§ 98.045 Administration of voter registration.
Overview of Statute
This statute provides an outline of the administration of voter registration in Florida, and also elaborates on the election supervisor’s participation in the registration process. He or she must make sure that eligible applicants for voter registration are registered to vote. The supervisor also has to make sure that each voter registration application is processed in accordance with Florida law. To ensure that an applicant is eligible, the supervisor has to make sure that none of the following apply: the applicant cannot fail to complete the application, the applicant cannot be deceased, the applicant cannot be a convicted felon whose rights have yet to be restored, the applicant cannot be mentally incapacitated with respect to the right to vote, the applicant has to meet the age requirement, the applicant has to be a United States citizen, the applicant cannot be a fictitious person, and the applicant cannot have provided an address that is not his/her legal residence.
Once a voter is registered, he/she cannot be removed from the voter rolls unless he/she submits a written request, is convicted of a felony, is found to be mentally incapacitated with respect to voting, or is dead. Voters can also be removed after registration list maintenance, as long as that maintenance is conducted under s. 98.065 or 98.075. If a voter registration official receives information from another state that shows that a Florida voter has registered to vote in a different state, the information constitutes a written request from the voter to be removed from the Florida voter rolls.
Another part of the supervisor’s job is to maintain all records regarding the use of registration list maintenance programs. The records must be maintained for at least 2 years, and must be available to the public. The records must include lists of the name and address of each person to whom maintenance notices were sent, and also must indicate whether the voter responded to the notice. The records cannot include confidential information or information exempt from public records requirements under Florida law.
The department of elections has to assemble and maintain a statewide electronic database of valid residential addresses from the information provided by the supervisors of elections. The department must also make the database available to the DMV, which uses it to validate the addresses provided in voter registration applications received by the DMV.
 See 97.053. Acceptance of voter registration applications
 See 97.041. Qualifications to register or vote
 See 98.065. Registration list maintenance programs.
 See 98.075. Registration records maintenance activities; ineligibility determinations
(1) ELIGIBILITY OF APPLICANT.—The supervisor must ensure that any eligible applicant for voter registration is registered to vote and that each application for voter registration is processed in accordance with law. The supervisor shall determine whether a voter registration applicant is ineligible based on any of the following:
(2) REMOVAL OF REGISTERED VOTERS.—
(4) STATEWIDE ELECTRONIC DATABASE OF VALID RESIDENTIAL STREET ADDRESSES.—
s. 26, ch. 94-224; s. 36, ch. 97-13; s. 2, ch. 2002-17; s. 7, ch. 2003-415; s. 9, ch. 2005-277; s. 18, ch. 2005-278.
In April 2007, then Florida Governor Charlie Crist, changed the process for ex-offenders convicted of less serious offenses to regain their rights without a hearing provided that the state’s Parole Commission approved it. Nearly four years later, in March 2011, Governor Rick Scott, both elected the previous November, along with the Florida Cabinet, set a minimum five-year waiting period for ex-offenders.
1. Definition for Department
The Department of State. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(7).
2. Definition for Supervisor
The supervisor of elections. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(36).
3. Definition for Voter Registration Official
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. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(43).
4. Definition for 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).
5. Definition for Election
Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).
Regulations & Guidance
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 47, Statewide voter registration system; database of valid residential street addresses
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 49, Powers and duties of supervisors of elections-Adminstration of voter registration