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Florida > The Florida Election Code > Voting Methods And Procedure

§ 101.71 Polling place.

Overview of Statute

This statute governs the requirements for polling places in every precinct. Every precinct has one polling place with voting booths that allow for only one voter at a time. If a polling place is unavailable or doesn’t comply with Election Code requirements, the supervisor must move the polling place to a different location no less than 30 days before the election.

Statute

(1) There shall be in each precinct in each county one polling place which shall be accessible to the public on election day and is managed by a board of inspectors and clerk of election. Only one elector shall be allowed to enter any voting booth at a time; no one except inspectors shall be allowed to speak to the elector while casting his or her vote; and no inspector shall speak to or interfere with the elector concerning his or her voting, except to perform the duties as such inspector. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, this section shall be applicable where the computer method of voting is in use, and adequate provision shall be made for the privacy of the elector while casting his or her vote.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), whenever the supervisor of elections of any county determines that the accommodations for holding any election at a polling place designated for any precinct in the county are unavailable, are inadequate for the expeditious and efficient housing and handling of voting and voting paraphernalia, or do not comply with the requirements of s. 101.715, the supervisor shall, not less than 30 days prior to the holding of an election, provide for the voting place for such precinct to be moved to another site that is accessible to the public on election day in said precinct or, if such is not available, to another site that is accessible to the public on election day in a contiguous precinct. If such action of the supervisor results in the voting place for two or more precincts being located for the purposes of an election in one building, the supervisor of elections shall provide adequate supplies, equipment, and personnel are available to accommodate the voters for the precincts that are collocated. When any supervisor moves any polling place pursuant to this subsection, the supervisor shall, not more than 30 days or fewer than 7 days prior to the holding of an election, give notice of the change of the polling place for the precinct involved, with clear description of the voting place to which changed, at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county and on the supervisor of elections’ website. A notice of the change of the polling place involved shall be mailed, at least 14 days prior to an election, to each registered elector or to each household in which there is a registered elector.
(3) In cases of emergency and when time does not permit compliance with subsection (2), the supervisor of elections shall designate a new polling place which shall be accessible to the public on election day and shall cause a notice to be posted at the old polling place advising the electors of the location of the new polling place.
(4) Each polling place shall be conspicuously identified by a sign, on or near the premises of the polling place, designating the polling place by precinct number. Such sign shall be large enough to be clearly visible to occupants of passing vehicular traffic on roadways contiguous to the polling place, with letters no smaller than 3 inches high, and shall be displayed at all times while the polls are open on any election day.
(5) Public, tax-supported buildings shall be made available for use as polling places upon the request of the supervisor of elections.

History:

s. 22, ch. 3879, 1889; RS 176; s. 26, ch. 4328, 1895; s. 1, ch. 4699, 1899; GS 208; RGS 252; CGL 308; s. 5, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 57-385; s. 3, ch. 67-530; s. 4, ch. 69-281; s. 23, ch. 77-175; s. 4, ch. 78-188; s. 2, ch. 80-189; s. 12, ch. 80-292; s. 1, ch. 85-38; s. 593, ch. 95-147; s. 25, ch. 2001-40; s. 15, ch. 2002-281; s. 10, ch. 2010-167.

Definition [Polling Place]

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

Definition [Newspaper of General Circulation]

A newspaper printed in the language most commonly spoken in the area within which it circulates and which is readily available for purchase by all inhabitants in the area of circulation, but does not include a newspaper intended primarily for members of a particular professional or occupational group, a newspaper the primary function of which is to carry legal notices, or a newspaper that is given away primarily to distribute advertising. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(20).

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 [Emergency]

Any occurrence, or threat thereof, whether accidental, natural, or caused by human beings, in war or in peace, that results or may result in substantial injury or harm to the population or substantial damage to or loss of property to the extent it will prohibit an election officer’s ability to conduct a safe and orderly election.

Cases

Florida Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: Troiano v. Supervisor of Elections in Palm Beach County, Fla.

Citation: 382 F.3d 1276

Federal Circuit Court: 11th Circuit Court

Year: 2004

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/d276591d0dea1877c31407192a5cd795?query=382%20F[...]

Case Summary: Plaintiffs, visually impaired Florida voters, sued the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, alleging that the lack of accessible audio assistance in voting booths violated state election law and federal law. After the District Court granted the Supervisor of Elections summary judgment on standing and mootness grounds, the 11th Circuit agreed that the case was moot because the Supervisor had provided the requested audio assistance.

Regulations & Guidance

Additional Resources

Further Reading

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

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

  • 0050 Surveys 10; Voting Machines