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florida > The Florida Election Code > Qualification And Registration Of ElectorsGeneral Provisions

§ 97.021 Definitions.

Statute

Definitions.For the purposes of this code, except where the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term:

(1) “Absent elector” means any registered and qualified voter who casts a vote-by-mail ballot.

(2) “Absent uniformed services voter” means:

(a) A member of a uniformed service on active duty who, by reason of such active duty, is absent from the place of residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote;
(b) A member of the merchant marine who, by reason of service in the merchant marine, is absent from the place of residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote; or
(c) A spouse or dependent of a member referred to in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) who, by reason of the active duty or service of the member, is absent from the place of residence where the spouse or dependent is otherwise qualified to vote.
(3)    “Address of legal residence” means the legal residential address of the elector and includes all information necessary to differentiate one residence from another, including, but not limited to, a distinguishing apartment, suite, lot, room, or dormitory room number or other identifier.
(4) “Alternative formats” has the meaning ascribed in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336, 42 U.S.C. ss. 12101 et seq., including specifically the technical assistance manuals promulgated thereunder, as amended.

(5) “Ballot” or “official ballot” when used in reference to:

(a) “Marksense ballots” means that printed sheet of paper, used in conjunction with an electronic or electromechanical vote tabulation voting system, containing the names of candidates, or a statement of proposed constitutional amendments or other questions or propositions submitted to the electorate at any election, on which sheet of paper an elector casts his or her vote.
(b) “Electronic or electromechanical devices” means a ballot that is voted by the process of electronically designating, including by touchscreen, or marking with a marking device for tabulation by automatic tabulating equipment or data processing equipment.

(6) “Candidate” means 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.
However, this definition does not include any candidate for a political party executive committee.
(7) “Department” means the Department of State.
(8) “Division” means the Division of Elections of the Department of State.
(9) “Early voting” means casting a ballot prior to election day at a location designated by the supervisor of elections and depositing the voted ballot in the tabulation system.
(10) “Early voting area” means the area designated by the supervisor of elections at an early voting site at which early voting activities occur, including, but not limited to, lines of voters waiting to be processed, the area where voters check in and are processed, and the area where voters cast their ballots.
(11) “Early voting site” means those locations specified in s. 101.657 and the building in which early voting occurs.
(12) “Election” means any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election.
(13) “Election board” means the clerk and inspectors appointed to conduct an election.
(14) “Election costs” shall include, but not be limited to, expenditures for all paper supplies such as envelopes, instructions to voters, affidavits, reports, ballot cards, ballot booklets for vote-by-mail voters, postage, notices to voters; advertisements for registration book closings, testing of voting equipment, sample ballots, and polling places; forms used to qualify candidates; polling site rental and equipment delivery and pickup; data processing time and supplies; election records retention; and labor costs, including those costs uniquely associated with vote-by-mail ballot preparation, poll workers, and election night canvass.
(15) “Elector” is synonymous with the word “voter” or “qualified elector or voter,” except where the word is used to describe presidential electors.
(16) “General election” means 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.
(17) “Lists of registered electors” means names and associated information of registered electors maintained by the department in the statewide voter registration system or generated or derived from the statewide voter registration system. Lists may be produced in printed or electronic format.

(18) “Member of the Merchant Marine” means 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.
(19) “Minor political party” is any group as specified in s. 103.095 which on January 1 preceding a primary election does not have registered as members 5 percent of the total registered electors of the state.
(20) “Newspaper of general circulation” means 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.
(21) “Nominal value” means having a retail value of $10 or less.
(22) “Nonpartisan office” means an office for which a candidate is prohibited from campaigning or qualifying for election or retention in office based on party affiliation.
(23) “Office that serves persons with disabilities” means any state office that takes applications either in person or over the telephone from persons with disabilities for any program, service, or benefit primarily related to their disabilities.

(24) “Overseas voter” means:

(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.
(25) “Overvote” means that the elector marks or designates more names than there are persons to be elected to an office or designates more than one answer to a ballot question, and the tabulator records no vote for the office or question.
(26) “Persons with disabilities” means individuals who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
(27) “Polling place” is the building which contains the polling room where ballots are cast.
(28) “Polling room” means the actual room in which ballots are cast on election day and during early voting.
(29) “Primary election” means 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.
(30) “Provisional ballot” means a conditional ballot, the validity of which is determined by the canvassing board.
(31) “Public assistance” means 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.
(32) “Public office” means any federal, state, county, municipal, school, or other district office or position which is filled by vote of the electors.
(33) “Qualifying educational institution” means any public or private educational institution receiving state financial assistance which has, as its primary mission, the provision of education or training to students who are at least 18 years of age, provided such institution has more than 200 students enrolled in classes with the institution and provided that the recognized student government organization has requested this designation in writing and has filed the request with the office of the supervisor of elections in the county in which the institution is located.
(34) “Special election” is a special election called for the purpose of voting on a party nominee to fill a vacancy in the national, state, county, or district office.
(35) “Special primary election” is a special nomination election designated by the Governor, called for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted on in a general or special election.
(36) “Supervisor” means the supervisor of elections.
(37) “Tactile input device” means a device that provides information to a voting system by means of a voter touching the device, such as a keyboard, and that complies with the requirements of s. 101.56062(1)(k) and (l).

(38) “Third-party registration organization” means any person, entity, or organization soliciting or collecting voter registration applications. A third-party voter registration organization does not include:

(a) A person who seeks only to register to vote or collect voter registration applications from that person’s spouse, child, or parent; or
(b) A person engaged in registering to vote or collecting voter registration applications as an employee or agent of the division, supervisor of elections, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, or a voter registration agency.
(39) “Undervote” means that the elector does not properly designate any choice for an office or ballot question, and the tabulator records no vote for the office or question.
(40) “Uniformed services” means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
(41) “Voter interface device” means any device that communicates voting instructions and ballot information to a voter and allows the voter to select and vote for candidates and issues.
(42) “Voter registration agency” means any office that provides public assistance, any office that serves persons with disabilities, any center for independent living, or any public library.
(43) “Voter registration official” means any supervisor of elections or individual authorized by the Secretary of State to accept voter registration applications and execute updates to the statewide voter registration system.
(44) “Voting booth” or “booth” means that booth or enclosure wherein an elector casts his or her ballot for tabulation by an electronic or electromechanical device.
(45) “Voting system” means a method of casting and processing votes that functions wholly or partly by use of electromechanical or electronic apparatus or by use of marksense ballots and includes, but is not limited to, the procedures for casting and processing votes and the programs, operating manuals, supplies, printouts, and other software necessary for the system’s operation.

History:

s. 2, ch. 6469, 1913; RGS 300; s. 1, ch. 8582, 1921; CGL 356; s. 1, ch. 13761, 1929; s. 1, ch. 18060, 1937; s. 1, ch. 19663, 1939; s. 1, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 28156, 1953; s. 1, ch. 61-370; s. 2, ch. 65-60; s. 1, ch. 67-32; s. 2, ch. 67-142; s. 2, ch. 67-386; s. 1, ch. 69-137; s. 1, ch. 69-280; s. 1, ch. 69-377; s. 1, ch. 70-269; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 1, ch. 71-206; s. 1, ch. 73-157; s. 31, ch. 73-333; s. 23, ch. 77-104; s. 1, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 79-157; s. 24, ch. 79-400; s. 1, ch. 81-105; s. 15, ch. 82-143; s. 22, ch. 84-302; s. 1, ch. 87-184; ss. 5, 12, ch. 87-363; s. 1, ch. 89-338; s. 3, ch. 89-348; s. 2, ch. 90-315; s. 3, ch. 94-224; s. 1382, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 96-57; s. 54, ch. 96-175; s. 1, ch. 96-327; s. 35, ch. 97-13; s. 3, ch. 98-129; ss. 2, 34, ch. 2001-40; s. 4, ch. 2002-281; s. 2, ch. 2003-415; s. 9, ch. 2004-252; s. 2, ch. 2005-277; s. 2, ch. 2005-278; s. 2, ch. 2005-286; s. 1, ch. 2007-30; s. 2, ch. 2010-167; s. 1, ch. 2010-209; s. 2, ch. 2011-40; s. 1, ch. 2016-23; s. 2, ch. 2016-37.

Definition [Department]

The Department of State.

Definition [Supervisor]

The supervisor of elections.

Definition [Expenditure]

(a) A purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, transfer of funds by a campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer between a primary depository and a separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit, or gift of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election or making an electioneering communication. However, “expenditure” does not include a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, or gift of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election when made by an organization, in existence before the time during which a candidate qualifies or an issue is placed on the ballot for that election, for the purpose of printing or distributing such organization’s newsletter, containing a statement by such organization in support of or opposition to a candidate or issue, which newsletter is distributed only to members of such organization.

(b) As used in chapter 106, an “expenditure” for an electioneering communication is made when the earliest of the following occurs:

1. A person enters into a contract for applicable goods or services;

2. A person makes payment, in whole or in part, for the production or public dissemination of applicable goods or services; or

3. The electioneering communication is publicly disseminated.

Definition [Early Voting]

Casting a ballot prior to election day at a location designated by the supervisor of elections and depositing the voted ballot in the tabulation system.

Definition [Polling Room]

The actual room in which ballots are cast on election day and during early voting.

Definition [Contribution]

(a) A gift, subscription, conveyance, deposit, loan, payment, or distribution of money or anything of value, including contributions in kind having an attributable monetary value in any form, made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election or making an electioneering communication.

(b) A transfer of funds between political committees, between electioneering communications organizations, or between any combination of these groups.

(c) The payment, by a person other than a candidate or political committee, of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to a candidate or political committee without charge to the candidate or committee for such services.

(d) The transfer of funds by a campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer between a primary depository and a separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit, and the term includes interest earned on such account or certificate.

Notwithstanding the foregoing meanings of “contribution,” the term may not be construed to include services, including, but not limited to, legal and accounting services, provided without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time on behalf of a candidate or political committee or editorial endorsements.

Definition [Polling Place]

The building which contains the polling room where ballots are cast.

Definition [Public Office]

Any federal, state, county, municipal, school, or other district office or position which is filled by vote of the electors.

Definition [Voting System]
A method of casting and processing votes that functions wholly or partly by use of electromechanical or electronic apparatus or by use of marksense ballots and includes, but is not limited to, the procedures for casting and processing votes and the programs, operating manuals, supplies, printouts, and other software necessary for the system’s operation.
Definition [Public Office]

A state, county, municipal, or school or other district office or position that is filled by vote of the electors.

Definition [Marking Device]

As used in the Electronic Voting Systems Act, marking device means any approved device for marking a ballot with ink or other substance which will enable the ballot to be tabulated by means of automatic tabulating equipment.

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.

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.

Definition [Special Election]

A special election called for the purpose of voting on a party nominee to fill a vacancy in the national, state, county, or district office.

Definition [Voting Equipment]

As used in ss. 101.292-101.295, “voting equipment” means electronic or electromechanical voting systems, voting devices, and automatic tabulating equipment as defined in s. 101.5603, as well as materials, parts, or other equipment necessary for the operation and maintenance of such systems and devices, the individual or combined retail value of which is in excess of the threshold amount for CATEGORY TWO purchases provided in s. 287.017.

Definition [Early Voting Site]

Those locations specified in s. 101.657 and the building in which early voting occurs.

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.

Definition [Uniformed Services]

The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Definition [Ballot Information]

As used in the Electronic Voting Systems Act, ballot information means the material containing the names of offices and candidates and the questions to be voted on.

Definition [Special Primary Election]

A special nomination election designated by the Governor, called for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted on in a general or special election.

Definition [Persons with Disabilities]

Individuals who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Definition [Voter Registration Agency]

Any office that provides public assistance, any office that serves persons with disabilities, any center for independent living, or any public library.

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.

Definition [Absent Uniformed Services Voter]
(a) A member of a uniformed service on active duty who, by reason of such active duty, is absent from the place of residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote;
(b) A member of the merchant marine who, by reason of service in the merchant marine, is absent from the place of residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote; or
(c) A spouse or dependent of a member referred to in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) who, by reason of the active duty or service of the member, is absent from the place of residence where the spouse or dependent is otherwise qualified to vote.
Definition [Office that Serves Persons with Disabilities]

Any state office that takes applications either in person or over the telephone from persons with disabilities for any program, service, or benefit primarily related to their disabilities.

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.

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.

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.

Definition [Elector]

“Elector” is synonymous with the word “voter” or “qualified elector or voter,” except where the word is used to describe presidential electors.

Definition [Division]

The Division of Elections of the Department of State.

Definition [Election]

Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election.

Definition [Purchase]

As used in ss. 101.292-101.295, “purchase” means a contract for the purchase, lease, rental, or other acquisition of voting equipment.

Definition [Software]

As used in the Electronic Voting Systems Act, software means the programs and routines used to employ and control the capabilities of data processing hardware, including, without limitation, operating systems, compilers, assemblers, utilities, library routines, maintenance routines, applications, and computer networking programs.

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.
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.