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

§ 104.0615 Voter intimidation or suppression prohibited; criminal penalties.

Statute

(1) This section may be cited as the “Voter Protection Act.”

(2) A person may not directly or indirectly use or threaten to use force, violence, or intimidation or any tactic of coercion or intimidation to induce or compel an individual to:

(a) Vote or refrain from voting;
(b) Vote or refrain from voting for any particular individual or ballot measure;
(c) Refrain from registering to vote; or
(d) Refrain from acting as a legally authorized election official or poll watcher.

(3) A person may not knowingly use false information to:

(a) Challenge an individual’s right to vote;
(b) Induce or attempt to induce an individual to refrain from voting or registering to vote; or
(c) Induce or attempt to induce an individual to refrain from acting as a legally authorized election official or poll watcher.
(4) A person may not knowingly destroy, mutilate, or deface a voter registration form or election ballot or obstruct or delay the delivery of a voter registration form or election ballot.
(5) A person who violates subsection (2), subsection (3), or subsection (4) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History:

s. 76, ch. 2005-277.

Annotation: October 24, 2016 12:27 am

Voter intimidation is also a federal crime. See 18 U.S.C. § 594 (“Whoever intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, at any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing such candidate, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”).

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).