(1)(a) The supervisor shall accept a request for an absentee ballot from an elector in person or in writing. One request shall be deemed sufficient to receive an absentee ballot for all elections through the next regularly scheduled general election, unless the elector or the elector’s designee indicates at the time the request is made the elections for which the elector desires to receive an absentee ballot. Such request may be considered canceled when any first-class mail sent by the supervisor to the elector is returned as undeliverable.
(b) The supervisor may accept a written or telephonic request for an absentee ballot from the elector, or, if directly instructed by the elector, a member of the elector’s immediate family, or the elector’s legal guardian. For purposes of this section, the term “immediate family” has the same meaning as specified in paragraph (4)(b). The person making the request must disclose:
1. The name of the elector for whom the ballot is requested.
2. The elector’s address.
3. The elector’s date of birth.
4. The requester’s name.
5. The requester’s address.
6. The requester’s driver’s license number, if available.
7. The requester’s relationship to the elector.
8. The requester’s signature (written requests only).
(c) Upon receiving a request for an absentee ballot from an absent voter, the supervisor of elections shall notify the voter of the free access system that has been designated by the department for determining the status of his or her absentee ballot.
(2) A request for an absentee ballot to be mailed to a voter must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the sixth day before the election by the supervisor of elections. The supervisor of elections shall mail absentee ballots to voters requesting ballots by such deadline no later than 4 days before the election.
(3) For each request for an absentee ballot received, the supervisor shall record the date the request was made, the date the absentee ballot was delivered to the voter or the voter’s designee or the date the absentee ballot was delivered to the post office or other carrier, the date the ballot was received by the supervisor, and such other information he or she may deem necessary. This information shall be provided in electronic format as provided by rule adopted by the division. The information shall be updated and made available no later than noon of each day beginning 60 days before the primary until 15 days after the general election and shall be contemporaneously provided to the division. This information shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and shall be made available to or reproduced only for the voter requesting the ballot, a canvassing board, an election official, a political party or official thereof, a candidate who has filed qualification papers and is opposed in an upcoming election, and registered political committees or registered committees of continuous existence, for political purposes only.
(4)(a) No later than 45 days before each election, the supervisor of elections shall send an absentee ballot as provided in subparagraph (b)2. to each absent uniformed services voter and to each overseas voter who has requested an absentee ballot.
(b) The supervisor shall provide an absentee ballot to each elector by whom a request for that ballot has been made by one of the following means:
1. By nonforwardable, return-if-undeliverable mail to the elector’s current mailing address on file with the supervisor, unless the elector specifies in the request that:
a. The elector is absent from the county and does not plan to return before the day of the election;
b. The elector is temporarily unable to occupy the residence because of hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, or other emergency or natural disaster; or
c. The elector is in a hospital, assisted living facility, nursing home, short-term medical or rehabilitation facility, or correctional facility,
in which case the supervisor shall mail the ballot by nonforwardable, return-if-undeliverable mail to any other address the elector specifies in the request.
2. By forwardable mail, e-mail, or facsimile machine transmission to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters. The absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter may designate in the absentee ballot request the preferred method of transmission. If the voter does not designate the method of transmission, the absentee ballot shall be mailed.
3. By personal delivery before 7 p.m. on election day to the elector, upon presentation of the identification required in s. 101.043.
4. By delivery to a designee on election day or up to 5 days prior to the day of an election. Any elector may designate in writing a person to pick up the ballot for the elector; however, the person designated may not pick up more than two absentee ballots per election, other than the designee’s own ballot, except that additional ballots may be picked up for members of the designee’s immediate family. For purposes of this section, “immediate family” means the designee’s spouse or the parent, child, grandparent, or sibling of the designee or of the designee’s spouse. The designee shall provide to the supervisor the written authorization by the elector and a picture identification of the designee and must complete an affidavit. The designee shall state in the affidavit that the designee is authorized by the elector to pick up that ballot and shall indicate if the elector is a member of the designee’s immediate family and, if so, the relationship. The department shall prescribe the form of the affidavit. If the supervisor is satisfied that the designee is authorized to pick up the ballot and that the signature of the elector on the written authorization matches the signature of the elector on file, the supervisor shall give the ballot to that designee for delivery to the elector.
(5) If the department is unable to certify candidates for an election in time to comply with paragraph (4)(a), the Department of State is authorized to prescribe rules for a ballot to be sent to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters.
(6) Nothing other than the materials necessary to vote absentee shall be mailed or delivered with any absentee ballot.
History.—s. 2, ch. 7380, 1917; RGS 369; CGL 430; s. 1, ch. 25385, 1949; s. 5, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 32, ch. 28156, 1953; s. 21, ch. 29934, 1955; s. 2, ch. 59-213; s. 32, ch. 65-380; s. 1, ch. 67-33; s. 2, ch. 69-136; s. 4, ch. 69-280; s. 2, ch. 70-93; ss. 1, 2, ch. 71-149; s. 5, ch. 73-157; s. 39, ch. 73-333; s. 2, ch. 75-174; s. 21, ch. 77-175; s. 40, ch. 79-400; s. 2, ch. 83-16; s. 6, ch. 83-251; s. 1, ch. 85-226; s. 4, ch. 86-199; s. 4, ch. 87-363; s. 2, ch. 87-538; s. 28, ch. 89-338; s. 20, ch. 90-360; s. 587, ch. 95-147; s. 3, ch. 96-57; s. 25, ch. 96-406; s. 13, ch. 98-129; s. 32, ch. 99-2; s. 6, ch. 99-140; s. 52, ch. 2001-40; s. 5, ch. 2001-75; s. 18, ch. 2003-415; s. 6, ch. 2004-33; s. 43, ch. 2005-277; s. 37, ch. 2005-278; s. 16, ch. 2005-286; s. 30, ch. 2007-30; s. 7, ch. 2010-167.