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Florida > The Florida Election Code > Election Code: Violations; Penalties

§ 104.0515 Voting rights; deprivation of, or interference with, prohibited; penalty.

Statute

(1) All citizens of this state who are otherwise qualified by law to vote at any election by the people in this state or in any district, county, city, town, municipality, school district, or other subdivision of this state shall be entitled and allowed to vote at all such elections without distinction according to race, color, or previous condition of servitude, notwithstanding any law, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage to the contrary.

(2) No person acting under color of law shall:

(a) In determining whether any individual is qualified under law to vote in any election, apply any standard, practice, or procedure different from the standards, practices, or procedures applied under law to other individuals within the same political subdivision who have been found to be qualified to vote; or
(b) Deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under law to vote in such election. This paragraph shall apply to vote-by-mail ballots only if there is a pattern or history of discrimination on the basis of race, color, or previous condition of servitude in regard to vote-by-mail ballots.
(3) No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or not to vote as that person may choose, or for the purpose of causing such other person to vote for, or not vote for, any candidate for any office at any general, special, or primary election held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting or electing any such candidate.
(4) No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, and no standard, practice, or procedure, shall be imposed or applied by any political subdivision of this state to deny or abridge the right of any citizen to vote on account of race or color.

(5) Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History:

s. 1, ch. 82-59; s. 26, ch. 83-217; s. 5, ch. 91-224; s. 615, ch. 95-147; s. 28, ch. 98-129; s. 37, ch. 2016-37.
Annotation: February 12, 2016 12:25 am

This Florida statute reflects provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Definition [Primary Election]

An election held preceding the general election for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted for in the general election to fill a national, state, county, or district office. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(29).

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 [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).