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Florida > The Florida Election Code > Voting Methods And Procedure

§ 101.001 Precincts and polling places; boundaries.

Overview of Statute

This statute governs the creation of precincts and polling places. Each county’s board of county commissioners is responsible for changing or creating precincts for voting. Every precinct must be numbered, and should be composed of as contiguous and compact areas as is possible. The supervisor of elections is then responsible for designating polling places in the precincts. Every supervisor is required to maintain maps drawn to scale that delineate all major observable features of each precinct, representative district, senatorial district, and any other type of district subject to the elections process in the code. Precincts created or changed under this section can only consist of areas bounded on all sides by census block boundaries from the most recent Census. If the census block boundaries split another political boundary listed in this section, the boundary listed can be used. These boundaries include: governmental unit boundaries, visible features that are readily distinguishable on the ground, boundaries of public parks, public schools, churches, counties, incorporated municipalities, or other political subdivisions.

Statute

Statute

(1) The board of county commissioners in each county, upon recommendation and approval of the supervisor, shall alter or create precincts for voting in the county. Each precinct shall be numbered and, as nearly as practicable, composed of contiguous and compact areas. The supervisor shall designate a polling place at a suitable location within each precinct. The precinct shall not be changed thereafter except with the consent of the supervisor and a majority of the members of the board of county commissioners. The board of county commissioners and the supervisor may have precinct boundaries conform to municipal boundaries in accordance with the provisions of s.101.002, but, in any event, the registration books shall be maintained in such a manner that there may be determined therefrom the total number of electors in each municipality.
(2) When in any election there are fewer than 25 registered electors of the only political party having candidates on the ballot at any precinct, such precinct may be combined with other adjoining precincts upon the recommendation of the supervisor and the approval of the county commissioners. Notice of the combination of precincts shall be given in the same manner as provided in s. 101.71(2).
(3)(a) Each supervisor of elections shall maintain a suitable map drawn to a scale no smaller than 3 miles to the inch and clearly delineating all major observable features such as roads, streams, and railway lines and showing the current geographical boundaries of each precinct, representative district, and senatorial district, and other type of district in the county subject to the elections process in this code.
(b) The supervisor shall provide to the department data on all precincts in the county associated with the most recent decennial census blocks within each precinct.
(c) The department shall maintain a searchable database that contains the precincts and the corresponding most recent decennial census blocks within the precincts for each county, including a historical file that allows the census blocks to be traced through the prior decade.
(d) The supervisor of elections shall notify the Secretary of State in writing within 10 days after any reorganization of precincts and shall furnish a copy of the map showing the current geographical boundaries and designation of each new precinct. However, if precincts are composed of whole census blocks, the supervisor may furnish, in lieu of a copy of the map, a list, in an electronic format prescribed by the Department of State, associating each census block in the county with its precinct.

(e) Any precinct established or altered under the provisions of this section shall consist of areas bounded on all sides only by census block boundaries from the most recent United States Census. If the census block boundaries split or conflict with another political boundary listed below, the boundary listed below may be used:

1. Governmental unit boundaries reported in the most recent Boundary and Annexation Survey published by the United States Census Bureau;
2. Visible features that are readily distinguishable upon the ground, such as streets, railroads, tracks, streams, and lakes, and that are indicated upon current census maps, official Department of Transportation maps, official municipal maps, official county maps, or a combination of such maps;
3. Boundaries of public parks, public school grounds, or churches; or
4. Boundaries of counties, incorporated municipalities, or other political subdivisions that meet criteria established by the United States Census Bureau for block boundaries.
(4)(a) Within 10 days after there is any change in the division, number, or boundaries of the precincts, or the location of the polling places, the supervisor of elections shall make in writing an accurate description of any new or altered precincts, setting forth the boundary lines and shall identify the location of each new or altered polling place. A copy of the document describing such changes shall be posted at the supervisor’s office.
(b) Any changes in the county precinct data shall be provided to the department within 10 days after a change.
(c) Precinct data shall include all precincts for which precinct-level election results and voting history results are reported.

History

s. 10, ch. 3879, 1889; RS 164; s. 11, ch. 4328, 1895; GS 184; RGS 228; CGL 281; s. 2, ch. 24203, 1947; s. 6, ch. 25383, 1949; s. 2, ch. 26329, 1949; s. 2, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 4, ch. 29934, 1955; s. 3, ch. 57-166; s. 1, ch. 59-281; s. 1, ch. 67-169; s. 1, ch. 72-25; s. 3, ch. 73-155; s. 1, ch. 76-60; s. 1, ch. 76-121; s. 1, ch. 76-233; s. 4, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 80-189; s. 11, ch. 80-292; s. 4, ch. 81-304; s. 26, ch. 84-302; s. 24, ch. 94-224; s. 1390, ch. 95-147; s. 54, ch. 97-13; s. 29, ch. 2005-278; s. 24, ch. 2011-40.

Definition [Polling Place]

The building which contains the polling room where ballots are cast. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(27).

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 [Elector]

“Elector” is synonymous with the word “voter” or “qualified elector or voter,” except where the word is used to describe presidential electors. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(15).

Definition [Election]

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

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).

Cases

Florida Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Case State: florida

Case Name: Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections, Inc. v. Browning

Citation: 28 So.3d 880

Year: 2010

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/d7674593077064c593b61614ebd3b14a

Case Summary: Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections, Inc. v. Browning held that the state’s Election Code does not preempt the field of election law.

Federal Cases

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • CJS Counties s 74, Legislative control; county ordinance conflicting with state statute

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 2, Election Districts and precincts; boundaries

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 141, Generally

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 227, Offenses in connection with voting

  • “Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections, Inc. v. Browning: The Implied End to Implied Preemption” 41 Stetson L. Rev. 499