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Kurt S. Browning Secretary of State 1 Dr. Gisela Salas Director, Division of Elections Presented by Maria Matthews and Gary J. Holland, Office of General.

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Presentation on theme: "Kurt S. Browning Secretary of State 1 Dr. Gisela Salas Director, Division of Elections Presented by Maria Matthews and Gary J. Holland, Office of General."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kurt S. Browning Secretary of State 1 Dr. Gisela Salas Director, Division of Elections Presented by Maria Matthews and Gary J. Holland, Office of General Counsel, Department of State Telephone: June 23, 2011 Florida Department of State

2 2011 Legislation Changes to Chapter , Florida Statutes 2

3 General Provisions 3

4 Directives (s (16) – New) Secretary of State has a responsibility to: “Provide written direction and opinions to the supervisors of elections on the performance of their official duties with respect to the Florida Election Code or rules adopted by the Department of State.”

5 Minor Political Parties (s – New) Registration requirements have changed Need functioning website Need voter registration apps for officers/exec committee members Need constitution, bylaws, rules and regs No dues permitted Need a chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer – only secretary and treasurer can be same person 5

6 Minor Political Parties (s – New) Provisions are retroactive for those parties who are registered with DOS on July 1, 2011 – have 180 days from notice by DOS to come into compliance or party’s registration is automatically cancelled Division shall adopt rules to prescribe how political party filings (to include its registration) may be canceled (pending Rule 1S-2.050) 6

7 3rd Party Voter Reg. Organizations (s – significant changes) 1.Registration with Division must be in electronic format 2.Registration Agents must provide sworn statement re: obeying registration laws 3.Each form provided to/received from 3PVRO must identify the 3PVRO 4.Division to maintain database of all apps issued to the 3PVRO 7

8 5.SOEs must report # of apps provided to/received from each 3PVRO 6.Division to update the 3PVRO database daily 7.Turn-in time reduced from 10 days to 48 hours 8 3rd Party Voter Reg. Organizations (s – significant changes) cont’d.

9 8.No longer a 75% reduced-fine availability, but cap on aggregate fine in calendar year remains $ AG is enforcement agency for violations (referrals done by Sec of State). 10. See Rule 1SER11-01 for implementation; also, rule development for Rule 1S rd Party Voter Reg. Organizations (s – significant changes) cont’d.

10 Disposition of Voter Reg. Apps (s – New) New 5-day deadline to notify applicant of status of application (clock starts from time information entered into FVRS): Incomplete Denied Duplicate of current registration Approved (via a voter information card)

11 Changes to Registration Record (s Changed) Allows in-county and county-to-county address changes via phone or electronic means (must provide date of birth), or by other signed written notice (not limited to voter registration application) provided contact or submission is directly to SOE’s office in the county of new residence. If made to office other than county of residence  must use voter registration application

12 Allows registered voter to submit name changes by any signed written notice provided date of birth or FVRS # is included Allows registered voter to submit political party change by any signed written notice provided date of birth or FVRS # is included Voter registration application is no longer the only written means to submit name or political party change Changes to Registration Record (s Changed) cont’d.

13 List Maintenance Activities (s – Changed) Expands scope of identifying and automatically removing registered voter for reasons of death based on: Data received from the United States Social Security Administration (e.g., social security death index or master file) Receipt of death certificate issued from any government agency

14 Precinct Boundaries Effective July 1, 2012 (s – Changed) New requirements for creating or changing precincts: Census block as based on the most recent U.S. Census is default unit for creating or changing precincts If the boundaries split or conflict with another political boundary, then boundaries may still be defined based on one of the 4 other existing criteria in law

15 Report precinct or polling place boundaries or designations to the Department of State within 10 days after change Requires precinct data for all precincts for which there are election results and voting history results 15 Precinct Boundaries Effective July 1, 2012 (s – Changed) cont’d.

16 Petitions (s – Significant Changes) Signatures are valid only if all other requirements for the petition are met (If SOE determines the signature is that of the registered voter, petition may not be verified if another requirement is in error) – See Petition Checklists Undue burden oath criteria tightened up (See next slide) 16

17 Undue Burden Oath (UBO) Changes: If signature gatherer paid, UBO may not be later filed If UBO filed and later signature gatherer paid, UBO no longer valid and signature verification fees are due If monetary contributions are received, they must first be used to reimburse SOE for any verification fees 17 Petitions (s – Significant Changes) cont’d.

18 Undue Burden Oath (UBO) Enforcement: No enforcement mechanism specifically listed If SOE becomes aware of candidate paying signature gatherer or receiving contributions after filing UBO Inform candidate of law Seek payment of fees Declare UBO invalid if candidate paid signature gatherer Petitions (s – Significant Changes) cont’d. 18

19 Undue Burden Oath (UBO) Enforcement: Note s , FS: Any violation not otherwise provided for = misdemeanor of 1 st degree (e.g., receiving monetary contributions and not first applying them to pay for signature verification fees) 19 Petitions (s – Significant Changes) cont’d.

20 Constitutional Initiative Petitions ( s – Changed) Signatures are valid only 2 years from date of signing (not 4 years) Be careful when certifying Signatures dated before 20 May 2011; Good for 4 years Signatures dated on or after 20 May 2011; Good for 2 years. If voter is not registered in your county at time of verification*, notify the sponsor of misfiled petition 20

21 Eliminates requirement for address to be a “street” address At time of signing and verification, signer must be registered voter in the state (Prior law: Signer had to be qualified voter in the same county at time form signed and time verification) Unconstitutional revocation provisions deleted 21 Constitutional Initiative Petitions ( s – Changed) cont’d.

22 Scenario #1: A college student registered to vote in County Y, signs a petition in County X and lists her address as being in County X, the location of her college. The sponsor correctly submits the petition to County X for verification. What does County X’s SOE do? Solution: County X’s SOE determines that the voter is not a registered voter in his county; therefore, by statute, the SOE shall notify the sponsor that the petition is misfiled. County X’s SOE does not verify the petition. (It’s the sponsor’s obligation to deliver the petition to County Y’s SOE.) 22 Constitutional Initiative Petitions ( s ) cont’d.

23 Scenario #2: A voter registered in County X signs a petition and places his address on the petition as being in County X. Two days later and before the petition is submitted for verification, the voter moves to County Y and changes his voter registration to County Y. The sponsor of the petition per the law correctly submits the petition to County X’s SOE. What does X’s SOE do? Solution: The SOE looks up the voter, determines voter is a registered in County Y, SOE notifies the sponsor that the petition was misfiled and does not verify the petition. Bottom-line analysis: Petition is only verified by the SOE in the county in which the voter is registered at the time of verification. Constitutional Initiative Petitions ( s ) cont’d.

24 Scenario #3: A voter registered in County X signs a petition and, for privacy reasons, places her address on the petition as being in County Y. The voter remains a registered voter in County X at the time the sponsor “mistakenly” submits the petition to County X for verification. What does County X’s SOE do? Solution: Under s (3), FS, the SOE treats the address on the petition as the voter’s registration address for petition verification purposes and may proceed to verify the petition as valid, if the voter was a registered voter in the state both at the time of signing and verification of the petition, and all other petition requirements are met. 24 Constitutional Initiative Petitions ( s ) cont’d.

25 Scenario #4: A voter registered in County X signs a petition. The voter subsequently moves to Nevada and moves his registration to Nevada. After the move occurs, the sponsor correctly submits the petition to County X for verification. What does County X’s SOE do? Solution: If the SOE determines that the voter has moved his registration out of state, the SOE would not verify the petition because the voter was not a registered voter in the state at the time of verification. 25 Constitutional Initiative Petitions ( s ) cont’d.

26 Constitutional Amendments by Joint Resolution (JR) (s – Changed) Allows ballot summary or full text* of JR amendment/revision to be on ballot Allows JRs to include optional ballot summaries in event a summary is defective Provides 30-day window to challenge JR (clock starts after filing JR with Sec of State) *By December 31, 2013, all voting systems must be able to handle full coded text of amendment/revision 26

27 Constitutional Amendments by Joint Resolution (JR) ( – Changed) cont’d. If all ballot summaries found invalid, AG shall, w/in 10 days, prepare new ballot summary for Sec of State to provide to SOEs Provides 10-day window to challenge AG’s summary (clock starts when AG gives summary to Sec of State) Creates statutory presumption that full text is clear and unambiguous and fair notice to voters 27

28 Constitutional Amendments by Joint Resolution (JR) (s – New) *Voting machines must be capable of handling coded text of amendments on ballot by December 31,

29 Candidates & Qualifying 29

30 Copy of Election Code (s – Changed) The Department of State must only make the Election Code pamphlet available to Supervisors of Elections and candidates; hard copies no longer required to be printed or distributed 30

31 Candidates – Seeking a Party Nomination (s – Changed) Old Law: Candidate has not been a candidate for nomination of any other political party for 6 months prior to general election for which the candidate seeks to qualify New Law: The candidate has not been a registered member of any other political party for 365 days before the beginning of qualifying preceding the general election for which the candidate seeks to qualify 31

32 Candidates – Seeking a Party Nomination (s – Changed) Example 1: Election Nov 2012; qualifying begins in June 2012; candidate changes from Democrat to Republican in August Not permissible to qualify as any political party candidate. Example 2: Election Nov 2012; qualifying begins in June 2012; candidate has been Republican for 10 years. Submits qualifying papers as a “No Party Affiliation” candidate. Permissible! (Key: Not seeking nomination as a party candidate.) 32

33 County or District Candidates in Apportionment Year (s (2)(d) – New) In a year of apportionment, county or district candidates seeking ballot position by petition process may obtain signatures from voters w/in the county, regardless of district boundaries Number required = 1% of registered voters in county from preceding general election, divided by the total number of districts involved Example: 5-member County Commission elected on single-member district basis. County had 100,000 registered voters at last general election: 1% = 1000 divided by 5 districts = 200 signatures required. Note: If elected at-large, there is only one district involved, so that candidate must obtain 1%. 33

34 County or District Candidates in Apportionment Year (s (2)(d) – cont’d) Important considerations: Law was not changed to permit a county or district candidate to omit the required district number on the candidate petition. If the candidate’s district number changes due to redistricting, the prior petitions are invalid ( see s (2)(c), FS ). For campaign finance purposes, a candidate may retain campaign contributions received for the prior district office if the district number changes solely because of redistricting (See s (1), FS).

35 Qualifying (ss & – Changed) Removed public employee loyalty oath (s ) from candidate oath language Candidates removed from being subject to s oath requirement Judicial and school board candidates Oath language changed; however Candidates must still take s oath to be qualified based upon this oath not being removed in s as a required qualifying paper 35

36 Qualifying (ss & – Changed) cont’d. Financial disclosure statement & candidate oath required to be verified under oath or affirmation s (1)(a) Note: SOE/deputies have no authority under s (1)(a) to administer the oath or affirmation. Filing officer prescribes to whom the qualifying fee checks are to be payable. Dishonored check: Filing officer must immediately notify the candidate, who has until the end of qualifying to pay fee with cashier’s check. 36

37 Qualifying (ss & – Changed) cont’d. Codifies case law that filing officer performs only a ministerial duty; look only at face of documents for completeness, not whether contents are accurate. Filing officer’s decisions are exempt from Administrative Procedures Act (ch. 120). 37

38 Municipal Election Assessment (s – Changed) The election assessment for candidates for municipal office now is to be sent directly to the Florida Elections Commission, not to the Department of State 38

39 Municipal Qualifying Date (s – Changed) Eliminates the minimum 14-day qualifying period when a municipal election is moved by ordinance to a date concurrent with any statewide or countywide election. 39

40 Vacancy in Nomination (s – Changed) If vacancy in nomination for any office exists, the filing officer before whom the original candidate qualified must notify the chair of the state and county party executive committee If vacancy is in a county office, state chair will notify the county chair, who has 5 days to call meeting of executive committee 40

41 Vacancy in Nomination (s – Changed) cont’d. Name of nominee to fill the vacancy in nomination is to be submitted to applicable filing officer within 7 days after notice of the vacancy was made to the chair. 41

42 A vacancy in nomination is not created if an order of a court, that has become final, determines that candidate did not properly qualify or failed to meet the qualifications for the office sought Candidate who attempted to qualify and failed to qualify during original qualifying period cannot be nominee to fill a vacancy in nomination for any other office (except Lt. Gov.) 42 Vacancy in Nomination (s – New)

43 Creates civil penalty (up to $5,000) for a candidate who falsely represents he/she serves in or has served in the military (which fines if assessed are to be deposited into General Revenue Fund). Requires complaint to be filed with the Florida Elections Commission. If candidate elects to have a hearing before the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) instead of the Commission, the law grants specific penalty power to DOAH (in response to Davis v. Florida Elections Commission, 44 So.3d 1211 (Fla. 1 st DCA 2010). 43 Violations of the Code Eff. 7/1/11 – SB 330 (s – New)

44 Changes in Timing of Elections 44

45 Primary Election (s – Changed) Date moved from 10 weeks to 12 weeks prior to general election 2012 Primary Election is now August 14 th Note: Because qualifying is tied to the date of primary, that means qualifying will be 2 weeks earlier than what it has previously been Read Dates to Remember on Division of Elections’ website 45

46 Presidential Preference Primary (s – Changed) New date for PPP to be set by PPP Date Selection Committee no later than 1 Oct of year preceding PPP Flexible period: PPP could be as early as 1 st Tuesday in January or as late as 1 st Tuesday in March Any party rule directing delegate vote at a national nominating convention shall reasonably reflect the results of the PPP, if one is held 46

47 Pre-Election 47

48 Voter Information Card (s – Changed) Requires the polling place address to be on the card Requires the issuance of new card whenever the polling place address changes Effective for all new registrations and all voter information cards issued on or after August 1,

49 Absentee Ballots (s – Changed) Changes delivery period Send, via method requested (mail, or fax) absentee ballots to all UOCAVA voters no later than 45 days before PPP, primary election, and general election (previously only applied to general election) Send ballots to all other absentee ballot voters within 7-day window (between 35 and 28 days before election (i.e., before PPP, primary election, and general election) 49

50 Absentee Ballots (ss and – Changed) Changes the ballot instructions to add following notices to absentee voter: If signature on certificate does not match signature on record, ballot will not count Voter has until the start of canvassing absentee ballots to update signature on record (which may begin as soon as 15 days before election) 50

51 Absentee Ballots (s – Changed) Changes pre-election canvassing period which may begin as early as: Old law: 7 a.m., 6 days before election New law: 7 a.m., 15 th day before election 51

52 Based on CS/HB 227 (signed by Governor on 6/17/2011. Effective 7/1/2011) Expands use of federal write-in absentee ballots for use in state and local races with two or more candidates Not be used for referendum or judicial retention races 52 Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (ss , , – Changed)

53 Voter must still satisfy prerequisites to use FWAB: Be a UOCAVA voter (absent stateside or overseas military, or dependent child/spouse of either), or overseas voter Have already requested an absentee ballot 53 Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (ss , , – Changed) cont’d

54 Marking ballot in federal race Name of candidate = vote for candidate Political party = vote for party candidate (only in general election) Marking ballot in state or local race Name of candidate = vote for candidate Political party = vote for party candidate (only in general election and only for partisan races) Marking ballot in joint candidacy Vote for one or both = vote for both 54 Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (ss , , – Changed) cont’d

55 Provides standards for construing votes cast referencing candidates for parties with the name ‘independent’ or with ‘no party affiliation Prohibits canvassing FWAB until 7 p.m. on Election Day to allow time for regular absentee ballot to arrive: If no arrival, count FWAB If arrival, count regular absentee ballot 55 Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (ss , , – Changed) cont’d

56 Provides method for duplicating FWAB Requires DOS to adopt rules to determine whether it is clearly indicated that voter has made a definite choice 56 Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (ss , , – Changed) cont’d

57 Poll Watchers (s – Changed) Designations must be on form prescribed by Division (Form DS-DE 125) Only made by chair of county political party executive committee, chair of political committee, or candidate Due: Noon, 14 days before EV begins, & Noon, 2nd Tuesday before Election Day SOE has 7 days to approve designations. 57

58 Poll Watchers (s – Changed) cont’d. SOE to provide each poll watcher no later than 7 days before EV begins, a name ID Badge Requires poll watcher to wear badge while in polling room or EV area (NOTE: Conflict? EV will be ongoing before approval deadline occurs for poll watchers on Election Day) Once approved, poll watcher can watch at any polling room & EV area in county if # does not exceed authorized location limit (one per party/pc/candidate) 58

59 Logic & Accuracy Testing (s – Changed) Changes random sample testing of voting systems: Option to test either 5% or 10 optical scan machines Requirement to test at least 2% of the touch screen voting devices This reflects Florida’s elimination of the touch screen voting devices as primary method for voting in Florida, with the exception of making them still available for persons with disabilities 59

60 Ballot Language (s – Changed ) Changes ballot specifications: Eliminates jurisdictional/office header requirement from the ballot Clarifies that minor political party candidates should be listed in order they qualify in lieu of order of certification (corrects terminology) Changes order of minor and no party candidate names– No party affiliation candidates follow minor political party candidates, and then only in order in which they qualify 60

61 Early Voting (s – Changed) Early Voting period Provides for 8-day (in lieu of a 2- week) early voting period Begins 10 days before election Ends 3 days before election 61

62 Early Voting (s – Changed) cont’d. EV hours Requires minimum 6 hours of early voting per day per site Allows for maximum hours - 96 hours per EV period Gives Supervisors flexibility to choose hours for each early voting site 62

63 Early Voting (s – New!) Report to Division 30 days before Election Address for each early voting site Hours for each early voting site 63

64 Election Day 64

65 Identification at Polls (s – Changed) Changes address verification/confirmation process during photo ID check-in Cannot use address on voter’s presented ID to ask voter to confirm his or her address or to challenge his/her eligibility to vote in precinct Cannot ask any person, whose address on the presented ID matches address on record, any address-related question or make that person recite his or her address HOW TO RECONCILE? 65

66 Identification at Polls (s – Changed) cont’d Look at address on ID: If address matches with address on precinct: STOP. Do not ask further address- related questions Direct voter to sign precinct register 66

67 Identification at Polls (s – Changed) cont’d If address does not match address on precinct: Simply recite to voter verbatim, “I have your address listed as [recite address to voter]. Let me know if that has changed.” If voter does not respond or say anything, do not ask any further address-related Qs and proceed to next step—signing precinct register If voter voluntarily says that his or her address is different or has changed, follow applicable address change procedures. 67

68 Ballot-on-Demand (s – Changed) Allows the use of ballot-on-demand for all elections DOS pre-approval no longer required 68

69 Address Changes (s – Changed) Limits county-to-county address change at the polls (early voting or election day) to active military and their families All other county-to-county address changes at polls not permitted but voters are allowed to cast a provisional ballot Be sure they are in precinct corresponding to new address so that provisional ballot will count at time of canvassing 69

70 Post-Election 70

71 Observers while Ballots are Reconciled (s – Changed) The inspectors/election officials at polling place shall allow as many as three persons near them to see whether ballots are being reconciled correctly Violation = misdemeanor of first degree 71

72 Election Night Results (s – Changed) County Canvassing Board to report all EV & tabulated absentee ballot results to DOS w/in 30 minutes of poll closing Report thereafter remaining results (except provisional ballots) in 45 minutes increments until completely reported (Thus, all votes, except provisional ballots, will be tabulated and reported on election night.) Notify DOS if circumstances do not permit periodic updates 72

73 New voting history reporting requirements: Upload after each presidential preference primary, special election, primary election, and general election (current law: only after general election) Submit results in file format specified in law (current law: provides for file specs only in rule) Submit within 30 days of certification of election results (current law: 45 days after general election day) 73 Reports Effective July 1, 2012 (s – New)

74 New precinct-level election results reporting requirements: Submit results to DOS w/in 30 days after certification of results by Elections Canvassing Commission after PPP, special, primary or general election (current law: 45 days after each PPP, special election, or general election) Submit results in file format specified in law (current law: file specs set out in rule) 74 Reports Effective July 1, 2012 (s – New) cont’d

75 Reconcile precinct-level election results with voting history that must also be submitted within 30 days after certification of results by Elections Canvassing Commission Will supersede requirements for precinct- level election results and voting history set out in Rule 1S-2.043, F.A.C. 75

76 Reports Effective July 1, 2012 (s – New) cont’d Department must create database of submitted precinct-level election results that allows any person to: Search and sort precinct-level elections results by county, precinct and candidate Download data in tab-delimited format Download data by county or statewide 76

77 Post- Election Audit (s – New) If a manual recount occurs per s , canvassing board is not required to perform the s post- election voting system audit 77

78 Contest of Election (s – Changed) County canvassing board no longer indispensable party for contest of municipal elections – only board responsible for canvassing election is indispensable party Contest involving signature comparison on absentee ballot certificate with that on record: Judge limited to reviewing the signatures to determine only if canvassing board abused its discretion 78

79 Finally -- The End! Any Questions 79


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