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Florida > The Florida Election Code > Qualification And Registration Of ElectorsFlorida Voter Registration Act

§ 97.058 Voter registration agencies.

Overview of Statute

This statute provides an overview of the questions on the forms that voter registration agencies must provide to individuals who want to register to vote. It also governs the behavior and activities of voter registration agencies, and individuals who work for them.

Statute

(1) Each voter registration agency must provide each applicant the opportunity to register to vote or to update a voter registration record, at the time the applicant applies for services or assistance from that agency, for renewal of such services or assistance, or for a change of address required with respect to the services or assistance.

(2) Each voter registration agency, other than a public library, must develop and provide each applicant with a form approved by the department containing all of the following:

(a) The questions:

1. “If you are not registered to vote where you live now, would you like to apply to register to vote today?”
2. “If you are registered to vote where you live now, would you like to update your voter registration record?”
(b) For agencies providing public assistance, the statement, “Applying to register or declining to register to vote will not affect the amount of assistance that you will be provided by this agency.”

(c) Boxes for the applicant to check which indicate that:

1. The applicant would like to register to vote or update a current voter registration;
2. The applicant would like to decline to register to vote; or
3. The applicant is already registered to vote and does not need to update the voter registration, together with the statement, “If you do not check any box, you will be considered to have decided not to register to vote or update a voter registration at this time.”
(d) The statement, “If you would like help in filling out the voter registration application, we will help you. The decision whether to seek or accept help is yours. You may fill out the voter registration application in private.”
(e) The statement, “If you believe that someone has interfered with your right to register or to decline to register to vote, your right to privacy in deciding whether to register or in applying to register to vote, or your right to choose your own political party or other political preference, you may file a complaint with the Secretary of State.”
(f) The address and telephone number of the appropriate office in the department where a complaint may be filed.
(g) A statement that all declinations will remain confidential and may be used only for voter registration purposes.
(h) A statement that informs the applicant who chooses to register to vote or update a voter registration record that the office at which the applicant submits a voter registration application or updates a voter registration record will remain confidential and may be used only for voter registration purposes.
(3)
(a) A voter registration agency may use the uniform statewide voter registration application or may create and use a voter registration application that meets the requirements of s. 97.052, with the approval of the department.
(b) A voter registration agency must provide to each applicant under subsection (1) the voter registration application that the agency decides to use pursuant to paragraph (a). An applicant who indicates a desire to register to vote or update a voter registration record must be provided the same degree of assistance with regard to the completion of that voter registration application as is provided by the agency with regard to the completion of its own forms, unless the applicant refuses that assistance.
(4) If a voter registration agency provides services to a person with a disability at the person’s home, the agency must also provide voter registration services at the person’s home.
(5) A voter registration agency must establish procedures for providing voter registration services to applicants who apply by telephone.
(6) A voter registration agency must forward all completed and incomplete voter registration applications within 5 days after receipt to the supervisor of the county where the agency that processed or received that application is located.
(7) A voter registration agency must retain declinations for a period of 2 years, during which time the declinations are not considered a record of the client pursuant to the laws governing the agency’s records.

(8) A person providing voter registration services for a voter registration agency may not:

(a) Seek to influence an applicant’s political preference or party registration;
(b) Display any political preference or party allegiance;
(c) Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to lead the applicant to believe that a decision to register or not to register has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits;
(d) Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to discourage the applicant from registering to vote; or
(e) Disclose any applicant’s voter registration information except as needed for the administration of voter registrations.
(9) A voter registration agency must collect data determined necessary by the department, as provided by rule, for program evaluation and reporting to the Election Assistance Commission pursuant to federal law.
(10) Each state agency which contracts with a private provider that is also a voter registration agency as defined in s. 97.021 is responsible for contracting for voter registration services with that provider and for ensuring that the private provider complies with the provisions of this section.
(11) Each voter registration agency must ensure that all voter registration services provided by its offices are in compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

History:

s. 14, ch. 94-224; s. 3, ch. 2002-189; s. 10, ch. 2005-278.

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. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(31).

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. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(42).

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).

Regulations & Guidance

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 53, Voter registration agency

  • 0050 SURVEYS 9; Voter Registration