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The Florida Statutes

The 2000 Florida Statutes

Title IX
Chapter 101
Voting Methods And Procedure
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Section 101.54, Florida Statutes 2000

101.54  Tabulation of vote and proclamation of results, where voting machine used.--

(1)  As soon as the polls are closed, the inspectors of election shall immediately lock and seal the voting machines against voting. The inspectors then shall sign a certificate stating: that the machines have been locked against voting and sealed; the number of electors as shown on the public counters; the number on the seal; the number registered on the protective counter, if one is provided; and that the voting machines are closed and locked. The inspectors then shall open the counting compartments in the presence of the watchers and all other persons who may be lawfully within the polling place, giving full view of all the counter numbers. The clerk of the board of elections shall then read and announce in distinct tones the designating number and letter on each counter for each candidate's name and the results as shown by the counter numbers; the clerk shall then read, announce, and record the votes cast for each write-in candidate who has qualified. The clerk shall also read and announce the vote on each constitutional amendment, proposition, or other question. The results shall be announced four times by the following procedure. While the clerk is announcing the results, one inspector shall stand by his or her side and check the clerk's announcements. The vote as registered shall be entered on the certificate of returns by two inspectors of different political affiliation, whenever practicable, but not including the clerk, in the same order on the space which has the same designating number and letter, after which the figures shall be verified by being called off from the counters of the machine by the inspector standing near the clerk. While the inspector is announcing the results, the clerk shall stand by his or her side and check the inspector's announcement. After the results are announced by the clerk and the inspector, they shall exchange positions with the two inspectors who are tabulating the results. The same procedure as used by the clerk and inspector shall again be followed by the two inspectors in announcing the results. The tabulation shall then be filled out, which shall show the total number of votes cast for each candidate, as shown on the candidate's counter, and the number of votes for persons not nominated or elected. The counter compartment of the voting machine shall remain open until the official returns and all other reports have been fully completed and verified by the board of elections. Any candidate or duly accredited watcher who may desire to be present shall be admitted to the polling place from the closing of the polls until count and tabulation are complete. The proclamation of the result of the votes cast shall be deliberately announced in a distinct voice by the clerk who shall read the name of each candidate, with the designating number and letter of the candidate's counter and the vote registered on such counter and also the vote cast for and against each question submitted. During each proclamation, ample opportunity shall be given to any person lawfully present to compare the results so announced with the counter dials of the machine, and any necessary corrections shall immediately be made by the board, after which the doors of the voting machine shall be closed and locked. Before adjourning, the board shall, with the seal provided therefor, so seal the operating lever of the machines that the voting and counting mechanism will be prevented from operating. The same procedure shall be followed for each machine in the precinct, and a final proclamation shall be made of the total vote received by each candidate. As each vote is read and announced, it shall be recorded on two statements by two other members of the board and, when completed, compared with the numbers on the counters of the machine. If found correct, the result shall be announced by the clerk, and the tabulation of votes, after being duly certified and sworn to, shall be filed as provided for filing election returns.

(2)  Write-in ballots, enclosed in a properly sealed package properly endorsed, shall be filed with the original statement of returns. The inspector filing the returns shall deliver to the supervisor the keys of the voting machine, enclosed in a sealed envelope having endorsed thereon a certificate of the inspectors stating the number of the machine or machines, the precinct where it has been used, the number on the seal, and the number on the protective counter, if any.

(3)  If the machine is provided with a device or devices which produce a printed record of the votes cast on the candidate and amendment counters, the inspectors of elections shall take the necessary steps to secure such printed record from each machine. Such printed record shall be deemed the official statement or certificate of returns for that machine and shall be properly endorsed, delivered and filed as previously required. If the precinct has more than one machine equipped with a device or devices which produce a printed record of the votes cast on the candidate and amendment counters, the inspectors of elections shall secure such printed record from each machine and shall make a final proclamation of the total votes on the certificate of returns as provided under s. 101.55.

History.--s. 23, ch. 13893, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 337(23); s. 7, ch. 18405, 1937; s. 5, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 28, ch. 65-380; s. 19, ch. 77-175; s. 11, ch. 81-105; s. 575, ch. 95-147.

Note.--Former s. 100.23.