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The Florida Statutes

The 1997 Florida Statutes

Title IX
Chapter 97
Qualification And Registration Of Electors

97.021  Definitions.--For the purposes of this code, except where the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term:

(1)  "Absent elector" means any registered and qualified voter who is unable to attend the polls on election day.

(2)  "Ballot" or "official ballot" when used in reference to:

(a)  "Voting machines," except when reference is made to write-in ballots, means that portion of the printed strips of cardboard, paper, or other material that is within the ballot frames containing the names of candidates, or a statement of a proposed constitutional amendment or other question or proposition submitted to the electorate at any election.

(b)  "Paper ballots" means that printed sheet of paper containing the names of candidates, or a statement of proposed constitutional amendments or other questions or propositions submitted to the electorate at any election, on which sheet of paper an elector casts his or her vote.

(c)  "Electronic or electromechanical devices" means a ballot which is voted by the process of punching or marking with a marking device for tabulation by automatic tabulating equipment or data processing equipment.

(3)  "Candidate" means any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:

(a)  Any person who seeks to qualify for nomination or election by means of the petitioning process.

(b)  Any person who seeks to qualify for election as a write-in candidate.

(c)  Any person who receives contributions or makes expenditures, or gives his or her consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures, with a view to bringing about his or her nomination or election to, or retention in, public office.

(d)  Any person who appoints a treasurer and designates a primary depository.

(e)  Any person who files qualification papers and subscribes to a candidate's oath as required by law.

However, this definition does not include any candidate for a political party executive committee.

(4)  "Central voter file" means a statewide, centrally maintained database containing voter registration information of all counties in this state.

(5)  "Department" means the Department of State.

(6)  "Division" means the Division of Elections of the Department of State.

(7)  "Election" means any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election.

(8)  "Election board" means the clerk and inspectors appointed to conduct an election.

(9)  "Election costs" shall include, but not be limited to, expenditures for all paper supplies such as envelopes, instructions to voters, affidavits, reports, ballot cards, ballot booklets for absentee voters, postage, notices to voters; advertisements for registration book closings, testing of voting equipment, sample ballots, and polling places; forms used to qualify candidates; polling site rental and equipment delivery and pickup; data processing time and supplies; election records retention; and labor costs, including those costs uniquely associated with absentee ballot preparation, poll workers, and election night canvass.

(10)  "Elector" is synonymous with the word "voter" or "qualified elector or voter," except where the word is used to describe presidential electors.

(11)  "General election" means an election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in the even-numbered years, for the purpose of filling national, state, county, and district offices and for voting on constitutional amendments not otherwise provided for by law.

(12)  "Lists of registered electors" means copies of printed lists of registered electors, computer tapes or disks, or any other device used by the supervisor of elections to maintain voter records.

(13)  "Minor political party" is any group as defined in this subsection which on January 1 preceding a primary election does not have registered as members 5 percent of the total registered electors of the state. Any group of citizens organized for the general purposes of electing to office qualified persons and determining public issues under the democratic processes of the United States may become a minor political party of this state by filing with the department a certificate showing the name of the organization, the names of its current officers, including the members of its executive committee, and a copy of its constitution or bylaws. It shall be the duty of the minor political party to notify the department of any changes in the filing certificate within 5 days of such changes.

(14)  "Newspaper of general circulation" means a newspaper printed in the language most commonly spoken in the area within which it circulates and which is readily available for purchase by all inhabitants in the area of circulation, but does not include a newspaper intended primarily for members of a particular professional or occupational group, a newspaper the primary function of which is to carry legal notices, or a newspaper that is given away primarily to distribute advertising.

(15)  "Nominal value" means having a retail value of $10 or less.

(16)  "Nonpartisan office" means an office for which a candidate is prohibited from campaigning or qualifying for election or retention in office based on party affiliation.

(17)  "Office that serves persons with disabilities" means any state office that takes applications either in person or over the telephone from persons with disabilities for any program, service, or benefit primarily related to their disabilities.

(18)  "Persons with disabilities" means individuals who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

(19)  "Polling place" is the building which contains the polling room where ballots are cast.

(20)  "Polling room" means the actual room in which ballots are cast.

(21)  "Primary election" means an election held preceding the general election for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted for in the general election to fill a national, state, county, or district office. The first primary is a nomination or elimination election; the second primary is a nominating election only.

(22)  "Public assistance" means assistance provided through the food stamp program; the Medicaid program; the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children; and the WAGES Program.

(23)  "Public office" means any federal, state, county, municipal, school, or other district office or position which is filled by vote of the electors.

(24)  "Qualifying educational institution" means any public or private educational institution receiving state financial assistance which has, as its primary mission, the provision of education or training to students who are at least 18 years of age, provided such institution has more than 200 students enrolled in classes with the institution and provided that the recognized student government organization has requested this designation in writing and has filed the request with the office of the supervisor of elections in the county in which the institution is located.

(25)  "Special election" is a special election called for the purpose of voting on a party nominee to fill a vacancy in the national, state, county, or district office.

(26)  "Special primary election" is a special nomination election designated by the Governor, called for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted on in a general or special election.

(27)  "Supervisor" means the supervisor of elections.

(28)  "Voter registration agency" means any office that provides public assistance, any office that serves persons with disabilities, any center for independent living, or any public library.

(29)  "Voting booth" or "booth" means that booth or enclosure wherein an elector casts his or her ballot, be it a paper ballot, a voting machine ballot, or a ballot cast for tabulation by an electronic or electromechanical device.

(30)  "Voting system" means a method of casting and processing votes that functions wholly or partly by use of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic apparatus or by use of paper ballots and includes, but is not limited to, the procedures for casting and processing votes and the programs, operating manuals, tabulating cards, printouts, and other software necessary for the system's operation.

History.--s. 2, ch. 6469, 1913; RGS 300; s. 1, ch. 8582, 1921; CGL 356; s. 1, ch. 13761, 1929; s. 1, ch. 18060, 1937; s. 1, ch. 19663, 1939; s. 1, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 28156, 1953; s. 1, ch. 61-370; s. 2, ch. 65-60; s. 1, ch. 67-32; s. 2, ch. 67-142; s. 2, ch. 67-386; s. 1, ch. 69-137; s. 1, ch. 69-280; s. 1, ch. 69-377; s. 1, ch. 70-269; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 1, ch. 71-206; s. 1, ch. 73-157; s. 31, ch. 73-333; s. 23, ch. 77-104; s. 1, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 79-157; s. 24, ch. 79-400; s. 1, ch. 81-105; s. 15, ch. 82-143; s. 22, ch. 84-302; s. 1, ch. 87-184; ss. 5, 12, ch. 87-363; s. 1, ch. 89-338; s. 3, ch. 89-348; s. 2, ch. 90-315; s. 3, ch. 94-224; s. 1382, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 96-57; s. 54, ch. 96-175; s. 1, ch. 96-327; s. 35, ch. 97-13.

Note.--Former s. 102.02.