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florida > The Florida Election Code > Registration Office, Officers, And Procedures

§ 98.0981 Reports; voting history; statewide voter registration system information; precinct-level election results; book closing statistics.

Overview of Statute

This statute outlines the voting history and statewide registration system information. The statute then provides an overview of the file specifications. The files contain records for all qualified voters. The statute then goes into the specifics of the files containing the precinct-level results. After the date of book closing, but before the date of an election, the department is required to compile precinct-level statistical information for each county in the state.

Statute

(1) VOTING HISTORY AND STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATION SYSTEM INFORMATION.

(a) Within 30 days after certification by the Elections Canvassing Commission of a presidential preference primary, special election, primary election, or general election, supervisors of elections shall transmit to the department, in a uniform electronic format specified in paragraph (d), completely updated voting history information for each qualified voter who voted.

(b) After receipt of the information in paragraph (a), the department shall prepare a report in electronic format which contains the following information, separately compiled for the primary and general election for all voters qualified to vote in either election:

1. The unique identifier assigned to each qualified voter within the statewide voter registration system;
2. All information provided by each qualified voter on his or her voter registration application pursuant to s. 97.052(2), except that which is confidential or exempt from public records requirements;
3. Each qualified voter’s date of registration;
4. Each qualified voter’s current state representative district, state senatorial district, and congressional district, assigned by the supervisor of elections;
5. Each qualified voter’s current precinct; and
6. Voting history as transmitted under paragraph (a) to include whether the qualified voter voted at a precinct location, voted during the early voting period, voted by vote-by-mail ballot, attempted to vote by vote-by-mail ballot that was not counted, attempted to vote by provisional ballot that was not counted, or did not vote.
(c) Within 45 days after certification by the Elections Canvassing Commission of a presidential preference primary, special election, primary election, or general election, the department shall send to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate Minority Leader, and the House Minority Leader a report in electronic format that includes all information set forth in paragraph (b).

(d) File specifications are as follows:

1. The file shall contain records designated by the categories below for all qualified voters who, regardless of the voter’s county of residence or active or inactive registration status at the book closing for the corresponding election that the file is being created for:

a. Voted a regular ballot at a precinct location.
b. Voted at a precinct location using a provisional ballot that was subsequently counted.
c. Voted a regular ballot during the early voting period.
d. Voted during the early voting period using a provisional ballot that was subsequently counted.
e. Voted by vote-by-mail ballot.
f.  Attempted to vote by vote-by-mail ballot, but the ballot was not counted.
g. Attempted to vote by provisional ballot, but the ballot was not counted in that election.
2. Each file shall be created or converted into a tab-delimited format.

3. File names shall adhere to the following convention:

a. Three-character county identifier as established by the department followed by an underscore.
b. Followed by four-character file type identifier of ‘VH03’ followed by an underscore.
c. Followed by FVRS election ID followed by an underscore.
d. Followed by Date Created followed by an underscore.
e. Date format is YYYYMMDD.
f. Followed by Time Created – HHMMSS.
g. Followed by “.txt”.
4. Each record shall contain the following columns: Record Identifier, FVRS Voter ID Number, FVRS Election ID Number, Vote Date, Vote History Code, Precinct, Congressional District, House District, Senate District, County Commission District, and School Board District.
(e) Each supervisor of elections shall reconcile, before submission, the aggregate total of ballots cast in each precinct as reported in the precinct-level election results to the aggregate total number of voters with voter history for the election for each district.
(f) Each supervisor of elections shall submit the results of the data reconciliation as described in paragraph (e) to the department in an electronic format and give a written explanation for any precincts where the reconciliation as described in paragraph (e) results in a discrepancy between the voter history and the election results.

(2) PRECINCT-LEVEL ELECTION RESULTS.

(a) Within 30 days after certification by the Elections Canvassing Commission of a presidential preference primary election, special election, primary election, or general election, the supervisors of elections shall collect and submit to the department precinct-level election results for the election in a uniform electronic format specified by paragraph (c). The precinct-level election results shall be compiled separately for the primary or special primary election that preceded the general or special general election, respectively. The results shall specifically include for each precinct the total of all ballots cast for each candidate or nominee to fill a national, state, county, or district office or proposed constitutional amendment, with subtotals for each candidate and ballot type, unless fewer than 10 voters voted a ballot type. “All ballots cast” means ballots cast by voters who cast a ballot whether at a precinct location, by vote-by-mail ballot including overseas vote-by-mail ballots, during the early voting period, or by provisional ballot.
(b) The department shall make such information available on a searchable, sortable, and downloadable database via its website that also includes the file layout and codes. The database shall be searchable and sortable by county, precinct, and candidate. The database shall be downloadable in a tab-delimited format. The database shall be available for download county-by-county and also as a statewide file. Such report shall also be made available upon request.

(c) The files containing the precinct-level election results shall be created in accordance with the applicable file specification:

1. The precinct-level results file shall be created or converted into a tab-delimited text file.
2. The row immediately before the first data record shall contain the column names of the data elements that make up the data records. There shall be one header record followed by multiple data records.
3. The data records shall include the following columns: County Name, Election Number, Election Date, Unique Precinct Identifier, Precinct Polling Location, Total Registered Voters, Total Registered Republicans, Total Registered Democrats, Total Registered All Other Parties, Contest Name, Candidate/Retention/Issue Name, Candidate Florida Voter Registration System ID Number, Division of Elections Unique Candidate Identifying Number, Candidate Party, District, Undervote Total, Overvote Total, Write-in Total, and Vote Total.

(3) PRECINCT-LEVEL BOOK CLOSING STATISTICS.After the date of book closing but before the date of an election as defined in s. 97.021 to fill a national, state, county, or district office, or to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment, the department shall compile the following precinct-level statistical data for each county:

(a) Precinct numbers.
(b) Total number of active registered voters by party for each precinct.
(4) REPORTS PUBLICLY AVAILABLE.The department shall also make publicly available the reports and results required in subsections (1)-(3).
(5) RULEMAKING.The department shall adopt rules and prescribe forms to carry out the purposes of this section.

History:

s. 25, ch. 2005-278; s. 8, ch. 2008-95; s. 3, ch. 2010-167; s. 11, ch. 2011-40; s. 6, ch. 2016-37.

Annotation: February 12, 2016 12:00 am

Voter records are available to candidates and political parties for electioneering purposes. Because candidates are not selling any product, federal protections regarding unwanted solicitations (e.g., persons approached by telemarketers may request to be removed from the telemarketers’ list) do not apply.

Annotation: January 28, 2016 7:29 pm

Federal law mandates that states may not require book closing (the last date that a person may register to vote for a particular election) to occur more than 30 days before an election. Florida, at 29 days, has a closing date close to the federal limit.

Annotation: 7:25 pm

The number of votes cast for any candidate or issue is made available to various public entities. Holding private this information for those ballot types protects the privacy of voters as certain ballot types. For example, some precincts may have few independent voters voting on a state constitutional amendment when the vote for that amendment takes place on the same day as the presidential preference primary.

Definition [Early Voting]

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. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(9).

Definition [General Election]

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. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(16).

Definition [Primary Election]

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. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(29).

Definition [Special Election]

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. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(34).

Definition [Provisional Ballot]

A conditional ballot, the validity of which is determined by the canvassing board.

Definition [Special Primary Election]

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.

Definition [Ballot]

As used in the Electronic Voting Systems Act, ballot means the card, tape, or other vehicle upon which the elector’s choices are recorded. Fla. Stat. § 101.5603(2).

Definition [Election]

Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).

Definition [Overvote]

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. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(25).

Definition [Candidate]

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.
This definition does not include any candidate for a political party executive committee. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(6).
Definition [Undervote]

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. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(39).

Regulations & Guidance