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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title IX
ELECTORS AND ELECTIONS
Chapter 97
QUALIFICATION AND REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS
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CHAPTER 97
TITLE IX
ELECTORS AND ELECTIONS
CHAPTER 97
QUALIFICATION AND REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
(ss. 97.011-97.028)
PART II
FLORIDA VOTER REGISTRATION ACT
(ss. 97.032-97.105)
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
97.011 Short title.
97.0115 Preemption.
97.012 Secretary of State as chief election officer.
97.021 Definitions.
97.023 Procedures on complaints of violations.
97.025 Election Code; copies thereof.
97.026 Forms to be available in alternative formats and via the Internet.
97.028 Procedures on complaints of violations of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
97.011 Short title.Chapters 97-106 inclusive shall be known and may be cited as “The Florida Election Code.”
History.s. 1, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 65-60; s. 1, ch. 77-175.
97.0115 Preemption.All matters set forth in chapters 97-105 are preempted to the state, except as otherwise specifically authorized by state or federal law. The conduct of municipal elections shall be governed by s. 100.3605.
History.s. 1, ch. 2010-167.
97.012 Secretary of State as chief election officer.The Secretary of State is the chief election officer of the state, and it is his or her responsibility to:
(1) Obtain and maintain uniformity in the interpretation and implementation of the election laws. In order to obtain and maintain uniformity in the interpretation and implementation of the election laws, the Department of State may, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, adopt by rule uniform standards for the proper and equitable interpretation and implementation of the requirements of chapters 97 through 102 and 105 of the Election Code.
(2) Provide uniform standards for the proper and equitable implementation of the registration laws by administrative rule of the Department of State adopted pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54.
(3) Actively seek out and collect the data and statistics necessary to knowledgeably scrutinize the effectiveness of election laws.
(4) Provide technical assistance to the supervisors of elections on voter education and election personnel training services.
(5) Provide technical assistance to the supervisors of elections on voting systems.
(6) Provide voter education assistance to the public.
(7) Coordinate the state’s responsibilities under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
(8) Provide training to all affected state agencies on the necessary procedures for proper implementation of this chapter.
(9) Ensure that all registration applications and forms prescribed or approved by the department are in compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
(10) Coordinate with the United States Department of Defense so that armed forces recruitment offices administer voter registration in a manner consistent with the procedures set forth in this code for voter registration agencies.
(11) Create and administer a statewide voter registration system as required by the Help America Vote Act of 2002. The secretary may delegate voter registration duties and records maintenance activities to voter registration officials. Any responsibilities delegated by the secretary shall be performed in accordance with state and federal law.
(12) Maintain a voter fraud hotline and provide election fraud education to the public.
(13) Designate an office within the department to be responsible for providing information regarding voter registration procedures and vote-by-mail ballot procedures to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters.
(14) Bring and maintain such actions at law or in equity by mandamus or injunction to enforce the performance of any duties of a county supervisor of elections or any official performing duties with respect to chapters 97 through 102 and 105 or to enforce compliance with a rule of the Department of State adopted to interpret or implement any of those chapters.
(a) Venue for such actions shall be in the Circuit Court of Leon County.
(b) When the secretary files an action under this section and not more than 60 days remain before an election as defined in s. 97.021, or during the time period after the election and before certification of the election pursuant to s. 102.112 or s. 102.121, the court, including an appellate court, shall set an immediate hearing, giving the case priority over other pending cases.
(c) Prior to filing an action to enforce performance of the duties of the supervisor of elections or any official described in this subsection, the secretary or his or her designee first must confer, or must make a good faith attempt to confer, with the supervisor of elections or the official to ensure compliance with chapters 97 through 102 and 105 or the rules of the Department of State adopted under any of those chapters.
(15) Conduct preliminary investigations into any irregularities or fraud involving voter registration, voting, candidate petition, or issue petition activities and report his or her findings to the statewide prosecutor or the state attorney for the judicial circuit in which the alleged violation occurred for prosecution, if warranted. The Department of State may prescribe by rule requirements for filing an elections-fraud complaint and for investigating any such complaint.
(16) Provide written direction and opinions to the supervisors of elections on the performance of their official duties with respect to the Florida Election Code or rules adopted by the Department of State.
History.s. 1, ch. 75-98; s. 21, ch. 84-302; s. 2, ch. 89-348; s. 1, ch. 90-315; s. 2, ch. 94-224; s. 1381, ch. 95-147; s. 34, ch. 97-13; s. 1, ch. 98-129; s. 1, ch. 2003-415; s. 1, ch. 2005-277; s. 1, ch. 2005-278; s. 1, ch. 2008-95; s. 1, ch. 2011-40; s. 1, ch. 2016-37.
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 casts a vote-by-mail ballot.
(2) “Absent uniformed services voter” means:
(a) A member of a uniformed service on active duty who, by reason of such active duty, is absent from the place of residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote;
(b) A member of the merchant marine who, by reason of service in the merchant marine, is absent from the place of residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote; or
(c) A spouse or dependent of a member referred to in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) who, by reason of the active duty or service of the member, is absent from the place of residence where the spouse or dependent is otherwise qualified to vote.
(3) “Address of legal residence” means the legal residential address of the elector and includes all information necessary to differentiate one residence from another, including, but not limited to, a distinguishing apartment, suite, lot, room, or dormitory room number or other identifier.
(4) “Alternative formats” has the meaning ascribed in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336, 42 U.S.C. ss. 12101 et seq., including specifically the technical assistance manuals promulgated thereunder, as amended.
(5) “Ballot” or “official ballot” when used in reference to:
(a) “Marksense ballots” means that printed sheet of paper, used in conjunction with an electronic or electromechanical vote tabulation voting system, 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.
(b) “Electronic or electromechanical devices” means a ballot that is voted by the process of electronically designating, including by touchscreen, or marking with a marking device for tabulation by automatic tabulating equipment or data processing equipment.
(6) “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.

(7) “Department” means the Department of State.
(8) “Division” means the Division of Elections of the Department of State.
(9) “Early voting” means casting a ballot prior to election day at a location designated by the supervisor of elections and depositing the voted ballot in the tabulation system.
(10) “Early voting area” means the area designated by the supervisor of elections at an early voting site at which early voting activities occur, including, but not limited to, lines of voters waiting to be processed, the area where voters check in and are processed, and the area where voters cast their ballots.
(11) “Early voting site” means those locations specified in s. 101.657 and the building in which early voting occurs.
(12) “Election” means any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election.
(13) “Election board” means the clerk and inspectors appointed to conduct an election.
(14) “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 vote-by-mail 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 vote-by-mail ballot preparation, poll workers, and election night canvass.
(15) “Elector” is synonymous with the word “voter” or “qualified elector or voter,” except where the word is used to describe presidential electors.
(16) “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.
(17) “Lists of registered electors” means names and associated information of registered electors maintained by the department in the statewide voter registration system or generated or derived from the statewide voter registration system. Lists may be produced in printed or electronic format.
(18) “Member of the Merchant Marine” means an individual, other than a member of a uniformed service or an individual employed, enrolled, or maintained on the Great Lakes for the inland waterways, who is:
(a) Employed as an officer or crew member of a vessel documented under the laws of the United States, a vessel owned by the United States, or a vessel of foreign-flag registry under charter to or control of the United States; or
(b) Enrolled with the United States for employment or training for employment, or maintained by the United States for emergency relief service, as an officer or crew member of such vessel.
(19) “Minor political party” is any group as specified in s. 103.095 which on January 1 preceding a primary election does not have registered as members 5 percent of the total registered electors of the state.
(20) “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.
(21) “Nominal value” means having a retail value of $10 or less.
(22) “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.
(23) “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.
(24) “Overseas voter” means:
(a) An absent uniformed services voter who, by reason of active duty or service, is absent from the United States on the date of the election involved;
(b) A person who resides outside the United States and is qualified to vote in the last place in which the person was domiciled before leaving the United States; or
(c) A person who resides outside the United States and, but for such residence, would be qualified to vote in the last place in which the person was domiciled before leaving the United States.
(25) “Overvote” means that the elector marks or designates more names than there are persons to be elected to an office or designates more than one answer to a ballot question, and the tabulator records no vote for the office or question.
(26) “Persons with disabilities” means individuals who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
(27) “Polling place” is the building which contains the polling room where ballots are cast.
(28) “Polling room” means the actual room in which ballots are cast on election day and during early voting.
(29) “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.
(30) “Provisional ballot” means a conditional ballot, the validity of which is determined by the canvassing board.
(31) “Public assistance” means assistance provided through the food assistance program under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; the Medicaid program; the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children; and the Temporary Cash Assistance Program.
(32) “Public office” means any federal, state, county, municipal, school, or other district office or position which is filled by vote of the electors.
(33) “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.
(34) “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.
(35) “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.
(36) “Supervisor” means the supervisor of elections.
(37) “Tactile input device” means a device that provides information to a voting system by means of a voter touching the device, such as a keyboard, and that complies with the requirements of s. 101.56062(1)(k) and (l).
(38) “Third-party registration organization” means any person, entity, or organization soliciting or collecting voter registration applications. A third-party voter registration organization does not include:
(a) A person who seeks only to register to vote or collect voter registration applications from that person’s spouse, child, or parent; or
(b) A person engaged in registering to vote or collecting voter registration applications as an employee or agent of the division, supervisor of elections, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, or a voter registration agency.
(39) “Undervote” means that the elector does not properly designate any choice for an office or ballot question, and the tabulator records no vote for the office or question.
(40) “Uniformed services” means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
(41) “Voter interface device” means any device that communicates voting instructions and ballot information to a voter and allows the voter to select and vote for candidates and issues.
(42) “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.
(43) “Voter registration official” means any supervisor of elections or individual authorized by the Secretary of State to accept voter registration applications and execute updates to the statewide voter registration system.
(44) “Voting booth” or “booth” means that booth or enclosure wherein an elector casts his or her ballot for tabulation by an electronic or electromechanical device.
(45) “Voting system” means a method of casting and processing votes that functions wholly or partly by use of electromechanical or electronic apparatus or by use of marksense ballots and includes, but is not limited to, the procedures for casting and processing votes and the programs, operating manuals, supplies, 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; s. 3, ch. 98-129; ss. 2, 34, ch. 2001-40; s. 4, ch. 2002-281; s. 2, ch. 2003-415; s. 9, ch. 2004-252; s. 2, ch. 2005-277; s. 2, ch. 2005-278; s. 2, ch. 2005-286; s. 1, ch. 2007-30; s. 2, ch. 2010-167; s. 1, ch. 2010-209; s. 2, ch. 2011-40; s. 1, ch. 2016-23; s. 2, ch. 2016-37.
Note.Former s. 102.02.
97.023 Procedures on complaints of violations.
(1)(a) Any person who is aggrieved by a violation of either the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 or a voter registration or removal procedure under the Florida Election Code may file a written complaint with the department, which shall serve as notice to the Secretary of State.
(b) A complaint must state the alleged violation and the person or entity responsible, who must be the department, a voter registration agency, a supervisor, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, or an Armed Forces Recruitment Center. If the department determines that a complaint fails to allege both a violation and a person or entity responsible for the violation, the department shall inform the complainant that he or she has not given sufficient notice and the steps that must be taken in order to give proper notice.
(c) For the purposes of this section, a violation of either the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 or a voter registration or removal procedure under the Florida Election Code is the failure to perform an act required or the performance of an act prohibited by either the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 or a voter registration or removal procedure under the Florida Election Code.
(d) The department has primary jurisdiction over complaints filed under the provisions of this section.
(2) When a complaint is filed with the department, the parties to the complaint must be given the opportunity to resolve the complaint through an informal dispute resolution process to be established by the department. This process must provide for:
(a) A time limitation of 30 days on the process, unless the alleged violation occurred within 120 days before the date of an election, in which case there must be a time limitation of 20 days;
(b) A mediator provided by the department, who may be a department employee unless the department is alleged to be responsible for the violation, in which case the Governor must appoint a mediator who is not a department employee;
(c) Notice to a complainant;
(d) Notice to a respondent of the allegations filed against him or her in the complaint;
(e) An opportunity for the parties to submit written statements, present oral argument either in person or by telephone, and present evidence; and
(f) A written statement by the mediator to the department stating the outcome of the dispute resolution process.
(3) If an alleged violation occurred within 30 days before the date of a state or federal election and the alleged violation will affect the registrant’s right to vote in that election, the complainant may immediately bring an action in the circuit court in the county where the alleged violation occurred. Otherwise, the following are conditions precedent for a complainant to bring an action for declaratory or injunctive relief in the circuit court in the county where the alleged violation occurred:
(a) The complainant gave proper written notice of the alleged violation to the Secretary of State;
(b) The complainant participated in the informal dispute resolution process; and
(c) An agreement is not reached or an alleged violation is not corrected within 90 days after receipt of notice or 20 days after receipt of notice if the alleged violation occurred within 120 days before the date of an election.
History.s. 4, ch. 94-224; s. 1383, ch. 95-147.
97.025 Election Code; copies thereof.A pamphlet of a reprint of the Election Code, adequately indexed, shall be prepared by the Department of State. The pamphlet shall be made available to each candidate who qualifies with the department. The pamphlet shall be made available to each supervisor, prior to the first day of qualifying, so that each candidate who qualifies with the supervisor and each clerk of elections have access to the pamphlet. The cost of making the pamphlets available shall be paid out of funds appropriated for conducting elections.
History.s. 38, ch. 3879, 1889; RS 192; s. 69, ch. 4328, 1895; GS 253; RGS 297; CGL 353; s. 2, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 17, ch. 65-134; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 5, ch. 77-175; s. 2, ch. 79-365; s. 5, ch. 94-224; s. 3, ch. 2011-40.
Note.Former s. 99.54; s. 98.251.
97.026 Forms to be available in alternative formats and via the Internet.It is the intent of the Legislature that all forms required to be used in chapters 97-106 shall be made available upon request, in alternative formats. Such forms shall include vote-by-mail ballots as alternative formats for such ballots become available and the Division of Elections is able to certify systems that provide them. Whenever possible, such forms, with the exception of vote-by-mail ballots, shall be made available by the Department of State via the Internet. Sections that contain such forms include, but are not limited to, ss. 97.051, 97.052, 97.053, 97.057, 97.058, 97.0583, 97.071, 97.073, 97.1031, 98.075, 99.021, 100.361, 100.371, 101.045, 101.171, 101.20, 101.6103, 101.62, 101.64, 101.65, 101.657, 105.031, 106.023, and 106.087.
History.s. 5, ch. 2002-281; s. 3, ch. 2005-278; s. 24, ch. 2012-116; s. 3, ch. 2016-37.
97.028 Procedures on complaints of violations of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
(1)(a) Any person who believes that a violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur may file a complaint with the department.
(b) The complaint must be in writing and must be signed and sworn to before a notary by the person filing the complaint. Further, the complaint must state the alleged violation and the person or entity responsible for the violation. The department shall prescribe the form for complaints filed under this section. If the department determines that the complaint fails to allege both a violation and a person or entity responsible for the violation, or that the complaint is not properly executed, the department shall inform the complainant in writing that the complaint is legally insufficient.
(c) For purposes of this section, a violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 is the failure to perform an act required or the performance of an act prohibited by Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 by a covered person or entity.
(d) The department shall have sole jurisdiction over complaints filed under the provisions of this section.
(e) This section provides the sole avenue of redress for alleged violations of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and does not give rise to any other cause of action.
(f) The department may consolidate complaints filed under this section.
(g) All proceedings under this section are exempt from chapter 120.
(2)(a) When a legally sufficient complaint is filed with the department, the agency head shall designate a hearing officer who shall:
1. Provide the subject of the complaint with a copy of the complaint. The subject of the complaint shall, within 10 days after receipt of the complaint, file with the department a written, sworn response to the complaint.
2. Upon receipt of the response, the hearing officer shall review both sworn filings to determine whether a violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur. The complaint and the response shall constitute the official hearing record to be considered by the hearing officer. The hearing officer shall provide the complainant with a copy of the response.
3. At the hearing officer’s discretion, the complainant and the respondent may be ordered by the hearing officer to provide additional sworn oral or written statements or additional documents to assist the hearing officer in making his or her determination. Further, other relevant witnesses may also be ordered by the hearing officer to give sworn testimony or to provide relevant documents to assist the hearing officer in making his or her determination. Any such statements or documents received by the hearing officer shall also become part of the official hearing record. For purposes of this section, the hearing officer is authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas.
4. The hearing officer shall advise both the complainant and respondent in writing of their determination. If the hearing officer determines that no violation has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur, the department shall dismiss the complaint and publish its determination. If the hearing officer determines that a violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur, the department shall issue and deliver an order directing the appropriate remedy to persons responsible for effecting such remedy. The issuance of an order does not constitute agency action for which a hearing under s. 120.569 or s. 120.57 may be sought. For purposes of enforcing the order, the department may initiate a proceeding in the name of the state seeking issuance of an injunction, a writ of mandamus, or other equitable remedy against any person who violates any provision of such order.
5. The department shall make a final determination with respect to the complaint within 90 days after the date that the complaint was filed, unless the complainant consents to a longer period for making such a determination.
(b) If the department fails to meet the deadline established in subparagraph (a)5., the complaint shall be forwarded to mediation. Mediation shall occur within 60 days after the department’s failure to make a determination within the timeframe established in subparagraph (a)5. The record created under this section shall be made available for use in the mediation.
History.s. 5, ch. 2003-415.
PART II
FLORIDA VOTER REGISTRATION ACT
97.032 Short title.
97.041 Qualifications to register or vote.
97.051 Oath upon registering.
97.052 Uniform statewide voter registration application.
97.0525 Online voter registration.
97.053 Acceptance of voter registration applications.
97.0535 Special requirements for certain applicants.
97.055 Registration books; when closed for an election.
97.0555 Late registration.
97.057 Voter registration by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
97.0575 Third-party voter registrations.
97.058 Voter registration agencies.
97.0583 Voter registration at qualifying educational institutions.
97.05831 Voter registration applications made available to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
97.0585 Public records exemption; information regarding voters and voter registration; confidentiality.
97.061 Special registration for electors requiring assistance.
97.071 Voter information card.
97.073 Disposition of voter registration applications; cancellation notice.
97.1031 Notice of change of residence, change of name, or change of party affiliation.
97.105 Permanent single registration system established.
97.032 Short title.This part may be cited as the “Florida Voter Registration Act.”
History.s. 7, ch. 94-224.
97.041 Qualifications to register or vote.
(1)(a) A person may become a registered voter only if that person:
1. Is at least 18 years of age;
2. Is a citizen of the United States;
3. Is a legal resident of the State of Florida;
4. Is a legal resident of the county in which that person seeks to be registered; and
5. Registers pursuant to the Florida Election Code.
(b) A person who is otherwise qualified may preregister on or after that person’s 16th birthday and may vote in any election occurring on or after that person’s 18th birthday.
(2) The following persons, who might be otherwise qualified, are not entitled to register or vote:
(a) A person who has been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting in this or any other state and who has not had his or her right to vote restored pursuant to law.
(b) A person who has been convicted of any felony by any court of record and who has not had his or her right to vote restored pursuant to law.
(3) A person who is not registered may not vote.
History.ss. 1, chs. 3850, 3879, 1889; RS 154; s. 1, ch. 4328, 1895; GS 170; RGS 215; s. 1, ch. 8583, 1921; CGL 248; s. 1, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 2, ch. 28156, 1953; s. 1, ch. 63-408; s. 3, ch. 65-60; s. 1, ch. 67-67; ss. 1, 4, ch. 71-108; s. 1, ch. 72-197; s. 2, ch. 73-157; s. 31, ch. 73-333; s. 1, ch. 74-5; s. 1, ch. 77-175; s. 2, ch. 89-338; s. 8, ch. 94-224; s. 12, ch. 2007-30; s. 2, ch. 2008-95.
Note.Former s. 98.01.
97.051 Oath upon registering.A person registering to vote must subscribe to the following oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida, that I am qualified to register as an elector under the Constitution and laws of the State of Florida, and that all information provided in this application is true.”
History.s. 7, ch. 3879, 1889; RS 161; s. 8, ch. 4328, 1895; GS 178; RGS 222; CGL 257; s. 4, ch. 25383, 1949; s. 1, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 3, ch. 69-280; ss. 2, 4, ch. 71-108; s. 1, ch. 72-63; s. 2, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 81-304; s. 9, ch. 94-224; s. 3, ch. 2005-277; s. 4, ch. 2005-278.
Note.Former s. 98.11.
97.052 Uniform statewide voter registration application.
(1) The department shall prescribe by rule a uniform statewide voter registration application for use in this state.
(a) The uniform statewide voter registration application must be accepted for any one or more of the following purposes:
1. Initial registration.
2. Change of address.
3. Change of party affiliation.
4. Change of name.
5. Replacement of a voter information card.
6. Signature update.
(b) The department is responsible for printing the uniform statewide voter registration application and the voter registration application form prescribed by the Election Assistance Commission pursuant to federal law. The applications and forms must be distributed, upon request, to the following:
1. Individuals seeking to register to vote or update a voter registration record.
2. Individuals or groups conducting voter registration programs. A charge of 1 cent per application shall be assessed on requests for 10,000 or more applications.
3. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
4. Voter registration agencies.
5. Armed forces recruitment offices.
6. Qualifying educational institutions.
7. Supervisors, who must make the applications and forms available in the following manner:
a. By distributing the applications and forms in their offices to any individual or group.
b. By distributing the applications and forms at other locations designated by each supervisor.
c. By mailing the applications and forms to applicants upon the request of the applicant.
(c) The uniform statewide voter registration application may be reproduced by any private individual or group, provided the reproduced application is in the same format as the application prescribed by rule under this section.
(2) The uniform statewide voter registration application must be designed to elicit the following information from the applicant:
(a) Last, first, and middle name, including any suffix.
(b) Date of birth.
(c) Address of legal residence.
(d) Mailing address, if different.
(e) E-mail address and whether the applicant wishes to receive sample ballots by e-mail.
(f) County of legal residence.
(g) Race or ethnicity that best describes the applicant:
1. American Indian or Alaskan Native.
2. Asian or Pacific Islander.
3. Black, not Hispanic.
4. White, not Hispanic.
5. Hispanic.
(h) State or country of birth.
(i) Sex.
(j) Party affiliation.
(k) Whether the applicant needs assistance in voting.
(l) Name and address where last registered.
(m) Last four digits of the applicant’s social security number.
(n) Florida driver license number or the identification number from a Florida identification card issued under s. 322.051.
(o) An indication, if applicable, that the applicant has not been issued a Florida driver license, a Florida identification card, or a social security number.
(p) Telephone number (optional).
(q) Signature of applicant under penalty for false swearing pursuant to s. 104.011, by which the person subscribes to the oath required by s. 3, Art. VI of the State Constitution and s. 97.051, and swears or affirms that the information contained in the registration application is true.
(r) Whether the application is being used for initial registration, to update a voter registration record, or to request a replacement voter information card.
(s) Whether the applicant is a citizen of the United States by asking the question “Are you a citizen of the United States of America?” and providing boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant is or is not a citizen of the United States.
(t) Whether the applicant has been convicted of a felony, and, if convicted, has had his or her civil rights restored by including the statement “I affirm I am not a convicted felon, or, if I am, my rights relating to voting have been restored.” and providing a box for the applicant to check to affirm the statement.
(u) Whether the applicant has been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting or, if so adjudicated, has had his or her right to vote restored by including the statement “I affirm I have not been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting, or, if I have, my competency has been restored.” and providing a box for the applicant to check to affirm the statement.

The registration application must be in plain language and designed so that convicted felons whose civil rights have been restored and persons who have been adjudicated mentally incapacitated and have had their voting rights restored are not required to reveal their prior conviction or adjudication.

(3) The uniform statewide voter registration application must also contain:
(a) The oath required by s. 3, Art. VI of the State Constitution and s. 97.051.
(b) A statement specifying each eligibility requirement under s. 97.041.
(c) The penalties provided in s. 104.011 for false swearing in connection with voter registration.
(d) A statement that, if an applicant declines to register to vote, the fact that the applicant has declined to register will remain confidential and may be used only for voter registration purposes.
(e) A statement that informs the applicant who chooses to register to vote or update a voter registration record that the office at which the applicant submits a voter registration application or updates a voter registration record will remain confidential and may be used only for voter registration purposes.
(f) A statement informing an applicant who has not been issued a Florida driver license, a Florida identification card, or a social security number that if the application is submitted by mail and the applicant is registering for the first time in this state, the applicant will be required to provide identification prior to voting the first time.
(4) A supervisor may produce a voter registration application that has the supervisor’s direct mailing address if the department has reviewed the application and determined that it is substantially the same as the uniform statewide voter registration application.
(5) The voter registration application form prescribed by the Election Assistance Commission pursuant to federal law or the federal postcard application must be accepted as an application for registration in this state if the completed application or postcard application contains the information required by the constitution and laws of this state.
(6) If a voter registration applicant fails to provide any of the required information on the voter registration application form, the supervisor shall notify the applicant of the failure by mail within 5 business days after the supervisor has the information available in the voter registration system. The applicant shall have an opportunity to complete the application form to vote in the next election up until the book closing for that next election.
History.s. 5, ch. 25391, 1949; s. 2, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 59-231; s. 8, ch. 65-134; s. 1, ch. 67-170; s. 8, ch. 69-377; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 72-63; s. 5, ch. 77-175; s. 23, ch. 84-302; s. 6, ch. 89-338; s. 10, ch. 94-224; s. 2, ch. 96-327; s. 26, ch. 97-13; s. 4, ch. 98-129; ss. 1, 7, ch. 2002-189; s. 3, ch. 2003-415; s. 4, ch. 2005-277; s. 5, ch. 2005-278; s. 1, ch. 2013-192.
Note.Former s. 97.05; s. 98.111.
97.0525 Online voter registration.
(1) Beginning October 1, 2017, an applicant may submit an online voter registration application using the procedures set forth in this section.
(2) The division shall establish a secure Internet website that safeguards an applicant’s information to ensure data integrity and permits an applicant to:
(a) Submit a voter registration application, including first-time voter registration applications and updates to current voter registration records.
(b) Submit information necessary to establish an applicant’s eligibility to vote, pursuant to s. 97.041, which includes the information required for the uniform statewide voter registration application pursuant to s. 97.052(2).
(c) Swear to the oath required pursuant to s. 97.051.
(3)(a) The online voter registration system shall comply with the information technology security provisions of s. 282.318 and shall use a unique identifier for each applicant to prevent unauthorized persons from altering a voter’s registration information.
(b) The division shall conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of the online voter registration system before making the system publicly available and every 2 years thereafter. The comprehensive risk assessment must comply with the risk assessment methodology developed by the Agency for State Technology for identifying security risks, determining the magnitude of such risks, and identifying areas that require safeguards.
(4)(a) The online voter registration system shall compare the Florida driver license number or Florida identification number submitted pursuant to s. 97.052(2)(n) with information maintained by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to confirm that the name and date of birth on the application are consistent with the records of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
(b) If the applicant’s name and date of birth are consistent with the records of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the online voter registration system shall transmit, using the statewide voter registration system maintained pursuant to s. 98.035, the applicant’s registration application, along with the digital signature of the applicant on file with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, to the supervisor of elections. The applicant’s digital signature satisfies the signature requirement of s. 97.052(2)(q).
(c) If the applicant’s name and date of birth cannot be verified by the records of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, or if the applicant indicated that he or she has not been issued a Florida driver license or Florida identification card, the online voter registration system shall populate the applicant’s information into a printable voter registration application pursuant to s. 97.052(2) and direct the applicant to print, sign, and date the application and deliver the application to the supervisor of elections for disposition pursuant to s. 97.073.
(5) Upon submission of a completed online voter registration application, the website must generate an immediate electronic confirmation that the supervisor of elections has received the application and provide instructions regarding the ability of a registrant to check the status of the application thereafter.
(6) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the supervisor of elections shall process the application pursuant to s. 97.053.
(7) The online voter registration system must conform to nationally accepted standards for accessibility for individuals with disabilities, including s. 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, s. 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium, to ensure equal access for voters with disabilities.
(8) A legal distinction may not be made between online voter registration under this section and voter registration in person, by mail, or by other methods provided by general law.
History.s. 1, ch. 2015-36.
97.053 Acceptance of voter registration applications.
(1) Voter registration applications, changes in registration, and requests for a replacement voter information card must be accepted in the office of any supervisor, the division, a driver license office, a voter registration agency, or an armed forces recruitment office when hand delivered by the applicant or a third party during the hours that office is open or when mailed.
(2) A voter registration application is complete and becomes the official voter registration record of that applicant when all information necessary to establish the applicant’s eligibility pursuant to s. 97.041 is received by a voter registration official and verified pursuant to subsection (6). If the applicant fails to complete his or her voter registration application prior to the date of book closing for an election, then such applicant shall not be eligible to vote in that election.
(3) The registration date for a valid initial voter registration application that has been hand delivered is the date that the application is received by a driver license office, a voter registration agency, an armed forces recruitment office, the division, or the office of any supervisor in the state.
(4) The registration date for a valid initial voter registration application that has been mailed to a driver license office, a voter registration agency, an armed forces recruitment office, the division, or the office of any supervisor in the state and bears a clear postmark is the date of that postmark. If an initial voter registration application that has been mailed does not bear a postmark or if the postmark is unclear, the registration date is the date the application is received by any supervisor or the division, unless it is received within 5 days after the closing of the books for an election, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, in which case the registration date is the book-closing date.
(5)(a) A voter registration application is complete if it contains the following information necessary to establish the applicant’s eligibility pursuant to s. 97.041, including:
1. The applicant’s name.
2. The applicant’s address of legal residence, including a distinguishing apartment, suite, lot, room, or dormitory room number or other identifier, if appropriate. Failure to include a distinguishing apartment, suite, lot, room, or dormitory room or other identifier on a voter registration application does not impact a voter’s eligibility to register to vote or cast a ballot, and such an omission may not serve as the basis for a challenge to a voter’s eligibility or reason to not count a ballot.
3. The applicant’s date of birth.
4. A mark in the checkbox affirming that the applicant is a citizen of the United States.
5.a. The applicant’s current and valid Florida driver license number or the identification number from a Florida identification card issued under s. 322.051, or
b. If the applicant has not been issued a current and valid Florida driver license or a Florida identification card, the last four digits of the applicant’s social security number.

In case an applicant has not been issued a current and valid Florida driver license, Florida identification card, or social security number, the applicant shall affirm this fact in the manner prescribed in the uniform statewide voter registration application.

6. A mark in the checkbox affirming that the applicant has not been convicted of a felony or that, if convicted, has had his or her civil rights restored.
7. A mark in the checkbox affirming that the applicant has not been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting or that, if so adjudicated, has had his or her right to vote restored.
8. The original signature or a digital signature transmitted by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles of the applicant swearing or affirming under the penalty for false swearing pursuant to s. 104.011 that the information contained in the registration application is true and subscribing to the oath required by s. 3, Art. VI of the State Constitution and s. 97.051.
(b) An applicant who fails to designate party affiliation must be registered without party affiliation. The supervisor must notify the voter by mail that the voter has been registered without party affiliation and that the voter may change party affiliation as provided in s. 97.1031.
(6) A voter registration application may be accepted as valid only after the department has verified the authenticity or nonexistence of the driver license number, the Florida identification card number, or the last four digits of the social security number provided by the applicant. If a completed voter registration application has been received by the book-closing deadline but the driver license number, the Florida identification card number, or the last four digits of the social security number provided by the applicant cannot be verified, the applicant shall be notified that the number cannot be verified and that the applicant must provide evidence to the supervisor sufficient to verify the authenticity of the applicant’s driver license number, Florida identification card number, or last four digits of the social security number. If the applicant provides the necessary evidence, the supervisor shall place the applicant’s name on the registration rolls as an active voter. If the applicant has not provided the necessary evidence or the number has not otherwise been verified prior to the applicant presenting himself or herself to vote, the applicant shall be provided a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot shall be counted only if the number is verified by the end of the canvassing period or if the applicant presents evidence to the supervisor of elections sufficient to verify the authenticity of the applicant’s driver license number, Florida identification card number, or last four digits of the social security number no later than 5 p.m. of the second day following the election.
(7) All voter registration applications received by a voter registration official shall be entered into the statewide voter registration system within 13 days after receipt. Once entered, the application shall be immediately forwarded to the appropriate supervisor of elections.
History.s. 11, ch. 94-224; s. 27, ch. 97-13; s. 5, ch. 98-129; s. 4, ch. 2003-415; s. 5, ch. 2005-277; s. 6, ch. 2005-278; s. 13, ch. 2007-30; s. 3, ch. 2008-95; s. 2, ch. 2016-23.
97.0535 Special requirements for certain applicants.
(1) Each applicant who registers by mail and who has never previously voted in the state and who the department has verified has not been issued a current and valid Florida driver license, Florida identification card, or social security number shall be required to provide a copy of a current and valid identification, as provided in subsection (3), or indicate that he or she is exempt from the requirements prior to voting. Such identification or indication may be provided at the time of registering, or at any time prior to voting for the first time in the state. If the voter registration application clearly provides information from which a voter registration official can determine that the applicant meets at least one of the exemptions in subsection (4), the voter registration official shall make the notation on the registration records of the statewide voter registration system and the applicant shall not be required to provide the identification required by this section.
(2) The voter registration official shall, upon accepting the voter registration application submitted pursuant to subsection (1), determine if the applicant provided the required identification at the time of registering. If the required identification was not provided, the supervisor shall notify the applicant that he or she must provide the identification prior to voting the first time in the state.
(3)(a) The following forms of identification shall be considered current and valid if they contain the name and photograph of the applicant and have not expired:
1. United States passport.
2. Debit or credit card.
3. Military identification.
4. Student identification.
5. Retirement center identification.
6. Neighborhood association identification.
7. Public assistance identification.
8. Veteran health identification card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
9. A license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued pursuant to s. 790.06.
10. Employee identification card issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the Federal Government, the state, a county, or a municipality.
(b) The following forms of identification shall be considered current and valid if they contain the name and current residence address of the applicant:
1. Utility bill.
2. Bank statement.
3. Government check.
4. Paycheck.
5. Other government document (excluding voter identification card).
(4) The following persons are exempt from the identification requirements of this section:
(a) Persons 65 years of age or older.
(b) Persons with a temporary or permanent physical disability.
(c) Members of the uniformed service on active duty who, by reason of such active duty, are absent from the county on election day.
(d) Members of the Merchant Marine who, by reason of service in the Merchant Marine, are absent from the county on election day.
(e) The spouse or dependent of a member referred to in paragraph (c) or paragraph (d) who, by reason of the active duty or service of the member, is absent from the county on election day.
(f) Persons currently residing outside the United States who are eligible to vote in Florida.
History.s. 6, ch. 2003-415; s. 7, ch. 2005-278; s. 4, ch. 2008-95; s. 1, ch. 2016-167.
97.055 Registration books; when closed for an election.
(1)(a) The registration books must be closed on the 29th day before each election and must remain closed until after that election. If an election is called and there are fewer than 29 days before that election, the registration books must be closed immediately.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c), when the registration books are closed for an election, updates to a voter’s name, address, and signature pursuant to ss. 98.077 and 101.045 shall be the only changes permitted for purposes of the upcoming election. New voter registration applications must be accepted but only for the purpose of subsequent elections.
(c) When the registration books are closed for an upcoming election, an update or change to a voter’s party affiliation made pursuant to s. 97.1031 shall be permitted for that upcoming election unless such election is for the purpose of nominating a political party nominee, in which case the update or change shall be permitted only for the purpose of subsequent elections.
(2) In computing the 29-day period for the closing of the registration books, the day of the election is excluded and all other days are included. If the 29th day preceding an election falls on a Sunday or a legal holiday, the registration books must be closed on the next day that is not a Sunday or a legal holiday.
History.s. 2, ch. 25391, 1949; s. 2, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 5, ch. 29934, s. 1, ch. 29761, 1955; s. 3, ch. 65-134; s. 2, ch. 67-530; s. 1, ch. 71-124; ss. 7, 8, ch. 72-63; s. 4, ch. 74-5; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 5, ch. 77-175; s. 7, ch. 80-292; s. 5, ch. 81-304; s. 1, ch. 83-25; s. 27, ch. 84-302; s. 11, ch. 85-80; s. 6, ch. 89-338; s. 12, ch. 94-224; s. 6, ch. 2005-277; s. 8, ch. 2005-278; s. 3, ch. 2005-286; s. 5, ch. 2008-95.
Note.Former s. 97.02; s. 98.051.
97.0555 Late registration.An individual or accompanying family member who has been discharged or separated from the uniformed services or the United States Merchant Marine, has returned from a military deployment or activation, or has separated from employment outside the territorial limits of the United States, after the book-closing date for an election pursuant to s. 97.055 and who is otherwise qualified may register to vote in such election until 5 p.m. on the Friday before that election in the office of the supervisor of elections. Such persons must produce sufficient documentation showing evidence of qualifying for late registration pursuant to this section.
History.s. 47, ch. 2001-40; s. 1, ch. 2002-17; s. 25, ch. 2012-116; s. 1, ch. 2013-57.
97.057 Voter registration by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
(1) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall provide the opportunity to register to vote or to update a voter registration record to each individual who comes to an office of that department to:
(a) Apply for or renew a driver license;
(b) Apply for or renew an identification card pursuant to chapter 322; or
(c) Change an address on an existing driver license or identification card.
(2) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall:
(a) Notify each individual, orally or in writing, that:
1. Information gathered for the completion of a driver license or identification card application, renewal, or change of address can be automatically transferred to a voter registration application;
2. If additional information and a signature are provided, the voter registration application will be completed and sent to the proper election authority;
3. Information provided can also be used to update a voter registration record;
4. All declinations will remain confidential and may be used only for voter registration purposes; and
5. The particular driver license office in which the person applies to register to vote or updates a voter registration record will remain confidential and may be used only for voter registration purposes.
(b) Require a driver license examiner to inquire orally or, if the applicant is hearing impaired, inquire in writing whether the applicant wishes to register to vote or update a voter registration record during the completion of a driver license or identification card application, renewal, or change of address.
1. If the applicant chooses to register to vote or to update a voter registration record:
a. All applicable information received by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in the course of filling out the forms necessary under subsection (1) must be transferred to a voter registration application.
b. The additional necessary information must be obtained by the driver license examiner and must not duplicate any information already obtained while completing the forms required under subsection (1).
c. A voter registration application with all of the applicant’s voter registration information required to establish the applicant’s eligibility pursuant to s. 97.041 must be presented to the applicant to review and verify the voter registration information received and provide an electronic signature affirming the accuracy of the information provided.
2. If the applicant declines to register to vote, update the applicant’s voter registration record, or change the applicant’s address by either orally declining or by failing to sign the voter registration application, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles must note such declination on its records and shall forward the declination to the statewide voter registration system.
(3) For the purpose of this section, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, with the approval of the Department of State, shall prescribe:
(a) A voter registration application that is the same in content, format, and size as the uniform statewide voter registration application prescribed under s. 97.052; and
(b) A form that will inform applicants under subsection (1) of the information contained in paragraph (2)(a).
(4) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles must electronically transmit completed voter registration applications within 24 hours after receipt to the statewide voter registration system. Completed paper voter registration applications received by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall be forwarded within 5 days after receipt to the supervisor of the county where the office that processed or received that application is located.
(5) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles must send, with each driver license renewal extension application authorized pursuant to s. 322.18(8), a uniform statewide voter registration application, the voter registration application prescribed under paragraph (3)(a), or a voter registration application developed especially for the purposes of this subsection by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, with the approval of the Department of State, which must meet the requirements of s. 97.052.
(6) A person providing voter registration services for a driver license office may not:
(a) Seek to influence an applicant’s political preference or party registration;
(b) Display any political preference or party allegiance;
(c) Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to discourage the applicant from registering to vote; or
(d) Disclose any applicant’s voter registration information except as needed for the administration of voter registration.
(7) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall collect data determined necessary by the Department of State for program evaluation and reporting to the Election Assistance Commission pursuant to federal law.
(8) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles must ensure that all voter registration services provided by driver license offices are in compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
(9) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall retain complete records of voter registration information received, processed, and submitted to the statewide voter registration system by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. These records shall be for the explicit purpose of supporting audit and accounting controls established to ensure accurate and complete electronic transmission of records between the statewide voter registration system and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
(10) The department shall provide the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles with an electronic database of street addresses valid for use as the address of legal residence as required in s. 97.053(5). The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall compare the address provided by the applicant against the database of valid street addresses. If the address provided by the applicant does not match a valid street address in the database, the applicant will be asked to verify the address provided. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall not reject any application for voter registration for which a valid match cannot be made.
(11) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall enter into an agreement with the department to match information in the statewide voter registration system with information in the database of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to the extent required to verify the accuracy of the driver license number, Florida identification number, or last four digits of the social security number provided on applications for voter registration as required in s. 97.053.
(12) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of Social Security as required by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to verify the last four digits of the social security number provided in applications for voter registration as required in s. 97.053.
History.s. 13, ch. 94-224; s. 2, ch. 2002-189; s. 9, ch. 2005-278; s. 3, ch. 2016-23.
97.0575 Third-party voter registrations.
(1) Before engaging in any voter registration activities, a third-party voter registration organization must register and provide to the division, in an electronic format, the following information:
(a) The names of the officers of the organization and the name and permanent address of the organization.
(b) The name and address of the organization’s registered agent in the state.
(c) The names, permanent addresses, and temporary addresses, if any, of each registration agent registering persons to vote in this state on behalf of the organization.
(d) A sworn statement from each registration agent employed by or volunteering for the organization stating that the agent will obey all state laws and rules regarding the registration of voters. Such statement must be on a form containing notice of applicable penalties for false registration.
(2) The division or the supervisor of elections shall make voter registration forms available to third-party voter registration organizations. All such forms must contain information identifying the organization to which the forms are provided. The division shall maintain a database of all third-party voter registration organizations and the voter registration forms assigned to the third-party voter registration organization. Each supervisor of elections shall provide to the division information on voter registration forms assigned to and received from third-party voter registration organizations. The information must be provided in a format and at times as required by the division by rule. The division must update information on third-party voter registrations daily and make the information publicly available.
(3)(a) A third-party voter registration organization that collects voter registration applications serves as a fiduciary to the applicant, ensuring that any voter registration application entrusted to the organization, irrespective of party affiliation, race, ethnicity, or gender, shall be promptly delivered to the division or the supervisor of elections within 48 hours after the applicant completes it or the next business day if the appropriate office is closed for that 48-hour period. If a voter registration application collected by any third-party voter registration organization is not promptly delivered to the division or supervisor of elections, the third-party voter registration organization is liable for the following fines:
1. A fine in the amount of $50 for each application received by the division or the supervisor of elections more than 48 hours after the applicant delivered the completed voter registration application to the third-party voter registration organization or any person, entity, or agent acting on its behalf or the next business day, if the office is closed. A fine in the amount of $250 for each application received if the third-party voter registration organization or person, entity, or agency acting on its behalf acted willfully.
2. A fine in the amount of $100 for each application collected by a third-party voter registration organization or any person, entity, or agent acting on its behalf, before book closing for any given election for federal or state office and received by the division or the supervisor of elections after the book-closing deadline for such election. A fine in the amount of $500 for each application received if the third-party registration organization or person, entity, or agency acting on its behalf acted willfully.
3. A fine in the amount of $500 for each application collected by a third-party voter registration organization or any person, entity, or agent acting on its behalf, which is not submitted to the division or supervisor of elections. A fine in the amount of $1,000 for any application not submitted if the third-party voter registration organization or person, entity, or agency acting on its behalf acted willfully.

The aggregate fine pursuant to this paragraph which may be assessed against a third-party voter registration organization, including affiliate organizations, for violations committed in a calendar year is $1,000.

(b) A showing by the third-party voter registration organization that the failure to deliver the voter registration application within the required timeframe is based upon force majeure or impossibility of performance shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of this subsection. The secretary may waive the fines described in this subsection upon a showing that the failure to deliver the voter registration application promptly is based upon force majeure or impossibility of performance.
(4) If the Secretary of State reasonably believes that a person has committed a violation of this section, the secretary may refer the matter to the Attorney General for enforcement. The Attorney General may institute a civil action for a violation of this section or to prevent a violation of this section. An action for relief may include a permanent or temporary injunction, a restraining order, or any other appropriate order.
(5) The division shall adopt by rule a form to elicit specific information concerning the facts and circumstances from a person who claims to have been registered to vote by a third-party voter registration organization but who does not appear as an active voter on the voter registration rolls. The division shall also adopt rules to ensure the integrity of the registration process, including rules requiring third-party voter registration organizations to account for all state and federal registration forms used by their registration agents. Such rules may require an organization to provide organization and form specific identification information on each form as determined by the department as needed to assist in the accounting of state and federal registration forms.
(6) The date on which an applicant signs a voter registration application is presumed to be the date on which the third-party voter registration organization received or collected the voter registration application.
(7) The requirements of this section are retroactive for any third-party voter registration organization registered with the department on the effective date of this act, and must be complied with within 90 days after the department provides notice to the third-party voter registration organization of the requirements contained in this section. Failure of the third-party voter registration organization to comply with the requirements within 90 days after receipt of the notice shall automatically result in the cancellation of the third-party voter registration organization’s registration.
History.s. 7, ch. 2005-277; s. 2, ch. 2007-30; s. 4, ch. 2011-40.
97.058 Voter registration agencies.
(1) Each voter registration agency must provide each applicant the opportunity to register to vote or to update a voter registration record, at the time the applicant applies for services or assistance from that agency, for renewal of such services or assistance, or for a change of address required with respect to the services or assistance.
(2) Each voter registration agency, other than a public library, must develop and provide each applicant with a form approved by the department containing all of the following:
(a) The questions:
1. “If you are not registered to vote where you live now, would you like to apply to register to vote today?”
2. “If you are registered to vote where you live now, would you like to update your voter registration record?”
(b) For agencies providing public assistance, the statement, “Applying to register or declining to register to vote will not affect the amount of assistance that you will be provided by this agency.”
(c) Boxes for the applicant to check which indicate that:
1. The applicant would like to register to vote or update a current voter registration;
2. The applicant would like to decline to register to vote; or
3. The applicant is already registered to vote and does not need to update the voter registration,

together with the statement, “If you do not check any box, you will be considered to have decided not to register to vote or update a voter registration at this time.”

(d) The statement, “If you would like help in filling out the voter registration application, we will help you. The decision whether to seek or accept help is yours. You may fill out the voter registration application in private.”
(e) The statement, “If you believe that someone has interfered with your right to register or to decline to register to vote, your right to privacy in deciding whether to register or in applying to register to vote, or your right to choose your own political party or other political preference, you may file a complaint with the Secretary of State.”
(f) The address and telephone number of the appropriate office in the department where a complaint may be filed.
(g) A statement that all declinations will remain confidential and may be used only for voter registration purposes.
(h) A statement that informs the applicant who chooses to register to vote or update a voter registration record that the office at which the applicant submits a voter registration application or updates a voter registration record will remain confidential and may be used only for voter registration purposes.
(3)(a) A voter registration agency may use the uniform statewide voter registration application or may create and use a voter registration application that meets the requirements of s. 97.052, with the approval of the department.
(b) A voter registration agency must provide to each applicant under subsection (1) the voter registration application that the agency decides to use pursuant to paragraph (a). An applicant who indicates a desire to register to vote or update a voter registration record must be provided the same degree of assistance with regard to the completion of that voter registration application as is provided by the agency with regard to the completion of its own forms, unless the applicant refuses that assistance.
(4) If a voter registration agency provides services to a person with a disability at the person’s home, the agency must also provide voter registration services at the person’s home.
(5) A voter registration agency must establish procedures for providing voter registration services to applicants who apply by telephone.
(6) A voter registration agency must forward all completed and incomplete voter registration applications within 5 days after receipt to the supervisor of the county where the agency that processed or received that application is located.
(7) A voter registration agency must retain declinations for a period of 2 years, during which time the declinations are not considered a record of the client pursuant to the laws governing the agency’s records.
(8) A person providing voter registration services for a voter registration agency may not:
(a) Seek to influence an applicant’s political preference or party registration;
(b) Display any political preference or party allegiance;
(c) Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to lead the applicant to believe that a decision to register or not to register has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits;
(d) Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to discourage the applicant from registering to vote; or
(e) Disclose any applicant’s voter registration information except as needed for the administration of voter registrations.
(9) A voter registration agency must collect data determined necessary by the department, as provided by rule, for program evaluation and reporting to the Election Assistance Commission pursuant to federal law.
(10) Each state agency which contracts with a private provider that is also a voter registration agency as defined in s. 97.021 is responsible for contracting for voter registration services with that provider and for ensuring that the private provider complies with the provisions of this section.
(11) Each voter registration agency must ensure that all voter registration services provided by its offices are in compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
History.s. 14, ch. 94-224; s. 3, ch. 2002-189; s. 10, ch. 2005-278.
97.0583 Voter registration at qualifying educational institutions.Each qualifying educational institution shall provide each student enrolled in that institution the opportunity to register to vote or to update a voter registration record on each campus at least once a year. Qualifying educational institutions are also encouraged to provide voter registration services at other times and places, such as upon application for financial aid, during admissions, at registration, upon issuance of student identifications, and at new-student orientation.
History.s. 3, ch. 96-327.
97.05831 Voter registration applications made available to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.As required in s. 379.352, each supervisor of elections shall supply voter registration applications to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and its subagents, as needed.
History.s. 1, ch. 2006-95; s. 183, ch. 2008-247.
97.0585 Public records exemption; information regarding voters and voter registration; confidentiality.
(1) The following information held by an agency as defined in s. 119.011 is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and may be used only for purposes of voter registration:
(a) All declinations to register to vote made pursuant to ss. 97.057 and 97.058.
(b) Information relating to the place where a person registered to vote or where a person updated a voter registration.
(c) The social security number, driver license number, and Florida identification number of a voter registration applicant or voter.
(2) The signature of a voter registration applicant or a voter is exempt from the copying requirements of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(3) This section applies to information held by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of this exemption.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 94-345; s. 24, ch. 96-406; ss. 1, 3, ch. 2005-279; s. 1, ch. 2010-42; ss. 1, 2, ch. 2010-115; s. 11, ch. 2013-15; s. 1, ch. 2015-78.
97.061 Special registration for electors requiring assistance.
(1) Any person who is eligible to register and who is unable to read or write or who, because of some disability, needs assistance in voting shall upon that person’s request be registered under the procedure prescribed by this section and shall be entitled to receive assistance at the polls under the conditions prescribed by this section.
(2) If a person is qualified to register pursuant to this section, the voter registration official shall note in that person’s registration record that the person needs assistance in voting.
(3) The precinct register generated by the supervisor shall contain a notation that such person is eligible for assistance in voting, and the supervisor may make a notation on the voter information card that such person is eligible for assistance in voting. Such person shall be entitled to receive the assistance of two election officials or some other person of his or her own choice, other than the person’s employer, the agent of the person’s employer, or an officer or agent of the person’s union, without the necessity of executing the “Declaration to Secure Assistance” prescribed in s. 101.051. Such person shall notify the supervisor of any change in his or her condition which makes it unnecessary for him or her to receive assistance in voting.
History.s. 14, ch. 6469, 1913; RGS 318; CGL 375; s. 3, ch. 25388, 1949; s. 6, ch. 25391, 1949; s. 1, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 3, ch. 28156, 1953; s. 1, ch. 59-446; s. 1, ch. 61-358; s. 4, ch. 65-60; s. 3, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 79-366; s. 2, ch. 81-304; s. 1, ch. 84-302; s. 15, ch. 94-224; s. 1384, ch. 95-147; s. 11, ch. 2005-278; s. 26, ch. 2012-116.
Note.Former ss. 97.06 and 102.21.
97.071 Voter information card.
(1) A voter information card shall be furnished by the supervisor to all registered voters residing in the supervisor’s county. The card must contain:
(a) Voter’s registration number.
(b) Date of registration.
(c) Full name.
(d) Party affiliation.
(e) Date of birth.
(f) Address of legal residence.
(g) Precinct number.
(h) Polling place address.
(i) Name of supervisor and contact information of supervisor.
(j) Other information deemed necessary by the supervisor.
(2) A voter may receive a replacement voter information card by providing a signed, written request for a replacement card to a voter registration official. Upon verification of registration, the supervisor shall issue the voter a duplicate card without charge.
(3) In the case of a change of name, address of legal residence, polling place address, or party affiliation, the supervisor shall issue the voter a new voter information card.
History.s. 13, ch. 3879, 1889; RS 167; s. 15, ch. 4328, 1895; GS 191, 192; RGS 235, 236; CGL 288, 289; s. 4, ch. 24203, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 1, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 10, ch. 27991, 1953; s. 6, ch. 65-60; s. 8, ch. 69-377; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 18, ch. 94-224; s. 28, ch. 97-13; s. 7, ch. 98-129; s. 2, ch. 2000-250; s. 4, ch. 2002-189; s. 8, ch. 2005-277; s. 12, ch. 2005-278; s. 4, ch. 2005-286; s. 5, ch. 2011-40.
Note.Former ss. 98.31 and 98.32.
97.073 Disposition of voter registration applications; cancellation notice.
(1) The supervisor must notify each applicant of the disposition of the applicant’s voter registration application within 5 business days after voter registration information is entered into the statewide voter registration system. The notice must inform the applicant that the application has been approved, is incomplete, has been denied, or is a duplicate of a current registration. A voter information card sent to an applicant constitutes notice of approval of registration. If the application is incomplete, the supervisor must request that the applicant supply the missing information using a voter registration application signed by the applicant. A notice of denial must inform the applicant of the reason the application was denied.
(2) Within 2 weeks after approval of a voter registration application that indicates that the applicant was previously registered in another state, the department must notify the registration official in the prior state that the applicant is now registered in this state.
History.s. 19, ch. 94-224; s. 62, ch. 2001-40; s. 13, ch. 2005-278; s. 7, ch. 2011-40.
97.1031 Notice of change of residence, change of name, or change of party affiliation.
(1)(a) When an elector changes his or her residence address, the elector must notify the supervisor of elections. Except as provided in paragraph (b), an address change must be submitted using a voter registration application.
(b) If the address change is within the state and notice is provided to the supervisor of elections of the county where the elector has moved, the elector may do so by:
1. Contacting the supervisor of elections via telephone or electronic means, in which case the elector must provide his or her date of birth; or
2. Submitting the change on a voter registration application or other signed written notice.
(2) When an elector seeks to change party affiliation, the elector shall notify his or her supervisor of elections or other voter registration official by using a signed written notice that contains the elector’s date of birth or voter registration number. When an elector changes his or her name by marriage or other legal process, the elector shall notify his or her supervisor of elections or other voter registration official by using a signed written notice that contains the elector’s date of birth or voter’s registration number.
(3) The voter registration official shall make the necessary changes in the elector’s records as soon as practical upon receipt of such notice of a change of address of legal residence, name, or party affiliation. The supervisor of elections shall issue the new voter information card.
History.s. 7, ch. 78-403; s. 5, ch. 80-292; s. 21, ch. 94-224; s. 29, ch. 97-13; s. 31, ch. 99-2; s. 3, ch. 2000-250; s. 5, ch. 2002-189; s. 14, ch. 2005-278; s. 5, ch. 2005-286; s. 8, ch. 2011-40.
97.105 Permanent single registration system established.A permanent single registration system for the registration of electors to qualify them to vote in all elections is provided for the several counties and municipalities. This system shall be put into use by all municipalities and shall be in lieu of any other system of municipal registration. Electors shall be registered pursuant to this system by a voter registration official, and electors registered shall not thereafter be required to register or reregister except as provided by law.
History.s. 1, ch. 25391, 1949; s. 2, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 59-237; s. 2, ch. 69-377; s. 1, ch. 73-155; s. 32, ch. 73-333; s. 5, ch. 77-175; s. 23, ch. 94-224; s. 15, ch. 2005-278.
Note.Former s. 97.01; s. 98.041.