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florida > The Florida Election Code > Voting Methods And Procedure

§ 101.5608 Voting by electronic or electromechanical method; procedures.

Overview of Statute

This statute governs the procedures for voting using electronic or electromechanical voting systems. Once voters have been deemed fully qualified, the voter can have a ballot. The supervisor of election is responsible for setting up at least one ballot box. The Department of State is responsible for putting out rules on voting procedures for electronic voting systems that do not use ballot cards or marksense ballots. In elections with write-in candidates, the supervisor of elections is responsible for providing for write-in voting.

Statute

(1) Each elector desiring to vote shall be identified to the clerk or inspector of the election as a duly qualified elector of such election and shall sign his or her name on the precinct register or other form or device provided by the supervisor. The inspector shall compare the signature with the signature on the identification provided by the elector. If the inspector is reasonably sure that the person is entitled to vote, the inspector shall provide the person with a ballot.

(2) When an electronic or electromechanical voting system utilizes a ballot card or marksense ballot, the following procedures shall be followed:

(a) After receiving a ballot from an inspector, the elector shall, without leaving the polling place, retire to a booth or compartment and mark the ballot. After marking his or her ballot, the elector shall place the ballot in a secrecy envelope so that the ballot will be deposited in the tabulator without exposing the voter’s choices.
(b) Any voter who spoils his or her ballot or makes an error may return the ballot to the election official and secure another ballot, except that in no case shall a voter be furnished more than three ballots. If the vote tabulation device has rejected a ballot, the ballot shall be considered spoiled and a new ballot shall be provided to the voter unless the voter chooses to cast the rejected ballot. The election official, without examining the original ballot, shall state the possible reasons for the rejection and shall provide instruction to the voter pursuant to s. 101.5611. A spoiled ballot shall be preserved, without examination, in an envelope provided for that purpose. The stub shall be removed from the ballot and placed in an envelope.
(c) The supervisor of elections shall prepare for each polling place at least one ballot box to contain the ballots of a particular precinct, and each ballot box shall be plainly marked with the name of the precinct for which it is intended.
(3) The Department of State shall promulgate rules regarding voting procedures to be used when an electronic or electromechanical voting system is of a type which does not utilize a ballot card or marksense ballot.
(4) In any election in which a write-in candidate has qualified for office, the supervisor of elections shall provide for write-in voting pursuant to rules adopted by the Division of Elections.

History:

s. 8, ch. 73-156; s. 21, ch. 77-175; s. 13, ch. 81-105; s. 5, ch. 82-143; s. 12, ch. 84-302; s. 579, ch. 95-147; s. 20, ch. 2001-40; s. 11, ch. 2002-17; s. 36, ch. 2005-277; s. 35, ch. 2005-278; s. 20, ch. 2008-95.

Definition [Polling Place]

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

Definition [Voting System]
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. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(45).
Definition [Secrecy Envelope]

As used in the Electronic Voting Systems Act, secrecy envelope means an opaque device, used for enclosing a marked ballot, which conceals the voter’s choices.

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).

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).

Regulations & Guidance

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 138, Ballot boxes

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 150, Identification required at polls

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 157, Secrecy in voting

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 158, Marking ballots

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 159, Spoiled ballots