§ 101.65 Instructions to absent electors.
Overview of Statute
This statute provides the instructions that the supervisor of elections encloses with every absentee ballot. There are 10 instructions that range from the procedure for mailing the ballots back after voting to the fact that it is a felony to accept any sort of payment for voting a certain way.
The supervisor shall enclose with each vote-by-mail ballot separate printed instructions in substantially the following form:
READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY
BEFORE MARKING BALLOT.
1. VERY IMPORTANT. In order to ensure that your absentee ballot will be counted, it should be completed and returned as soon as possible so that it can reach the supervisor of elections of the county in which your precinct is located no later than 7 p.m. on the day of the election. However, if you are an overseas voter casting a ballot in a presidential preference primary or general election, your absentee ballot must be postmarked or dated no later than the date of the election and received by the supervisor of elections of the county in which you are registered to vote no later than 10 days after the date of the election.
2. Mark your ballot in secret as instructed on the ballot. You must mark your own ballot unless you are unable to do so because of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write.
3. Mark only the number of candidates or issue choices for a race as indicated on the ballot. If you are allowed to “Vote for One” candidate and you vote for more than one candidate, your vote in that race will not be counted.
4. Place your marked ballot in the enclosed secrecy envelope.
5. Insert the secrecy envelope into the enclosed mailing envelope which is addressed to the supervisor.
6. Seal the mailing envelope and completely fill out the Voter’s Certificate on the back of the mailing envelope.
7. VERY IMPORTANT. In order for your absentee ballot to be counted, you must sign your name on the line above (Voter’s Signature). An absentee ballot will be considered illegal and not be counted if the signature on the voter’s certificate does not match the signature on record. The signature on file at the start of the canvass of the absentee ballots is the signature that will be used to verify your signature on the voter’s certificate. If you need to update your signature for this election, send your signature update on a voter registration application to your supervisor of elections so that it is received no later than the start of the canvassing of absentee ballots, which occurs no earlier than the 15th day before election day.
8. VERY IMPORTANT. If you are an overseas voter, you must include the date you signed the Voter’s Certificate on the line above (Date) or your ballot may not be counted.
9. Mail, deliver, or have delivered the completed mailing envelope. Be sure there is sufficient postage if mailed.
10. FELONY NOTICE. It is a felony under Florida law to accept any gift, payment, or gratuity in exchange for your vote for a candidate. It is also a felony under Florida law to vote in an election using a false identity or false address, or under any other circumstances making your ballot false or fraudulent.
s. 5, ch. 7380, 1917; RGS 372; CGL 433; s. 1, ch. 25385, 1949; s. 5, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 35, ch. 28156, 1953; s. 23, ch. 29934, 1955; s. 34, ch. 65-380; s. 4, ch. 71-149; s. 9, ch. 72-63; s. 2, ch. 73-105; s. 7, ch. 73-157; ss. 3, 4, ch. 75-174; s. 23, ch. 77-175; s. 2, ch. 81-106; s. 10, ch. 81-304; s. 11, ch. 82-143; s. 7, ch. 83-251; s. 3, ch. 85-226; s. 2, ch. 86-33; s. 589, ch. 95-147; s. 5, ch. 96-57; s. 16, ch. 98-129; s. 33, ch. 99-2; s. 54, ch. 2001-40; s. 20, ch. 2003-415; s. 2, ch. 2004-232; s. 38, ch. 2011-40; s. 12, ch. 2013-57.
- early & absentee voting
1. Definition for Supervisor
The supervisor of elections. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(36).
2. Definition for Overseas Voter
(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.
3. Definition for 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).
4. Definition for 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.
5. Definition for Issue
A proposition that is required by the State Constitution, by law or resolution of the Legislature, or by the charter, ordinance, or resolution of a political subdivision of this state to be submitted to the electors for their approval or rejection at an election, or a proposition for which a petition is circulated in order to have such proposition placed on the ballot at an election. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(13).
6. Definition for 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).
7. Definition for Election
Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).
8. Definition for Candidate
Any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:
Case Name: Goldsmith v. McDonald
Citation: 32 So.3d 713
Case Summary: Goldsmith v. McDonald held that it is the responsibility of the absentee voter to ensure that his or her ballot is properly received by the established deadline.
Case Name: McLean v. Bellamy
Citation: 437 So.2d 737
Case Summary: McLean v. Bellamy held in part that election officials' failure to conform to Florida election statutes did not justify invalidation of the absentee ballots at issue in the case.
Case Name: Boardman v. Esteva
Citation: 323 So.2d 259
Case Summary: Boardman v. Esteva held that strict compliance with statutory requirements for absentee balloting was not necessary to validate the ballots when there was substantial compliance.
Case Name: McDonald v. Miller
Citation: 90 So.2d 124
Case Summary: McDonald v. Miller held that voters voting absentee had the right to waive their guarantee of secrecy and fill out their absentee ballots in the presence of other people.
Case State: alabama
Case Name: Wakulla County Absentee Voter Intervenors v. Flack
Citation: 419 So.2d 1124
Case Summary: Wakulla County Absentee Voter Intervenors v. Flack held that when absentee voters were provided improper assistance in the casting of their ballots, the sanctity of the ballot and the validity of the election were adversely affected. The candidate at issue, a county judge, was certified and commissioned in that office.
Regulations & Guidance
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 153, Voting instructions
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 157, Secrecy in voting
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 163, Furnishing ballots
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 164, Casting ballots
0050 Surveys 8; Marking and Counting of Ballots