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The Florida Statutes

The 2000 Florida Statutes

Title IX
Chapter 101
Voting Methods And Procedure
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Section 101.5612, Florida Statutes 2000

101.5612  Testing of tabulating equipment.--

(1)  On any day not more than 10 days prior to the election day, the supervisor of elections shall have the automatic tabulating equipment tested to ascertain that the equipment will correctly count the votes cast for all offices and on all measures. Public notice of the time and place of the test shall be given at least 48 hours prior thereto by publication once in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the county or, if there is no newspaper of general circulation in the county, by posting such notice in at least four conspicuous places in the county. The supervisor or the municipal elections official may, at the time of qualifying, give written notice of the time and location of the preelection test to each candidate qualifying with that office and obtain a signed receipt that such notice has been given. 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 tested and advise each such candidate to contact the county supervisor of elections as to the time and location of the pretest. The supervisor or the municipal elections official shall, at least 15 days prior to an election, send written notice by certified mail 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 location of the preelection test of the automatic tabulating equipment. The canvassing board shall convene, and each member of the canvassing board shall certify to the accuracy of the test. For the test, the canvassing board may designate one member to represent it. The test shall be open to representatives of the political parties, the press, and the public. Each political party may designate one person with expertise in the computer field who shall be allowed in the central counting room when all tests are being conducted and when the official votes are being counted. Such designee shall not interfere with the normal operation of the canvassing board.

(2)  The test shall be conducted by processing a preaudited group of ballots so produced as to record a predetermined number of valid votes for each candidate and on each measure and shall include for each office one or more ballots which have votes in excess of the number allowed by law in order to test the ability of the automatic tabulating equipment to reject such votes. If any error is detected, the cause therefor shall be ascertained and corrected and an errorless count shall be made before the automatic tabulating equipment is approved. The test shall be repeated immediately before the start of the official count of the ballots in the same manner as set forth above. After the completion of the count, the test shall be repeated. The programs and ballots used shall be sealed and retained under the custody of the county canvassing board.

History.--s. 12, ch. 73-156; s. 21, ch. 77-175; s. 39, ch. 79-400; s. 2, ch. 81-29; s. 24, ch. 83-217; s. 15, ch. 84-302; s. 582, ch. 95-147.