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florida > The Florida Election Code > Voting Methods And Procedure

§ 101.6923 Special vote-by-mail ballot instructions for certain first-time voters.

Statute

(1) The provisions of this section apply to voters who are subject to the provisions of s. 97.0535 and who have not provided the identification or information required by s. 97.0535 by the time the vote-by-mail ballot is mailed.

(2) A voter covered by this section shall be provided with printed instructions with his or her vote-by-mail ballot in substantially the following form:

READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE MARKING YOUR BALLOT. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY CAUSE YOUR BALLOT NOT TO COUNT.

1. In order to ensure that your vote-by-mail 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 date of the election. However, if you are an overseas voter casting a ballot in a presidential preference primary or general election, your vote-by-mail 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, your vote in that race will not be counted.

4. Place your marked ballot in the enclosed secrecy envelope and seal the envelope.

5. Insert the secrecy envelope into the enclosed envelope bearing the Voter’s Certificate. Seal the envelope and completely fill out the Voter’s Certificate on the back of the envelope.

a. You must sign your name on the line above (Voter’s Signature).

b. 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.

c. A vote-by-mail ballot will be considered illegal and will 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 vote-by-mail 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 canvassing of vote-by-mail ballots, which occurs no earlier than the 15th day before election day.

6. Unless you meet one of the exemptions in Item 7., you must make a copy of one of the following forms of identification:

a. Identification which must include your name and photograph: United States passport; debit or credit card; military identification; student identification; retirement center identification; neighborhood association identification; public assistance identification; veteran health identification card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs; a Florida license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm; or an employee identification card issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the Federal Government, the state, a county, or a municipality; or

b. Identification which shows your name and current residence address: current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document (excluding voter identification card).

7. The identification requirements of Item 6. do not apply if you meet one of the following requirements:

a. You are 65 years of age or older.

b. You have a temporary or permanent physical disability.

c. You are a member of a uniformed service on active duty who, by reason of such active duty, will be absent from the county on election day.

d. You are a member of the Merchant Marine who, by reason of service in the Merchant Marine, will be absent from the county on election day.

e. You are the spouse or dependent of a member referred to in paragraph c. or paragraph d. who, by reason of the active duty or service of the member, will be absent from the county on election day.

f. You are currently residing outside the United States.

8. Place the envelope bearing the Voter’s Certificate into the mailing envelope addressed to the supervisor. Insert a copy of your identification in the mailing envelope. DO NOT PUT YOUR IDENTIFICATION INSIDE THE SECRECY ENVELOPE WITH THE BALLOT OR INSIDE THE ENVELOPE WHICH BEARS THE VOTER’S CERTIFICATE OR YOUR BALLOT WILL NOT COUNT.

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.

History:

s. 23, ch. 2003-415; s. 5, ch. 2004-232; s. 49, ch. 2005-277; s. 42, ch. 2005-278; s. 22, ch. 2008-95; s. 41, ch. 2011-40; s. 16, ch. 2013-57; s. 27, ch. 2016-37; s. 4, ch. 2016-167.
Definition [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.

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 [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 [Public Assistance]

Assistance provided through the food assistance program under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; the Medicaid program; the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children; and the Temporary Cash Assistance Program. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(31).

Definition [Member of the Merchant Marine]

An individual, other than a member of a uniformed service or an individual employed, enrolled, or maintained on the Great Lakes for the inland waterways, who is:

(a) Employed as an officer or crew member of a vessel documented under the laws of the United States, a vessel owned by the United States, or a vessel of foreign-flag registry under charter to or control of the United States; or

(b) Enrolled with the United States for employment or training for employment, or maintained by the United States for emergency relief service, as an officer or crew member of such vessel. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(18).

Definition [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).

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 [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).