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

§ 97.028 Procedures on complaints of violations of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Overview of Statute

This statute governs the procedure by which individuals can file complaints of violations of Title III of the HAVA of 2002.

Statute

(1)
(a) Any person who believes that a violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur may file a complaint with the department.
(b) The complaint must be in writing and must be signed and sworn to before a notary by the person filing the complaint. Further, the complaint must state the alleged violation and the person or entity responsible for the violation. The department shall prescribe the form for complaints filed under this section. If the department determines that the complaint fails to allege both a violation and a person or entity responsible for the violation, or that the complaint is not properly executed, the department shall inform the complainant in writing that the complaint is legally insufficient.
(c) For purposes of this section, a violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 is the failure to perform an act required or the performance of an act prohibited by Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 by a covered person or entity.
(d) The department shall have sole jurisdiction over complaints filed under the provisions of this section.
(e) This section provides the sole avenue of redress for alleged violations of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and does not give rise to any other cause of action.
(f) The department may consolidate complaints filed under this section.
(g) All proceedings under this section are exempt from chapter 120.

(2)

(a) When a legally sufficient complaint is filed with the department, the agency head shall designate a hearing officer who shall:

1. Provide the subject of the complaint with a copy of the complaint. The subject of the complaint shall, within 10 days after receipt of the complaint, file with the department a written, sworn response to the complaint.
2. Upon receipt of the response, the hearing officer shall review both sworn filings to determine whether a violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur. The complaint and the response shall constitute the official hearing record to be considered by the hearing officer. The hearing officer shall provide the complainant with a copy of the response.
3. At the hearing officer’s discretion, the complainant and the respondent may be ordered by the hearing officer to provide additional sworn oral or written statements or additional documents to assist the hearing officer in making his or her determination. Further, other relevant witnesses may also be ordered by the hearing officer to give sworn testimony or to provide relevant documents to assist the hearing officer in making his or her determination. Any such statements or documents received by the hearing officer shall also become part of the official hearing record. For purposes of this section, the hearing officer is authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas.
4. The hearing officer shall advise both the complainant and respondent in writing of their determination. If the hearing officer determines that no violation has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur, the department shall dismiss the complaint and publish its determination. If the hearing officer determines that a violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur, the department shall issue and deliver an order directing the appropriate remedy to persons responsible for effecting such remedy. The issuance of an order does not constitute agency action for which a hearing under s. 120.569 or s. 120.57 may be sought. For purposes of enforcing the order, the department may initiate a proceeding in the name of the state seeking issuance of an injunction, a writ of mandamus, or other equitable remedy against any person who violates any provision of such order.
5. The department shall make a final determination with respect to the complaint within 90 days after the date that the complaint was filed, unless the complainant consents to a longer period for making such a determination.
(b) If the department fails to meet the deadline established in subparagraph (a)5., the complaint shall be forwarded to mediation. Mediation shall occur within 60 days after the department’s failure to make a determination within the timeframe established in subparagraph (a)5. The record created under this section shall be made available for use in the mediation.

History:

s. 5, ch. 2003-415.

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 [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).

Regulations & Guidance

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 9, Generally

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 210, Federal Help America Vote Act