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The Florida Statutes

The 2000 Florida Statutes

Title IX
Chapter 101
Voting Methods And Procedure
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Section 101.35, Florida Statutes 2000

101.35  Preparation of voting machines; notice of sealing and preelection test.--

(1)  Where a voting machine is used, it shall be in proper order for use at any election at the polling place before the time fixed for opening of the polls, and the counters shall be set at zero. The supervisor shall appoint one or more deputies, to be known as "deputy custodians of voting machines," who shall be competent, thoroughly instructed, and sworn to perform their duties honestly and faithfully; they shall be instructed by the supervisor at least 30 days before the election and shall be considered as officers of election.

(2)  The supervisor of elections or the municipal elections official may at the time of qualifying give written notice of the time and location of the preelection test of the voting equipment to each candidate qualifying with that office and obtain a signed receipt that such notice has been given. The supervisor of elections or the municipal elections official shall, at least 15 days prior to an election, insert a legal notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county and, by certified mail, send written notice to the county party chair of each political party and to all candidates for other than statewide office whose names appear on the ballot in the county and who did not receive written notification from the supervisor or municipal elections official at the time of qualifying, stating the time and place where the machines will be sealed and available for testing. If the election is to be a municipal, bond, or referendum election, or if there is no county party chair, the certified notice shall be sent to the chair of a local organization representing each opposing side.

(3)  The Department of State shall give written notice to each statewide candidate at the time of qualifying, or immediately at the end of qualifying, that the voting equipment will be available for testing in each county and advising each such candidate to contact the county supervisor of elections as to the time and location of the pretest.

(4)  At the time stated in the notice, representatives of each political party or opposing side and each candidate or his or her representatives may test the voting machines pursuant to this subsection to see that the machines are in proper condition and working order. Each such representative shall have written authorization from the candidate, group, or party that he or she represents and shall not interfere with, or assume any of, the deputy custodian's duties. All candidates and representatives who wish to test the machines shall appear at the place and time stated by the supervisor or municipal elections official. All such persons, by drawing lots, shall appoint one person who shall randomly select up to 5 percent of the voting machines in the county to be used in the election, or 10 of those machines, whichever is greater. The candidates and representatives may test all of the selected machines by recording and verifying test votes until satisfied. If any of the selected machines is unsatisfactory, the supervisor shall allow the candidates or representatives to test such additional number of machines as is prescribed by the rules adopted by the Division of Elections. In addition, any such representative or candidate may otherwise check all the voting machines to make sure all the counters are set at zero and the ballots are in proper order.

(5)  At the completion of this inspection and testing, the machines shall be sealed immediately; and any authorized representative may remain present and record the voting machine numbers, the protective counter numbers, and the seal numbers. The representative shall certify the number of machines and that the counters are set at zero and the numbers registered on the protective counters and on the seals. Upon completion of sealing the voting machines, the keys shall be delivered to the board of officials having charge of the election, together with a written report stating that such machines are properly prepared for the election. The machines shall be transferred to the polling place, and the local authorities shall provide protection against molestation or damage to such machines. The lantern or light fixtures shall be in good order before opening the polls. Any unsatisfactory machine shall be repaired, sealed, and made available for retesting, in accordance with the rules adopted by the Division of Elections, before it may be transferred to the polling place.

(6)  The Division of Elections shall adopt rules in furtherance of the purpose of this section and may amend such rules as may be necessary.

History.--ss. 10, 11, ch. 13893, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 337(10), (11); s. 4, ch. 18405, 1937; s. 1, ch. 24089, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 5, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 19, ch. 29934, 1955; s. 17, ch. 65-380; s. 1, ch. 67-189; s. 1, ch. 75-174; s. 18, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 81-29; s. 22, ch. 83-217; s. 569, ch. 95-147.

Note.--Former ss. 100.10, 100.11.