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Florida > The Florida Election Code > Voting Methods And Procedure

§ 101.111 Voter challenges.

Overview of Statute

This statute states that voters and poll watchers can challenge the right of any person to vote in a particular county. The challenge must be in writing, and contain the oath written out in the statute. Challenges can also be filed in advance within the 30 days before an election. Challenged voters in this case can cast provisional ballots. Voters or poll watchers who file frivolous challenges are committing first degree misdemeanors, unless they’ve made the challenge in good faith.  

Statute

(1)

(a) Any registered elector or poll watcher of a county may challenge the right of a person to vote in that county. The challenge must be in writing and contain the following oath, which shall be delivered to the clerk or inspector:

OATH OF PERSON ENTERING CHALLENGE

State of Florida

County of  

I do solemnly swear or affirm that my name is  ; that I am a member of the   Party; that I am a registered voter or pollwatcher; that my residence address is  , in the municipality of  ; and that I have reason to believe that   is attempting to vote illegally and the reasons for my belief are set forth herein to wit:    

  (Signature of person challenging voter)  

Sworn and subscribed to before me this   day of  ,   (year)  .

  (Clerk of election)  

(b)
1. The clerk or inspector shall immediately deliver to the challenged person a copy of the oath of the person entering the challenge, and the challenged voter shall be allowed to cast a provisional ballot in accordance with s. 101.048, except as provided in subparagraph 2.
2. If the basis for the challenge is that the person’s legal residence is not in that precinct, the person shall first be given the opportunity to execute a change of legal residence in order to be able to vote a regular ballot in accordance with s. 101.045(2). If the change of legal residence is such that the person is then properly registered for that precinct, the person shall be allowed to vote a regular ballot. If the change of legal residence places the person in another precinct, the person shall be directed to the proper precinct to vote. If such person insists that he or she is currently in the proper precinct, the person shall be allowed to vote a provisional ballot in accordance with s.101.048.
(c) Alternatively, a challenge in accordance with this section may be filed in advance with the supervisor of elections no sooner than 30 days before an election. The supervisor shall promptly provide the election board in the challenged voter’s precinct with a copy of the oath of the person entering the challenge. The challenged voter shall be allowed to cast a provisional ballot in accordance with s. 101.048, subject to the provisions of subparagraph (b)2.
(2) Any elector or poll watcher filing a frivolous challenge of any person’s right to vote commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083; however, electors or poll watchers shall not be subject to liability for any action taken in good faith and in furtherance of any activity or duty permitted of such electors or poll watchers by law. Each instance where any elector or poll watcher files a frivolous challenge of any person’s right to vote constitutes a separate offense.

History:

s. 43, ch. 4328, 1895; GS 227; s. 43, ch. 6469, 1913; RGS 272, 347; CGL 328, 404; s. 5, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 10, ch. 27991, 1953; s. 23, ch. 28156, 1953; s. 4, ch. 65-380; s. 13, ch. 77-175; s. 554, ch. 95-147; s. 9, ch. 99-6; s. 17, ch. 2003-415; s. 27, ch. 2005-277; s. 10, ch. 2006-1; s. 17, ch. 2008-95; s. 4, ch. 2010-167.

Definition [Provisional Ballot]

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

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 [Person]

An individual or a corporation, association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock company, club, organization, estate, trust, business trust, syndicate, or other combination of individuals having collective capacity. The term includes a political party, affiliated party committee, or political committee. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(14).

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).

Cases

florida Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Regulations & Guidance

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 154, Poll watchers; challenges

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 155, Provisional ballots