absentee under the Uniformed and Overseas

 9  Citizens Absentee Voting Act with the standard oath prescribed

10  by the presidential designee. Witness information is not

11  required of these voters.

12         Section 22.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section

13  101.68, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

14         101.68  Canvassing of absentee ballot.--

15         (2)

16         (c)1.  The canvassing board shall, if the supervisor

17  has not already done so, compare the signature of the elector

18  on the voter's certificate with the signature of the elector

19  in the registration books to see that the elector is duly

20  registered in the county and to determine the legality of that

21  absentee ballot. An absentee ballot shall be considered

22  illegal if it does not include the signature of the elector,

23  as shown by the registration records, and, except for voters

24  using the standard oath as required by s. 101.64(3), the

25  signature and address of an attesting witness. However, an

26  absentee ballot shall not be considered illegal if the

27  signature of the elector or attesting witness does not cross

28  the seal of the mailing envelope. If the canvassing board

29  determines that any ballot is illegal, a member of the board

30  shall, without opening the envelope, mark across the face of

31  the envelope: "rejected as illegal." The envelope and the

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 1  ballot contained therein shall be preserved in the manner that

 2  official ballots voted are preserved.

 3         2.  If any elector or candidate present believes that

 4  an absentee ballot is illegal due to a defect apparent on the

 5  voter's certificate, he or she may, at any time before the

 6  ballot is removed from the envelope, file with the canvassing

 7  board a protest against the canvass of that ballot, specifying

 8  the precinct, the ballot, and the reason he or she believes

 9  the ballot to be illegal. A challenge based upon a defect in

10  the voter's certificate may not be accepted after the ballot

11  has been removed from the mailing envelope.

12         Section 23.  Section 101.6923, Florida Statutes, is

13  amended to read:

14         101.6923  Special absentee ballot instructions for

15  certain first-time voters.--

16         (1)  The provisions of this section apply to voters who

17  registered to vote by mail, who have not previously voted in

18  the county, and who have not provided the identification or

19  information required by s. 97.0535 by the time the absentee

20  ballot is mailed.

21         (2)  A voter covered by this section shall be provided

22  with the following printed instructions with his or her

23  absentee ballot in substantially the following form:

24  

25         READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE

26         MARKING YOUR BALLOT. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE

27         INSTRUCTIONS MAY CAUSE YOUR BALLOT NOT TO

28         COUNT.

29  

30         1.  In order to ensure that your absentee ballot will

31  be counted, it should be completed and returned as soon as

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 1  possible so that it can reach the supervisor of elections of

 2  the county in which your precinct is located no later than 7

 3  p.m. on the date of the election.

 4         2.  Mark your ballot in secret as instructed on the

 5  ballot. You must mark your own ballot unless you are unable to

 6  do so because of blindness, disability, or inability to read

 7  or write.

 8         3.  Mark only the number of candidates or issue choices

 9  for a race as indicated on the ballot. If you are allowed to

10  "Vote for One" candidate and you vote for more than one, your

11  vote in that race will not be counted.

12         4.  Place your marked ballot in the enclosed secrecy

13  envelope and seal the envelope.

14         5.  Insert the secrecy envelope into the enclosed

15  envelope bearing the Voter's Certificate. Seal the envelope

16  and completely fill out the Voter's Certificate on the back of

17  the envelope.

18         a.  You must sign your name on the line above (Voter's

19  Signature).

20         b.  You must have your signature witnessed. Have the

21  witness sign above (Signature of Witness) and include his or

22  her address. No candidate may serve as an attesting witness.

23         c.  If you are an overseas voter, you must include the

24  date you signed the Voter's Certificate on the line above

25  (Date) or your ballot may not be counted.

26         6.  Unless you meet one of the exemptions in Item 7.,

27  you must make a copy of one of the following forms of

28  identification:

29         a.  Identification which must include your name and

30  photograph: current and valid Florida driver's license;

31  Florida identification card issued by the Department of

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 1  Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; United States passport;

 2  employee badge or identification; buyer's club identification

 3  card; debit or credit card; military identification; student

 4  identification; retirement center identification; neighborhood

 5  association identification; entertainment identification; or

 6  public assistance identification; or

 7         b.  Identification which shows your name and current

 8  residence address: current utility bill, bank statement,

 9  government check, paycheck, or government document (excluding

10  voter identification card).

11         7.  The identification requirements of Item 6. do not

12  apply if you meet one of the following requirements:

13         a.  You are 65 years of age or older.

14         b.  You have a temporary or permanent physical

15  disability.

16         c.  You are a member of a uniformed service on active

17  duty who, by reason of such active duty, will be absent from

18  the county on election day.

19         d.  You are a member of the Merchant Marine who, by

20  reason of service in the Merchant Marine, will be absent from

21  the county on election day.

22         e.  You are the spouse or dependent of a member

23  referred to in paragraph c. or paragraph d. who, by reason of

24  the active duty or service of the member, will be absent from

25  the county on election day.

26         f.  You are currently residing outside the United

27  States.

28         8.  Place the envelope bearing the Voter's Certificate

29  into the mailing envelope addressed to the supervisor. Insert

30  a copy of your identification in the mailing envelope. DO NOT

31  PUT YOUR IDENTIFICATION INSIDE THE SECRECY ENVELOPE WITH THE

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 1  BALLOT OR INSIDE THE ENVELOPE WHICH BEARS THE VOTER'S

 2  CERTIFICATE OR YOUR BALLOT WILL NOT COUNT.

 3         9.  Mail, deliver, or have delivered the completed

 4  mailing envelope. Be sure there is sufficient postage if

 5  mailed.

 6         10.  FELONY NOTICE. It is a felony under Florida law to

 7  accept any gift, payment, or gratuity in exchange for your

 8  vote for a candidate. It is also a felony under Florida law to

 9  vote in an election using a false identity or false address,

10  or under any other circumstances making your ballot false or

11  fraudulent.

12         Section 24.  Subsection (3) of section 101.694, Florida

13  Statutes, is amended to read:

14         101.694  Mailing of ballots upon receipt of federal

15  postcard application.--

16         (3)  Absentee envelopes printed for overseas voters

17  shall meet the specifications as determined by the Division of

18  Elections in conjunction with the Federal Voting Assistance

19  Program of the United States Department of Defense and the

20  United States Postal Service. There shall be printed across

21  the face of each envelope in which a ballot is sent to a

22  federal postcard applicant, or is returned by such applicant

23  to the supervisor, two parallel horizontal red bars, each

24  one-quarter inch wide, extending from one side of the envelope

25  to the other side, with an intervening space of one-quarter

26  inch, the top bar to be 1 1/4  inches from the top of the

27  envelope, and with the words "Official Election Balloting

28  Material-via Air Mail," or similar language, between the bars.

29  There shall be printed in the upper right corner of each such

30  envelope, in a box, the words "Free of U. S. Postage,

31  including Air Mail."  All printing on the face of each

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 1  envelope shall be in red, and there shall be printed in red in

 2  the upper left corner of each ballot envelope an appropriate

 3  inscription or blanks for return address of sender.

 4  Additional specifications may be prescribed by rule of the

 5  Division of Elections upon recommendation of the presidential

 6  designee under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee

 7  Voting Act. Otherwise, the envelopes shall be the same as

 8  those used in sending ballots to, or receiving them from,

 9  other absentee voters.

10         Section 25.  Section 101.697, Florida Statutes, is

11  amended to read:

12         101.697  Electronic transmission of election

13  materials.--The Department of State shall adopt rules to

14  authorize a supervisor of elections to accept a request for an

15  absentee ballot and a voted absentee ballot by facsimile

16  machine or other electronic means from overseas voters if the

17  department can be assured that the security of the

18  transmission of the ballot is able to be established. The

19  rules must provide that in order to accept a voted ballot, the

20  verification of the voter must be established, the security of

21  the transmission must be established, and each ballot received

22  must be recorded.

23         Section 26.  Section 102.012, Florida Statutes, is

24  amended to read:

25         102.012  Inspectors and clerks to conduct elections.--

26         (1)  The supervisor of elections of each county, at

27  least 20 days prior to the holding of any election, shall

28  appoint an two election board boards for each precinct in the

29  county; however, the supervisor of elections may, in any

30  election, appoint one election board if the supervisor has

31  reason to believe that only one is necessary.  The clerk shall

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 1  be in charge of, and responsible for, seeing that the election

 2  board carries out its duties and responsibilities. Each

 3  inspector and each clerk shall take and subscribe to an oath

 4  or affirmation, which shall be written or printed, to the

 5  effect that he or she will perform the duties of inspector or

 6  clerk of election, respectively, according to law and will

 7  endeavor to prevent all fraud, deceit, or abuse in conducting

 8  the election. The oath may be taken before an officer

 9  authorized to administer oaths or before any of the persons

10  who are to act as inspectors, one of them to swear the others,

11  and one of the others sworn thus, in turn, to administer the

12  oath to the one who has not been sworn.  The oaths shall be

13  returned with the poll list and the returns of the election to

14  the supervisor. In all questions that may arise before the

15  members of an election board, the decision of a majority of

16  them shall decide the question.  The supervisor of elections

17  of each county shall be responsible for the attendance and

18  diligent performance of his or her duties by each clerk and

19  inspector.

20         (2)  Each member of the election board shall be able to

21  read and write the English language and shall be a registered

22  qualified elector of the county in which the member is

23  appointed or a person who has preregistered to vote, pursuant

24  to s. 97.041(1)(b), in the county in which the member is

25  appointed. No election board shall be composed solely of

26  members of one political party; however, in any primary in

27  which only one party has candidates appearing on the ballot,

28  all clerks and inspectors may be of that party. Any person

29  whose name appears as an opposed candidate for any office

30  shall not be eligible to serve on an election board.

31  

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 1         (3)  The supervisor shall furnish inspectors of

 2  election for each precinct with the registration books divided

 3  alphabetically as will best facilitate the holding of an

 4  election.  The supervisor shall also furnish to the inspectors

 5  of election at the polling place at each precinct in the

 6  supervisor's county a sufficient number of forms and blanks

 7  for use on election day.

 8         (4)(a)  The election board of each precinct shall

 9  attend the polling place by 6 a.m. of the day of the election

10  and shall arrange the furniture, stationery, and voting

11  equipment.

12         (b)  The An election board shall conduct the voting,

13  beginning and closing at the time set forth in s. 100.011. If

14  more than one board has been appointed, the second board

15  shall, upon the closing of the polls, come on duty and count

16  the votes cast. In such case, the first board shall turn over

17  to the second board all closed ballot boxes, registration

18  books, and other records of the election at the time the

19  boards change.  The second board shall continue counting until

20  the count is complete or until 7 a.m. the next morning, and,

21  if the count is not completed at that time, the first board

22  that conducted the election shall again report for duty and

23  complete the count. The second board shall turn over to the

24  first board all ballots counted, all ballots not counted, and

25  all registration books and other records and shall advise the

26  first board as to what has transpired in tabulating the

27  results of the election.

28         (5)  In precincts in which there are more than 1,000

29  registered electors, the supervisor of elections shall appoint

30  additional election boards necessary for the election.

31  

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 1         (6)  In any precinct in which there are fewer than 300

 2  registered electors, it is not necessary to appoint two

 3  election boards, but one such board will suffice.  Such board

 4  shall be composed of at least one inspector and one clerk.

 5         Section 27.  Section 102.111, Florida Statutes, is

 6  amended to read:

 7         102.111  Elections Canvassing Commission.--

 8         (1)  The Elections Canvassing Commission shall consist

 9  of the Governor and two members of the Cabinet selected by the

10  Governor. If a member of the Elections Canvassing Commission

11  is unable to serve for any reason, the Governor shall appoint

12  a remaining member of the Cabinet. If there is a further

13  vacancy, the remaining members of the commission shall agree

14  on another elected official to fill the vacancy. The Elections

15  Canvassing Commission shall, as soon as the official results

16  are compiled from all counties, certify the returns of the

17  election and determine and declare who has been elected for

18  each federal, state, and multicounty office.

19         (2)  The Division of Elections shall provide the staff

20  services required by the Elections Canvassing Commission.

21         (3)  The Elections Canvassing Commission may delegate

22  the authority to order recounts pursuant to ss. 102.141(6) and

23  102.166 to the chief election officer.

24         Section 28.  Section 102.071, Florida Statutes, is

25  amended to read:

26         102.071  Tabulation of votes and proclamation of

27  results where ballots are used.--The election board shall post

28  at the polls, for the benefit of the public, the results of

29  the voting for each office or other item on the ballot as the

30  count is completed.  Upon completion of all counts in all

31  races, a certificate triplicate certificates of the results

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 1  shall be drawn up by the inspectors and clerk at each precinct

 2  upon a form provided by the supervisor of elections which

 3  shall contain the name of each person voted for, for each

 4  office, and the number of votes cast for each person for such

 5  office; and, if any question is submitted, the certificate

 6  shall also contain the number of votes cast for and against

 7  the question.  The certificate shall be signed by the

 8  inspectors and clerk, and one of the certificates shall be

 9  delivered without delay by one of the inspectors, securely

10  sealed, to the supervisor for immediate publication; the

11  duplicate copy of the certificate shall be delivered to the

12  county court judge; and the remaining copy shall be enclosed

13  in the ballot box together with the oaths of inspectors and

14  clerks.  All the ballot boxes, ballots, ballot stubs,

15  memoranda, and papers of all kinds used in the election shall

16  also be transmitted, after being sealed by the inspectors, to

17  with the certificates of result of the election to be filed in

18  the supervisor's office. Registration books and the poll lists

19  shall not be placed in the ballot boxes but shall be returned

20  to the supervisor.

21         Section 29.  Subsections (3), (4), (5), (6), and (8) of

22  section 102.141, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

23         102.141  County canvassing board; duties.--

24         (3)  The canvass, except the canvass of absentee

25  electors' returns and the canvass of provisional ballots,

26  shall be made from the returns and certificates of the

27  inspectors as signed and filed by them with the county court

28  judge and supervisor, respectively, and the county canvassing

29  board shall not change the number of votes cast for a

30  candidate, nominee, constitutional amendment, or other measure

31  submitted to the electorate of the county, respectively, in

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 1  any polling place, as shown by the returns.  All returns shall

 2  be made to the board on or before 2 a.m. of the day following

 3  any primary, general, special, or other election.  If the

 4  returns from any precinct are missing, if there are any

 5  omissions on the returns from any precinct, or if there is an

 6  obvious error on any such returns, the canvassing board shall

 7  order a retabulation recount of the returns from such

 8  precinct.  Before canvassing such returns, the canvassing

 9  board shall examine the tabulation of the ballots cast in such

10  precinct and determine whether the returns correctly reflect

11  the votes cast.  If there is a discrepancy between the returns

12  and the tabulation of the ballots cast, the tabulation of the

13  ballots cast shall be presumed correct and such votes shall be

14  canvassed accordingly.

15         (4)  The canvassing board shall submit unofficial

16  returns on forms or formats provided by the division to the

17  Department of State for each federal, statewide, state, or

18  multicounty office or ballot measure no later than noon on the

19  second day after any primary, general, special, or other

20  election.  Such returns shall include the canvass of all

21  ballots as required by subsection (2).

22         (5)  If the county canvassing board determines that the

23  unofficial returns may contain a counting error in which the

24  vote tabulation system failed to count votes that were

25  properly marked in accordance with the instructions on the

26  ballot, the county canvassing board shall:

27         (a)  Correct the error and retabulate recount the

28  affected ballots with the vote tabulation system; or

29         (b)  Request that the Department of State verify the

30  tabulation software.  When the Department of State verifies

31  such software, the department shall compare the software used

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 1  to tabulate the votes with the software filed with the

 2  department pursuant to s. 101.5607 and check the election

 3  parameters.

 4         (6)  If the unofficial returns reflect that a candidate

 5  for any office was defeated or eliminated by one-half of a

 6  percent or less of the votes cast for such office, that a

 7  candidate for retention to a judicial office was retained or

 8  not retained by one-half of a percent or less of the votes

 9  cast on the question of retention, or that a measure appearing

10  on the ballot was approved or rejected by one-half of a

11  percent or less of the votes cast on such measure, the board

12  responsible for certifying the results of the vote on such

13  race or measure shall order a recount of the votes cast with

14  respect to such office or measure. The county canvassing board

15  is the board responsible for ordering county and local

16  recounts. The Elections Canvassing Commission is the board

17  responsible for ordering federal, state, and multicounty

18  recounts. A recount need not be ordered with respect to the

19  returns for any office, however, if the candidate or

20  candidates defeated or eliminated from contention for such

21  office by one-half of a percent or less of the votes cast for

22  such office request in writing that a recount not be made.

23         (a)  In counties with voting systems that use paper

24  ballots, Each canvassing board responsible for conducting a

25  recount shall put each marksense ballot through automatic

26  tabulating equipment and determine whether the returns

27  correctly reflect the votes cast. If any marksense paper

28  ballot is physically damaged so that it cannot be properly

29  counted by the automatic tabulating equipment during the

30  recount, a true duplicate shall be made of the damaged ballot

31  pursuant to the procedures in s. 101.5614(5). Immediately

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 1  before the start of the recount and after completion of the

 2  count, a test of the tabulating equipment shall be conducted

 3  as provided in s. 101.5612. If the test indicates no error,

 4  the recount tabulation of the ballots cast shall be presumed

 5  correct and such votes shall be canvassed accordingly. If an

 6  error is detected, the cause therefor shall be ascertained and

 7  corrected and the recount repeated, as necessary. The

 8  canvassing board shall immediately report the error, along

 9  with the cause of the error and the corrective measures being

10  taken, to the Department of State. No later than 11 days after

11  the election, the canvassing board shall file a separate

12  incident report with the Department of State, detailing the

13  resolution of the matter and identifying any measures that

14  will avoid a future recurrence of the error.

15         (b)  In counties with voting systems that do not use

16  paper ballots, Each canvassing board responsible for

17  conducting a recount where touchscreen ballots were used shall

18  examine the counters on the precinct tabulators to ensure that

19  the total of the returns on the precinct tabulators equals the

20  overall election return. If there is a discrepancy between the

21  overall election return and the counters of the precinct

22  tabulators, the counters of the precinct tabulators shall be

23  presumed correct and such votes shall be canvassed

24  accordingly.

25         (c)  The canvassing board shall submit a second set of

26  unofficial returns on forms or formats provided by the

27  division to the Department of State for each federal,

28  statewide, state, or multicounty office or ballot measure no

29  later than noon on the fourth third day after any election in

30  which a recount was conducted pursuant to this subsection. If

31  the canvassing board is unable to complete the recount

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 1  prescribed in this subsection by the deadline, the second set

 2  of unofficial returns submitted by the canvassing board shall

 3  be identical to the initial unofficial returns and the

 4  submission shall also include a detailed explanation of why it

 5  was unable to timely complete the recount. However, the

 6  canvassing board shall complete the recount prescribed in this

 7  subsection, along with any manual recount prescribed in s.

 8  102.166, and certify election returns in accordance with the

 9  requirements of this chapter.

10         (d)  The Department of State shall adopt detailed rules

11  prescribing additional recount procedures for each certified

12  voting system, which shall be uniform to the extent

13  practicable.

14         (8)  At the same time that the official results of an

15  election are certified to the Department of State, the county

16  canvassing board shall file a report with the Division of

17  Elections on the conduct of the election.  The report shall

18  contain information relating to any problems incurred as a

19  result of equipment malfunctions either at the precinct level

20  or at a counting location, any difficulties or unusual

21  circumstances encountered by an election board or the

22  canvassing board, and any other additional information which

23  the canvassing board feels should be made a part of the

24  official election record. Such reports shall be maintained on

25  file in the Division of Elections and shall be available for

26  public inspection.  The division shall utilize the reports

27  submitted by the canvassing boards to determine what problems

28  may be likely to occur in other elections and disseminate such

29  information, along with possible solutions, to the supervisors

30  of elections.

31  

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 1         Section 30.  Section 102.166, Florida Statutes, is

 2  amended to read:

 3         102.166  Manual recounts.--

 4         (1)  If the second set of unofficial returns pursuant

 5  to s. 102.141 indicates that a candidate for any office was

 6  defeated or eliminated by one-quarter of a percent or less of

 7  the votes cast for such office, that a candidate for retention

 8  to a judicial office was retained or not retained by

 9  one-quarter of a percent or less of the votes cast on the

10  question of retention, or that a measure appearing on the

11  ballot was approved or rejected by one-quarter of a percent or

12  less of the votes cast on such measure, the board responsible

13  for certifying the results of the vote on such race or measure

14  shall order a manual recount of the overvotes and undervotes

15  on the marksense ballots cast in the entire geographic

16  jurisdiction of such office or ballot measure. However, a

17  manual recount may not be ordered if the number of overvotes

18  and undervotes is fewer than the number of votes needed to

19  change the outcome of the election. A manual recount may not

20  be conducted of undervotes on touchscreen machines.

21         (2)(a)  If the second set of unofficial returns

22  pursuant to s. 102.141 indicates that a candidate for any

23  office was defeated or eliminated by between one-quarter and

24  one-half of a percent of the votes cast for such office, that

25  a candidate for retention to judicial office was retained or

26  not retained by between one-quarter and one-half of a percent

27  of the votes cast on the question of retention, or that a

28  measure appearing on the ballot was approved or rejected by

29  between one-quarter and one-half of a percent of the votes

30  cast on such measure, any such candidate, the political party

31  of such candidate, or any political committee that supports or

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 1  opposes such ballot measure is entitled to a manual recount of

 2  only the overvotes and undervotes on the marksense ballots

 3  cast in the entire geographic jurisdiction of such office or

 4  ballot measure, provided that a request for a manual recount

 5  is made by 5 p.m. on the third day after the election.

 6         (b)  For federal, statewide, state, and multicounty

 7  races and ballot issues, requests for a manual recount shall

 8  be made in writing to the state Elections Canvassing

 9  Commission.  For all other races and ballot issues, requests

10  for a manual recount shall be made in writing to the county

11  canvassing board.

12         (c)  Upon receipt of a proper and timely request, the

13  Elections Canvassing Commission or county canvassing board

14  shall immediately order a manual recount of overvotes and

15  undervotes on the marksense ballots in all affected

16  jurisdictions. However, a manual recount may not be ordered if

17  the number of overvotes and undervotes is fewer than the

18  number of votes needed to change the outcome of the election.

19         (3)(a)  Any hardware or software used to identify and

20  sort overvotes and undervotes for a given race or ballot

21  measure must be certified by the Department of State as part

22  of the voting system pursuant to s. 101.015. Any such hardware

23  or software must be capable of simultaneously counting votes.

24  For certified voting systems, the department shall certify

25  such hardware or software by July 1, 2002.  If the department

26  is unable to certify such hardware or software for a certified

27  voting system by July 1, 2002, the department shall adopt

28  rules prescribing procedures for identifying and sorting such

29  overvotes and undervotes. The department's rules may provide

30  for the temporary use of hardware or software whose sole

31  function is identifying and sorting overvotes and undervotes.

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 1         (b)  This subsection does not preclude the department

 2  from certifying hardware or software after July 1, 2002.

 3         (c)  Overvotes and undervotes shall be identified and

 4  sorted while recounting ballots pursuant to s. 102.141, if the

 5  hardware or software for this purpose has been certified or

 6  the department's rules so provide.

 7         (4)  Any manual recount shall be open to the public.

 8         (5)(a)  A vote for a candidate or ballot measure shall

 9  be counted if there is a clear indication on the ballot that

10  the voter has made a definite choice.

11         (b)  The Department of State shall adopt specific rules

12  for marksense ballots each certified voting system prescribing

13  what constitutes a "clear indication on the ballot that the

14  voter has made a definite choice."  The rules may not:

15         1.  Exclusively provide that the voter must properly

16  mark or designate his or her choice on the ballot; or

17         2.  Contain a catch-all provision that fails to

18  identify specific standards, such as "any other mark or

19  indication clearly indicating that the voter has made a

20  definite choice."

21         (6)  Procedures for a manual recount are as follows:

22         (a)  The county canvassing board shall appoint as many

23  counting teams of at least two electors as is necessary to

24  manually recount the ballots. A counting team must have, when

25  possible, members of at least two political parties. A

26  candidate involved in the race shall not be a member of the

27  counting team.

28         (b)  Each duplicate ballot prepared pursuant to s.

29  101.5614(5) or s. 102.141(6) shall be compared with the

30  original ballot to ensure the correctness of the duplicate.

31  

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 1         (c)  If a counting team is unable to determine whether

 2  the ballot contains a clear indication that the voter has made

 3  a definite choice, the ballot shall be presented to the county

 4  canvassing board for a determination.

 5         (d)  The Department of State shall adopt detailed rules

 6  prescribing additional recount procedures for marksense

 7  ballots each certified voting system which shall be uniform to

 8  the extent practicable. The rules shall address, at a minimum,

 9  the following areas:

10         1.  Security of ballots during the recount process;

11         2.  Time and place of recounts;

12         3.  Public observance of recounts;

13         4.  Objections to ballot determinations;

14         5.  Record of recount proceedings; and

15         6.  Procedures relating to candidate and petitioner

16  representatives.

17         Section 31.  Section 102.168, Florida Statutes, is

18  amended to read:

19         102.168  Contest of election.--

20         (1)  Except as provided in s. 102.171, the

21  certification of election or nomination of any person to

22  office, or of the result on any question submitted by

23  referendum, may be contested in the circuit court by any

24  unsuccessful candidate for such office or nomination thereto

25  or by any elector qualified to vote in the election related to

26  such candidacy, or by any taxpayer, respectively.

27         (2)  Such contestant shall file a complaint, together

28  with the fees prescribed in chapter 28, with the clerk of the

29  circuit court within 10 days after midnight of the date the

30  last board responsible for certifying the results officially

31  

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 1  county canvassing board empowered to canvass the returns

 2  certifies the results of the election being contested.

 3         (3)  The complaint shall set forth the grounds on which

 4  the contestant intends to establish his or her right to such

 5  office or set aside the result of the election on a submitted

 6  referendum. The grounds for contesting an election under this

 7  section are:

 8         (a)  Misconduct, fraud, or corruption on the part of

 9  any election official or any member of the canvassing board

10  sufficient to change or place in doubt the result of the

11  election.

12         (b)  Ineligibility of the successful candidate for the

13  nomination or office in dispute.

14         (c)  Receipt of a number of illegal votes or rejection

15  of a number of legal votes sufficient to change or place in

16  doubt the result of the election.

17         (d)  Proof that any elector, election official, or

18  canvassing board member was given or offered a bribe or reward

19  in money, property, or any other thing of value for the

20  purpose of procuring the successful candidate's nomination or

21  election or determining the result on any question submitted

22  by referendum.

23         (4)  The county canvassing board or Elections

24  Canvassing Commission is an indispensable and shall be the

25  proper party defendant in county and local elections and the

26  Elections Canvassing Commission is an indispensable and proper

27  party defendant in federal, state, and multicounty races, and

28  the successful candidate is shall be an indispensable party to

29  any action brought to contest the election or nomination of a

30  candidate.

31  

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 1         (5)  A statement of the grounds of contest may not be

 2  rejected, nor the proceedings dismissed, by the court for any

 3  want of form if the grounds of contest provided in the

 4  statement are sufficient to clearly inform the defendant of

 5  the particular proceeding or cause for which the nomination or

 6  election is contested.

 7         (6)  A copy of the complaint shall be served upon the

 8  defendant and any other person named therein in the same

 9  manner as in other civil cases under the laws of this state.

10  Within 10 days after the complaint has been served, the

11  defendant must file an answer admitting or denying the

12  allegations on which the contestant relies or stating that the

13  defendant has no knowledge or information concerning the

14  allegations, which shall be deemed a denial of the

15  allegations, and must state any other defenses, in law or

16  fact, on which the defendant relies. If an answer is not filed

17  within the time prescribed, the defendant may not be granted a

18  hearing in court to assert any claim or objection that is

19  required by this subsection to be stated in an answer.

20         (7)  Any candidate, qualified elector, or taxpayer

21  presenting such a contest to a circuit judge is entitled to an

22  immediate hearing. However, the court in its discretion may

23  limit the time to be consumed in taking testimony, with a view

24  therein to the circumstances of the matter and to the

25  proximity of any succeeding election.

26         Section 32.  Subsection (3) of section 105.031, Florida

27  Statutes, is amended to read:

28         105.031  Qualification; filing fee; candidate's oath;

29  items required to be filed.--

30         (3)  QUALIFYING FEE.--Each candidate qualifying for

31  election to a judicial office or the office of school board

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 1  member, except write-in judicial or school board candidates,

 2  shall, during the time for qualifying, pay to the officer with

 3  whom he or she qualifies a qualifying fee, which shall consist

 4  of a filing fee and an election assessment, or qualify by the

 5  alternative method. The amount of the filing fee is 3 percent

 6  of the annual salary of the office sought. The amount of the

 7  election assessment is 1 percent of the annual salary of the

 8  office sought.  The Department of State shall forward all

 9  filing fees to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the

10  Elections Commission Trust Fund.  The supervisor of elections

11  shall forward all filing fees to the Elections Commission

12  Trust Fund.  The election assessment shall be deposited into

13  the Elections Commission Trust Fund.  The annual salary of the

14  office for purposes of computing the qualifying fee shall be

15  computed by multiplying 12 times the monthly salary authorized

16  for such office as of July 1 immediately preceding the first

17  day of qualifying.  This subsection shall not apply to

18  candidates qualifying for retention to judicial office.

19         Section 33.  Effective January 1, 2005, section

20  105.035, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

21         105.035  Alternative method of qualifying for certain

22  judicial offices and the office of school board member.--

23         (1)  A person seeking to qualify for election to the

24  office of circuit judge or county court judge or the office of

25  school board member may qualify for election to such office by

26  means of the petitioning process prescribed in this section. A

27  person qualifying by this alternative method shall not be

28  required to pay the qualifying fee required by this chapter. A

29  person using this petitioning process shall file an oath with

30  the officer before whom the candidate would qualify for the

31  office stating that he or she intends to qualify by this

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 1  alternative method for the office sought. Such oath shall be

 2  filed at any time after the first Tuesday after the first

 3  Monday in January of the year in which the election is held,

 4  but prior to the 21st day preceding the first day of the

 5  qualifying period for the office sought. The form of such oath

 6  shall be prescribed by the Division of Elections.  No

 7  signatures shall be obtained until the person has filed the

 8  oath prescribed in this subsection.

 9         (2)  Upon receipt of a written oath from a candidate,

10  The qualifying officer shall provide the candidate with a

11  petition format shall be prescribed by the Division of

12  Elections and shall to be used by the candidate to reproduce

13  petitions for circulation. If the candidate is running for an

14  office which will be grouped on the ballot with two or more

15  similar offices to be filled at the same election, the

16  candidate's petition must indicate, prior to the obtaining of

17  registered electors' signatures, for which group or district

18  office the candidate is running.

19         (3)  Each candidate for election to a judicial office

20  or the office of school board member shall obtain the

21  signature of a number of qualified electors equal to at least

22  1 percent of the total number of registered electors of the

23  district, circuit, county, or other geographic entity

24  represented by the office sought as shown by the compilation

25  by the Department of State for the last preceding general

26  election.   A separate petition shall be circulated for each

27  candidate availing himself or herself of the provisions of

28  this section. Signatures may not be obtained until the

29  candidate has filed the appointment of campaign treasurer and

30  designation of campaign depository pursuant to s. 106.021.

31  

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 1         (4)(a)  Each candidate seeking to qualify for election

 2  to the office of circuit judge or the office of school board

 3  member from a multicounty school district pursuant to this

 4  section shall file a separate petition from each county from

 5  which signatures are sought. Each petition shall be submitted,

 6  prior to noon of the 28th 21st day preceding the first day of

 7  the qualifying period for the office sought, to the supervisor

 8  of elections of the county for which such petition was

 9  circulated. Each supervisor of elections to whom a petition is

10  submitted shall check the signatures on the petition to verify

11  their status as electors of that county and of the geographic

12  area represented by the office sought. No later than the 7th

13  day before Prior to the first date for qualifying, the

14  supervisor shall certify the number shown as registered

15  electors and submit such certification to the Division of

16  Elections. The division shall determine whether the required

17  number of signatures has been obtained for the name of the

18  candidate to be placed on the ballot and shall notify the

19  candidate. If the required number of signatures has been

20  obtained, the candidate shall, during the time prescribed for

21  qualifying for office, submit a copy of such notice and file

22  his or her qualifying papers and oath prescribed in s. 105.031

23  with the Division of Elections. Upon receipt of the copy of

24  such notice and qualifying papers, the division shall certify

25  the name of the candidate to the appropriate supervisor or

26  supervisors of elections as having qualified for the office

27  sought.

28         (b)  Each candidate seeking to qualify for election to

29  the office of county court judge or the office of school board

30  member from a single county school district pursuant to this

31  section shall submit his or her petition, prior to noon of the

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 1  28th 21st day preceding the first day of the qualifying period

 2  for the office sought, to the supervisor of elections of the

 3  county for which such petition was circulated. The supervisor

 4  shall check the signatures on the petition to verify their

 5  status as electors of the county and of the geographic area

 6  represented by the office sought. No later than the 7th day

 7  before Prior to the first date for qualifying, the supervisor

 8  shall determine whether the required number of signatures has

 9  been obtained for the name of the candidate to be placed on

10  the ballot and shall notify the candidate. If the required

11  number of signatures has been obtained, the candidate shall,

12  during the time prescribed for qualifying for office, submit a

13  copy of such notice and file his or her qualifying papers and

14  oath prescribed in s. 105.031 with the qualifying officer.

15  Upon receipt of the copy of such notice and qualifying papers,

16  such candidate shall be entitled to have his or her name

17  printed on the ballot.

18         Section 34.  Present subsection (17) of section

19  106.011, Florida Statutes, is renumbered as subsection (18),

20  and a new subsection (17) is added to that section, to read:

21         106.011  Definitions.--As used in this chapter, the

22  following terms have the following meanings unless the context

23  clearly indicates otherwise:

24         (17)  "Eliminated candidate" means a candidate for

25  elected office who failed to receive a sufficient number of

26  votes to be certified as the winner of an election or as a

27  runoff candidate in an election. A candidate who files a

28  timely contest of an election as provided for in s. 102.168

29  may not be considered eliminated for the purposes of receiving

30  contributions and making expenditures solely for the purpose

31  

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 1  of paying legal fees and costs associated with the candidate's

 2  contest of the election.

 3         Section 35.  Effective January 1, 2005, subsections

 4  (2), (3), and (8) of section 106.07, Florida Statutes, are

 5  amended to read:

 6         106.07  Reports; certification and filing.--

 7         (2)(a)  All reports required of a candidate by this

 8  section shall be filed with the officer before whom the

 9  candidate is required by law to qualify. All candidates who

10  file with the Department of State shall file the original and

11  one copy of their reports pursuant to s. 106.0705. In

12  addition, a copy of each report for candidates for other than

13  statewide office who qualify with the Department of State

14  shall be filed with the supervisor of elections in the county

15  where the candidate resides. Except as provided in s.

16  106.0705, reports shall be filed not later than 5 p.m. of the

17  day designated; however, any report postmarked by the United

18  States Postal Service no later than midnight of the day

19  designated shall be deemed to have been filed in a timely

20  manner. A certificate of mailing obtained from and dated by

21  the United States Postal Service at the time of mailing, or a

22  receipt from an established courier company, which bears a

23  date on or before the date on which the report is due, shall

24  be proof of mailing in a timely manner. Reports shall contain

25  information of all previously unreported contributions

26  received and expenditures made as of the preceding Friday,

27  except that the report filed on the Friday immediately

28  preceding the election shall contain information of all

29  previously unreported contributions received and expenditures

30  made as of the day preceding that designated due date.  All

31  such reports shall be open to public inspection.

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 1         (b)1.  Any report which is deemed to be incomplete by

 2  the officer with whom the candidate qualifies shall be

 3  accepted on a conditional basis, and the campaign treasurer

 4  shall be notified by registered mail as to why the report is

 5  incomplete and be given 3 days from receipt of such notice to

 6  file an addendum to the report providing all information

 7  necessary to complete the report in compliance with this

 8  section. Failure to file a complete report after such notice

 9  constitutes a violation of this chapter.

10         2.  In lieu of the notice by registered mail as

11  required in subparagraph 1., the qualifying officer may notify

12  the campaign treasurer by telephone that the report is

13  incomplete and request the information necessary to complete

14  the report.  If, however, such information is not received by

15  the qualifying officer within 3 days of the telephone request

16  therefor, notice shall be sent by registered mail as provided

17  in subparagraph 1.

18         (3)  Reports required of a political committee shall be

19  filed with the agency or officer before whom such committee

20  registers pursuant to s. 106.03(3) and shall be subject to the

21  same filing conditions as established for candidates' reports.

22  Only committees that file with the Department of State shall

23  file the original and one copy of their reports. Incomplete

24  reports by political committees shall be treated in the manner

25  provided for incomplete reports by candidates in subsection

26  (2).

27         (8)(a)  Any candidate or political committee failing to

28  file a report on the designated due date shall be subject to a

29  fine as provided in paragraph (b) for each late day, and, in

30  the case of a candidate, such fine shall be paid only from

31  personal funds of the candidate.  The fine shall be assessed

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 1  by the filing officer and the moneys collected shall be

 2  deposited:

 3         1.  In the Elections Commission Trust Fund, in the case

 4  of a candidate for state office or a political committee that

 5  registers with the Division of Elections; or

 6         2.  In the general revenue fund of the political

 7  subdivision, in the case of a candidate for an office of a

 8  political subdivision or a political committee that registers

 9  with an officer of a political subdivision.

10  

11  No separate fine shall be assessed for failure to file a copy

12  of any report required by this section.

13         (b)  Upon determining that a report is late, the filing

14  officer shall immediately notify the candidate or chair of the

15  political committee as to the failure to file a report by the

16  designated due date and that a fine is being assessed for each

17  late day.  The fine shall be $50 per day for the first 3 days

18  late and, thereafter, $500 per day for each late day, not to

19  exceed 25 percent of the total receipts or expenditures,

20  whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late

21  report.  However, for the reports immediately preceding each

22  primary and general election, the fine shall be $500 per day

23  for each late day, not to exceed 25 percent of the total

24  receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period

25  covered by the late report. For reports required under s.

26  106.141(7), the fine is $50 per day for each late day, not to

27  exceed 25 percent of the total receipts or expenditures,

28  whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late

29  report. Upon receipt of the report, the filing officer shall

30  determine the amount of the fine which is due and shall notify

31  the candidate or chair.  The filing officer shall determine

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 1  the amount of the fine due based upon the earliest of the

 2  following:

 3         1.  When the report is actually received by such

 4  officer.

 5         2.  When the report is postmarked.

 6         3.  When the certificate of mailing is dated.

 7         4.  When the receipt from an established courier

 8  company is dated.

 9         5.  When the electronic receipt issued pursuant to s.

10  106.0705 is dated.

11  

12  Such fine shall be paid to the filing officer within 20 days

13  after receipt of the notice of payment due, unless appeal is

14  made to the Florida Elections Commission pursuant to paragraph

15  (c).  In the case of a candidate, such fine shall not be an

16  allowable campaign expenditure and shall be paid only from

17  personal funds of the candidate.  An officer or member of a

18  political committee shall not be personally liable for such

19  fine.

20         (c)  Any candidate or chair of a political committee

21  may appeal or dispute the fine, based upon unusual

22  circumstances surrounding the failure to file on the

23  designated due date, and may request and shall be entitled to

24  a hearing before the Florida Elections Commission, which shall

25  have the authority to waive the fine in whole or in part.  Any

26  such request shall be made within 20 days after receipt of the

27  notice of payment due.  In such case, the candidate or chair

28  of the political committee shall, within the 20-day period,

29  notify the filing officer in writing of his or her intention

30  to bring the matter before the commission.

31  

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 1         (d)  The appropriate filing officer shall notify the

 2  Florida Elections Commission of the repeated late filing by a

 3  candidate or political committee, the failure of a candidate

 4  or political committee to file a report after notice, or the

 5  failure to pay the fine imposed.

 6         Section 36.  Effective January 1, 2005, section

 7  106.0705, Florida Statutes, is created to read:

 8         106.0705  Electronic filing of campaign treasurer's

 9  reports.--

10         (1)  As used in this section, the term "electronic

11  filing system" means an internet system for recording and

12  reporting campaign finance activity by reporting period.

13         (2)(a)  Each candidate who is required to file reports

14  with the division pursuant to s. 106.07 must file such reports

15  with the division by means of the division's electronic filing

16  system.

17         (b)  Each political committee, committee of continuous

18  existence, or state executive committee that is required to

19  file reports with the division under s. 106.04, s. 106.07, or

20  s. 106.29, as applicable, must file such reports with the

21  division by means of the division's electronic filing system.

22         (c)  Each person or organization that is required to

23  file reports with the division under s. 106.071 must file such

24  reports with the division by means of the division's

25  electronic filing system.

26         (3)  A report filed pursuant to this section must be

27  completed and filed through the electronic filing system not

28  later than midnight of the day designated. A report not filed

29  by midnight of the day designated is a late-filed report and

30  is subject to the penalties under s. 106.04(8), S. 106.07(8),

31  or s. 106.29(3), as applicable.

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 1         (4)  Each report filed pursuant to this section is

 2  considered to be under oath by the candidate and treasurer or

 3  the chairman and treasurer, whichever is applicable, and such

 4  persons are subject to the provisions of s. 106.04(4)(d), s.

 5  106.07(5), or s. 106.29(2), as applicable. Persons given a

 6  secure sign-on to the electronic campaign filing system are

 7  responsible for protecting it from disclosure and are

 8  responsible for all filings using such credentials, unless

 9  they have notified the division that their credentials have

10  been compromised.

11         (5)  The electronic filing system developed by the

12  division must:

13         (a)  Be based on access by means of the Internet.

14         (b)  Be accessible by anyone with Internet access using

15  standard web-browsing software.

16         (c)  Provide for direct entry of campaign finance

17  information as well as upload of such information from

18  campaign finance software certified by the division.

19         (d)  Provide a method that prevents unauthorized access

20  to electronic filing system functions.

21         (6)  The division shall adopt rules to administer this

22  section and provide for the reports required to be filed

23  pursuant to this section. Such rules shall, at a minimum,

24  provide:

25         (a)  Alternate filing procedures in case the division's

26  electronic filing system is not operable.

27         (b)  For the issuance of an electronic receipt to the

28  person submitting the report indicating and verifying that the

29  report has been filed.

30         Section 37.  Section 106.075, Florida Statutes, is

31  amended to read:

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 1         106.075  Elected officials; report of loans made in

 2  year preceding election; limitation on contributions to pay

 3  loans.--

 4         (1)  A person who is elected to office must report all

 5  personal loans, exceeding $500 in value, made to him or her

 6  and used for campaign purposes, and made in the 12 months

 7  preceding his or her election to office, to the filing

 8  officer.  The report must be made, in the manner prescribed by

 9  the Department of State, within 10 days after being elected to

10  office.

11         (2)  Any person who makes a contribution to an

12  individual to pay all or part of a loan incurred, in the 12

13  months preceding the election, to be used for the individual's

14  campaign, may not contribute more than the amount which is

15  allowed in s. 106.08(1).

16         Section 38.  Subsection (5) of section 106.08, Florida

17  Statutes, is amended to read:

18         106.08  Contributions; limitations on.--

19         (5)(a)  A person may not make any contribution through

20  or in the name of another, directly or indirectly, in any

21  election.

22         (b)  Candidates, political committees, and political

23  parties may not solicit contributions from any religious,

24  charitable, civic, or other causes or organizations

25  established primarily for the public good.

26         (c)  Candidates, political committees, and political

27  parties may not make contributions, in exchange for political

28  support, to any religious, charitable, civic, or other cause

29  or organization established primarily for the public good. It

30  is not a violation of this paragraph for:

31  

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 1         1.  A candidate, political committee, or political

 2  party executive committee to make gifts of money in lieu of

 3  flowers in memory of a deceased person;

 4         2.  A candidate to continue membership in, or make

 5  regular donations from personal or business funds to,

 6  religious, political party, civic, or charitable groups of

 7  which the candidate is a member or to which the candidate has

 8  been a regular donor for more than 6 months; or

 9         3.  A candidate to purchase, with campaign funds,

10  tickets, admission to events, or advertisements from

11  religious, civic, political party, or charitable groups.

12         (d)  A candidate may not make expenditures from his or

13  her campaign account for the purpose of receiving or obtaining

14  an endorsement from any person, group, or organization.

15         Section 39.  Section 106.087, Florida Statutes, is

16  amended to read:

17         106.087  Independent expenditures; contribution limits;

18  restrictions on political parties and, political committees,

19  and committees of continuous existence.--

20         (1)(a)  As a condition of receiving a rebate of filing

21  fees and party assessment funds pursuant to s. 99.061(2), s.

22  99.092(1), s. 99.103, or s. 103.121(1)(b), the chair or

23  treasurer of a state or county executive committee shall take

24  and subscribe to an oath or affirmation in writing. During the

25  qualifying period for state candidates and prior to

26  distribution of such funds, a printed copy of the oath or

27  affirmation shall be filed with the Secretary of State and

28  shall be substantially in the following form:

29  

30  State of Florida

31  County of....

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 1         Before me, an officer authorized to administer oaths,

 2  personally appeared ...(name)..., to me well known, who, being

 3  sworn, says that he or she is the ...(title)... of the

 4  ...(name of party)... ...(state or specified county)...

 5  executive committee; that the executive committee has not

 6  made, either directly or indirectly, an independent

 7  expenditure in support of or opposition to a candidate or

 8  elected public official in the prior 6 months; that the

 9  executive committee will not make, either directly or

10  indirectly, an independent expenditure in support of or

11  opposition to a candidate or elected public official, through

12  and including the upcoming general election; and that the

13  executive committee will not violate the contribution limits

14  applicable to candidates under s. 106.08(2), Florida Statutes.

15                          ...(Signature of committee officer)...

16                                                 ...(Address)...

17  

18  Sworn to and subscribed before me this .... day of ....,

19  ...(year)..., at .... County, Florida.

20       ...(Signature and title of officer administering oath)...

21  

22         (b)  Any executive committee found to have violated the

23  provisions of the oath or affirmation in this section prior to

24  receiving funds shall be ineligible to receive the rebate for

25  that general election year.

26         (c)  Any executive committee found to have violated the

27  provisions of the oath or affirmation in this section after

28  receiving funds shall be ineligible to receive the rebate from

29  candidates qualifying for the following general election

30  cycle.

31  

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 1         (d)  Any funds not distributed to the state or county

 2  executive committee pursuant to this section shall be

 3  deposited into the General Revenue Fund of the state.

 4         (2)(a)  Any political committee or committee of

 5  continuous existence that accepts the use of public funds,

 6  equipment, personnel, or other resources to collect dues from

 7  its members agrees not to make independent expenditures in

 8  support of or opposition to a candidate or elected public

 9  official. However, expenditures may be made for the sole

10  purpose of jointly endorsing three or more candidates.

11         (b)  Any political committee or committee of continuous

12  existence that violates this subsection is liable for a civil

13  fine of up to $5,000 to be determined by the Florida Elections

14  Commission or the entire amount of the expenditures, whichever

15  is greater.

16         Section 40.  Section 106.09, Florida Statutes, is

17  amended to read:

18         106.09  Cash contributions and contribution by

19  cashier's checks or money orders.--

20         (1)  A person may not make or accept a cash

21  contribution or contribution by means of a cashier's check or

22  money order in excess of $100.

23         (2)(a)  Any person who makes or accepts a contribution

24  in excess of $100 in violation of this section commits a

25  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.

26  775.082 or s. 775.083.

27         (b)  Any person who knowingly and willfully makes or

28  accepts a contribution in excess of $5,000 in violation of

29  this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable

30  as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

31  

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 1         Section 41.  Subsection (2) of section 106.11, Florida

 2  Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         106.11  Expenses of and expenditures by candidates and

 4  political committees.--Each candidate and each political

 5  committee which designates a primary campaign depository

 6  pursuant to s. 106.021(1) shall make expenditures from funds

 7  on deposit in such primary campaign depository only in the

 8  following manner, with the exception of expenditures made from

 9  petty cash funds provided by s. 106.12:

10         (2)(a)  For purposes of this section, debit cards are

11  considered bank checks, if:

12         1.  Debit cards are obtained from the same bank that

13  has been designated as the candidate's or political

14  committee's primary campaign depository.

15         2.  Debit cards are issued in the name of the

16  treasurer, deputy treasurer, or authorized user and state

17  "Campaign Account of ...(name of candidate or political

18  committee)...."

19         3.  No more than three debit cards are requested and

20  issued.

21         4.  Before a debit card is used, a list of all persons

22  authorized to use the card is filed with the filing office

23  division.

24         5.  All debit cards issued to a candidate's campaign or

25  a political committee expire no later than midnight of the

26  last day of the month of the general election.

27         6.  The person using the debit card does not receive

28  cash as part of, or independent of, any transaction for goods

29  or services.

30         7.  All receipts for debit card transactions contain:

31         a.  The last four digits of the debit card number.

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 1         b.  The exact amount of the expenditure.

 2         c.  The name of the payee.

 3         d.  The signature of the campaign treasurer, deputy

 4  treasurer, or authorized user.

 5         e.  The exact purpose for which the expenditure is

 6  authorized.

 7  

 8  Any information required by this subparagraph but not included

 9  on the debit card transaction receipt may be handwritten on,

10  or attached to, the receipt by the authorized user before

11  submission to the treasurer.

12         (b)  Debit cards are not subject to the requirements of

13  paragraph (1)(b).

14         Section 42.  Effective January 1, 2005, paragraph (b)

15  of subsection (3) of section 106.29, Florida Statutes, is

16  amended to read:

17         106.29  Reports by political parties; restrictions on

18  contributions and expenditures; penalties.--

19         (3)

20         (b)  Upon determining that a report is late, the filing

21  officer shall immediately notify the chair of the executive

22  committee as to the failure to file a report by the designated

23  due date and that a fine is being assessed for each late day.

24  The fine shall be $1,000 for a state executive committee, and

25  $50 for a county executive committee, per day for each late

26  day, not to exceed 25 percent of the total receipts or

27  expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by

28  the late report.  However, if an executive committee fails to

29  file a report on the Friday immediately preceding the general

30  election, the fine shall be $10,000 per day for each day a

31  state executive committee is late and $500 per day for each

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 1  day a county executive committee is late.  Upon receipt of the

 2  report, the filing officer shall determine the amount of the

 3  fine which is due and shall notify the chair.  The filing

 4  officer shall determine the amount of the fine due based upon

 5  the earliest of the following:

 6         1.  When the report is actually received by such

 7  officer.

 8         2.  When the report is postmarked.

 9         3.  When the certificate of mailing is dated.

10         4.  When the receipt from an established courier

11  company is dated.

12         5.  When the electronic receipt issued pursuant to s.

13  106.0705 is dated.

14  

15  Such fine shall be paid to the filing officer within 20 days

16  after receipt of the notice of payment due, unless appeal is

17  made to the Florida Elections Commission pursuant to paragraph

18  (c).  An officer or member of an executive committee shall not

19  be personally liable for such fine.

20         Section 43.  (1)  All electronic and electromechanical

21  voting systems certified after July 1, 2005, must meet the

22  requirements of section 101.56062, Florida Statutes, except

23  the requirements of paragraph 101.56062(1)(d), Florida

24  Statutes. 

25         (2)  Any purchase of a voting system by any county or

26  municipality or the state after July 1, 2004, must include a

27  contract for future upgrades and sufficient equipment to meet

28  the requirements of sections 101.56062 and 101.5606, Florida

29  Statutes, as amended by this act.

30         (3)  All electronic and electromechanical voting

31  systems in use on or after January 1, 2006, must be certified

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 1  to meet and be deployed in a configuration which meets the

 2  requirements of sections 101.56062 and 101.5606, Florida

 3  Statutes, as amended by this act.

 4         Section 44.  Sections 98.181, 101.635, 102.061, 106.085

 5  and 106.144, Florida Statutes, are repealed.

 6         Section 45.  Section 22 of chapter 2002-281, Laws of

 7  Florida, is amended to read:

 8         Section 22.  Except as otherwise expressly provided in

 9  this act, sections 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, and 19 of this

10  act shall take effect January 1, 2005, and section 12 of this

11  act shall take effect the earlier of January 1, 2006, or one

12  year after the legislature adopts the general appropriations

13  act specifically appropriating to the Department of State, for

14  distribution to the counties, $8.7 million or such other

15  amounts as it determines and appropriates for the specific

16  purpose of funding this act.

17         Section 46.  Paragraph (f) of subsection (5) of section

18  287.057, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

19         287.057  Procurement of commodities or contractual

20  services.--

21         (5)  When the purchase price of commodities or

22  contractual services exceeds the threshold amount provided in

23  s. 287.017 for CATEGORY TWO, no purchase of commodities or

24  contractual services may be made without receiving competitive

25  sealed bids, competitive sealed proposals, or competitive

26  sealed replies unless:

27         (f)  The following contractual services and commodities

28  are not subject to the competitive-solicitation requirements

29  of this section:

30         1.  Artistic services.

31         2.  Academic program reviews.

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 1         3.  Lectures by individuals.

 2         4.  Auditing services.

 3         5.  Legal services, including attorney, paralegal,

 4  expert witness, appraisal, or mediator services.

 5         6.  Health services involving examination, diagnosis,

 6  treatment, prevention, medical consultation, or

 7  administration.

 8         7.  Services provided to persons with mental or

 9  physical disabilities by not-for-profit corporations which

10  have obtained exemptions under the provisions of s. 501(c)(3)

11  of the United States Internal Revenue Code or when such

12  services are governed by the provisions of Office of

13  Management and Budget Circular A-122. However, in acquiring

14  such services, the agency shall consider the ability of the

15  vendor, past performance, willingness to meet time

16  requirements, and price.

17         8.  Medicaid services delivered to an eligible Medicaid

18  recipient by a health care provider who has not previously

19  applied for and received a Medicaid provider number from the

20  Agency for Health Care Administration. However, this exception

21  shall be valid for a period not to exceed 90 days after the

22  date of delivery to the Medicaid recipient and shall not be

23  renewed by the agency.

24         9.  Family placement services.

25         10.  Prevention services related to mental health,

26  including drug abuse prevention programs, child abuse

27  prevention programs, and shelters for runaways, operated by

28  not-for-profit corporations.  However, in acquiring such

29  services, the agency shall consider the ability of the vendor,

30  past performance, willingness to meet time requirements, and

31  price.

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 1         11.  Training and education services provided to

 2  injured employees pursuant to s. 440.49(1).

 3         12.  Contracts entered into pursuant to s. 337.11.

 4         13.  Services or commodities provided by governmental

 5  agencies.

 6         14.  Voter education activities of the Department of

 7  State and the supervisors of elections, either individually or

 8  in the aggregate, or with their respective professional

 9  associations.

10         Section 47.  Except as otherwise expressly provided in

11  this act, this act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

12  

13            *****************************************

14                          SENATE SUMMARY

15    Revises a variety of provisions relating to elections,
      including, among others, methods of qualification,
16    certification of results, absentee balloting, conduct of
      elections, and financial and reporting requirements.
17  

18  

19  

20  

21  

22  

23  

24  

25  

26  

27  

28  

29  

30  

31  

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