March 18, 2019
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_h1615__
HB 1615

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to elections; amending s. 97.021, F.S.;
3revising a definition; amending s. 97.053, F.S.; providing
4requirements relating to incomplete voter registration
5applications; revising the date by which persons casting
6provisional ballots may present voter eligibility
7evidence; revising the time within which voter
8registration applications shall be entered into the
9statewide voter registration system; creating s. 98.056,
10F.S.; requiring the Department of State to prescribe and
11supervisors of elections to use registration list
12maintenance forms; providing requirements relating to the
13forms; amending s. 98.065, F.S.; revising registration
14list maintenance requirements relating to voter change of
15address; amending s. 98.075, F.S.; revising requirements
16for supervisors relating to removal of deceased voters'
17names from the statewide voter registration system;
18amending s. 99.021, F.S.; creating a separate oath and
19oath requirements for candidates for federal office;
20amending s. 99.061, F.S.; revising the qualifying
21deadlines for certain candidates; revising qualification
22requirements for special district candidates; deleting a
23provision relating to qualification by the petition
24process; amending s. 99.093, F.S.; specifying that
25municipal candidates' election assessments shall be
26forwarded to the Florida Elections Commission instead of
27the department; amending s. 99.095, F.S.; providing
28requirements for special district candidates relating to
29the qualification by petition process; providing a
30deadline for submission of certifications for certain
31candidates qualifying by the petition process; amending s.
3299.097, F.S.; revising a requirement relating to the
33verification of signatures on petitions; amending s.
34100.061, F.S.; revising the date on which the primary
35election is held; amending s. 100.191, F.S.; deleting an
36exception to a requirement that all general laws are
37applicable to special elections; amending s. 100.361,
38F.S.; revising requirements relating to the recall of
39municipal or charter county officers; revising provisions
40relating to recall committees, recall petitions and
41signatures, recall defense and signatures, petition
42retention, and offenses; amending s. 100.371, F.S.;
43revising the period of time for which initiative petition
44signatures remain valid; providing that such revision
45apply only to petitions that are approved for circulation
46after the effective date of this act; amending s. 101.041,
47F.S., relating to secret voting; deleting a provision
48requiring official ballots to be printed and distributed
49for such purpose; amending s. 101.048, F.S.; revising the
50date by which persons casting provisional ballots may
51present voter eligibility evidence; amending s. 101.111,
52F.S.; requiring supervisors to provide election boards
53copies of voter challenges; amending s. 101.51, F.S.;
54deleting a requirement that an election official announce
55an elector's name before the elector enters a voting
56booth; amending s. 101.6103, F.S.; revising the date the
57canvassing of mail ballots may begin; removing an obsolete
58implementation date; amending s. 101.62, F.S.; providing
59that one request for an absentee ballot is sufficient to
60receive such ballots for all elections; revising the
61deadline by which supervisors of elections are required to
62mail absentee ballots before the general election;
63revising requirements for electors to receive an absentee
64ballot; amending s. 101.68, F.S.; revising the date the
65canvassing of absentee ballots may begin; removing an
66obsolete implementation date; amending s. 101.733, F.S.;
67revising a provision relating to the rescheduling of an
68election due to emergency; authorizing the Governor to
69provide for holding an election by mail in an emergency;
70requiring the department to adopt rules relating to a mail
71election in an emergency; amending s. 102.014, F.S.;
72revising provisions relating to the training of poll
73workers; amending s. 102.112, F.S.; revising a deadline
74relating to the filing of general election returns;
75amending s. 102.141, F.S.; revising duties of the county
76canvassing boards relating to the submission of
77preliminary and unofficial returns to the department;
78amending s. 102.166, F.S.; correcting a cross-reference;
79amending s. 103.022, F.S.; revising filing deadlines for
80write-in candidates for President and Vice President of
81the United States; creating s. 103.085, F.S.; providing
82filing requirements for minor political parties;
83authorizing the Division of Elections to adopt rules
84relating to the cancellation of a minor party's
85registration; amending s. 103.091, F.S.; revising
86deadlines relating to qualification for certain political
87parties' executive committee membership; amending s.
88105.031, F.S.; revising deadlines relating to
89qualification for the office of school board member;
90deleting a provision relating to qualification by the
91petition process; amending s. 106.07, F.S.; revising
92provisions relating to filing deadlines for campaign
93treasurer reports; amending s. 106.35, F.S.; revising the
94deadline for beginning distribution of funds from the
95Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund; amending ss.
96189.405 and 191.005, F.S.; revising qualification
97requirements for candidates for special district and
98independent special fire control district governing board
99positions; amending s. 582.18, F.S.; revising
100qualification requirements for candidates for supervisor
101of each soil and water conservation district; amending s.
102876.05, F.S.; providing an exception to an oath
103requirement for candidates for federal office; repealing
104s. 104.29, F.S., relating to inspectors refusing to allow
105watchers while ballots are counted; providing an effective
106date.
107
108Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
109
110     Section 1.  Subsection (17) of section 97.021, Florida
111Statutes, is amended to read:
112     97.021  Definitions.--For the purposes of this code, except
113where the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term:
114     (17)  "Minor political party" is any group as defined in
115this subsection which on January 1 preceding a primary election
116does not have registered as members 5 percent of the total
117registered electors of the state. Any group of citizens
118organized for the general purposes of electing to office
119qualified persons and determining public issues under the
120democratic processes of the United States may become a minor
121political party of this state by filing with the department a
122certificate showing the name of the organization, the names of
123its current officers, including the members of its executive
124committee, and a copy of its constitution or bylaws. It shall be
125the duty of the minor political party to notify the department
126of any changes in the filing certificate within 5 days of such
127changes.
128     Section 2.  Subsections (6) and (7) of section 97.053,
129Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
130     97.053  Acceptance of voter registration applications.--
131     (6)  A voter registration application may be accepted as
132valid only after the department has verified the authenticity or
133nonexistence of the driver's license number, the Florida
134identification card number, or the last four digits of the
135social security number provided by the applicant. If a completed
136voter registration application has been received by the book-
137closing deadline but the driver's license number, the Florida
138identification card number, or the last four digits of the
139social security number provided by the applicant cannot be
140verified, the applicant shall be notified that the application
141is incomplete and that the voter must provide evidence to the
142supervisor sufficient to verify the authenticity of the number
143provided on the application. If the voter provides the necessary
144evidence, the supervisor shall place the voter's name on the
145registration rolls as an active voter. If the voter has not
146provided the necessary evidence or the number has not otherwise
147been verified prior to the applicant presenting himself or
148herself to vote, the applicant shall be provided a provisional
149ballot. The provisional ballot shall be counted only if the
150application is verified by the end of the canvassing period or
151if the applicant presents evidence to the supervisor of
152elections sufficient to verify the authenticity of the driver's
153license number, Florida identification card number, or last four
154digits of the social security number provided on the application
155no later than 5 p.m. of the second third day following the
156election.
157     (7)  All voter registration applications received by a
158voter registration official shall be entered into the statewide
159voter registration system within 13 15 days after receipt. Once
160entered, the application shall be immediately forwarded to the
161appropriate supervisor of elections.
162     Section 3.  Section 98.056, Florida Statutes, is created to
163read:
164     98.056  Registration list maintenance forms.--The
165Department of State shall prescribe registration list
166maintenance forms to be used by the supervisors that shall
167include:
168     (1)  An address confirmation request that shall contain:
169     (a)  The voter's name and address of legal residence as
170shown on the voter registration record.
171     (b)  A request that the supervisor be informed if either
172the name or address of legal residence of the voter is
173incorrect.
174     (2)  An address change notice that shall be sent by
175forwardable mail, including a postage prepaid, preaddressed
176return form with which the voter may verify or correct his or
177her address information.
178     (3)  An address confirmation final notice that shall be
179sent by forwardable mail and must contain a postage prepaid,
180preaddressed return form and a statement that:
181     (a)  If the voter has not changed address of legal
182residence or has changed address of legal residence within the
183state, the voter should return the return form within 30 days
184after the date of notice.
185     (b)  If the return form is not returned and the voter does
186not offer to vote by the second general election thereafter, the
187voter's name will be removed from the voter registration books.
188     (c)  If the voter has changed address of legal residence to
189a location outside the state:
190     1.  The voter should return the return form, which return
191shall serve as a request to be removed from the registration
192books.
193     2.  The voter will be provided with information on how to
194register in the new jurisdiction in order to be eligible to
195vote.
196     Section 4.  Subsection (4) of section 98.065, Florida
197Statutes, is amended to read:
198     98.065  Registration list maintenance programs.--
199     (4)(a)  If the supervisor receives change-of-address
200information pursuant to the activities conducted in subsection
201(2), from jury notices signed by the voter and returned to the
202courts, from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor
203Vehicles, or from other sources, which information indicates
204that the legal address of a registered voter might have changed
205within the state, the supervisor shall change the registration
206records to show the new address and shall send the voter by
207forwardable return-if-undeliverable mail an address change
208confirmation notice to the address at which the voter was last
209registered. A supervisor may also send an address confirmation
210notice to any voter who the supervisor has reason to believe has
211moved from his or her legal residence.
212     (b)  If the supervisor receives change of address
213information pursuant to the activities conducted in subsection
214(2), from jury notices signed by the voter and returned to the
215courts, or from other sources, which information indicates the
216legal residence of a registered voter might have changed outside
217the state, the supervisor of elections shall send an address
218confirmation final notice to the voter. The address confirmation
219notice shall contain a postage prepaid, preaddressed return form
220on which:
221     1.  If the voter has changed his or her address of legal
222residence to a location outside the state, the voter shall mark
223that the voter's legal residence has changed to a location
224outside the state. The form shall also include information on
225how to register in the new state in order to be eligible to
226vote. The form must be returned within 30 days after the date of
227the notice. The completed form shall constitute a request to be
228removed from the statewide voter registration system.
229     2.  If the voter has changed his or her address of legal
230residence to a location inside the state, the voter shall set
231forth the updated or corrected address and submit the return
232form within 30 days after the date of the notice. The completed
233form shall constitute a request to update the statewide voter
234registration system with the updated or corrected address
235information.
236     3.  If the voter has not changed his or her address of
237legal residence as printed on the address confirmation notice,
238the voter shall confirm that his or her address of legal
239residence has not changed and submit the form within 30 days
240after the date of the notice.
241     (c)  The supervisor must designate as inactive all voters
242who have been sent an address confirmation final notice and who
243have not returned the postage prepaid, preaddressed return form
244within 30 days or for which an address confirmation notice has
245been returned as undeliverable. Names on the inactive list may
246not be used to calculate the number of signatures needed on any
247petition. A voter on the inactive list may be restored to the
248active list of voters upon the voter updating his or her
249registration, requesting an absentee ballot, or appearing to
250vote. However, if the voter does not update his or her voter
251registration information, request an absentee ballot, or vote by
252the second general election after being placed on the inactive
253list, the voter's name shall be removed from the statewide voter
254registration system and the voter shall be required to
255reregister to have his or her name restored to the statewide
256voter registration system.
257     Section 5.  Subsection (3) of section 98.075, Florida
258Statutes, is amended to read:
259     98.075  Registration records maintenance activities;
260ineligibility determinations.--
261     (3)  DECEASED PERSONS.--The department shall identify those
262registered voters who are deceased by comparing information on
263the lists of deceased persons received from the Department of
264Health as provided in s. 98.093. Upon receipt of such
265information through the statewide voter registration system, the
266supervisor shall remove the name of the registered voter.
267Additionally, if the supervisor is presented with a copy of a
268death certificate issued from a bona fide governmental agency or
269has personal knowledge of the voter's death, the supervisor
270shall remove the name of the deceased voter from the statewide
271voter registration system.
272     Section 6.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
27399.021, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
274     99.021  Form of candidate oath.--
275     (1)(a)1.  Each candidate, whether a party candidate, a
276candidate with no party affiliation, or a write-in candidate, in
277order to qualify for nomination or election to any office other
278than a judicial office as defined in chapter 105 or a candidate
279for federal office, shall take and subscribe to an oath or
280affirmation in writing. A printed copy of the oath or
281affirmation shall be furnished to the candidate by the officer
282before whom such candidate seeks to qualify and shall be
283substantially in the following form:
284
285State of Florida
286County of_____
287
288     Before me, an officer authorized to administer oaths,
289personally appeared   (please print name as you wish it to
290appear on the ballot)  , to me well known, who, being sworn,
291says that he or she is a candidate for the office of _____; that
292he or she is a qualified elector of _____ County, Florida; that
293he or she is qualified under the Constitution and the laws of
294Florida to hold the office to which he or she desires to be
295nominated or elected; that he or she has taken the oath required
296by ss. 876.05-876.10, Florida Statutes; that he or she has
297qualified for no other public office in the state, the term of
298which office or any part thereof runs concurrent with that of
299the office he or she seeks; and that he or she has resigned from
300any office from which he or she is required to resign pursuant
301to s. 99.012, Florida Statutes.
302  (Signature of candidate)  
303  (Address)  
304
305Sworn to and subscribed before me this _____ day of _____,  
306(year)  , at _____ County, Florida.
307  (Signature and title of officer administering oath)
308
309     2.  Each candidate for federal office, whether a party
310candidate, a candidate with no party affiliation, or a write-in
311candidate, in order to qualify for nomination or election to
312office, shall take and subscribe to an oath or affirmation in
313writing. A printed copy of the oath or affirmation shall be
314furnished to the candidate by the officer before whom such
315candidate seeks to qualify and shall be substantially in the
316following form:
317
318State of Florida
319County of __________
320
321     Before me, an officer authorized to administer oaths,
322personally appeared   (please print name as you wish it to
323appear on the ballot)  , to me well known, who, being sworn,
324says that he or she is a candidate for the office of _____; that
325he or she is qualified under the Constitution and laws of the
326United States to hold the office to which he or she desires to
327be nominated or elected; that he or she has qualified for no
328other public office in the state, the term of which office or
329any part thereof runs concurrent with that of the office he or
330she seeks; and that he or she has resigned from any office from
331which he or she is required to resign pursuant to s. 99.012,
332Florida Statutes.
333
334  (Signature of candidate)  
335
336  (Address)  
337
338Sworn to and subscribed before me this _____ day of _____  
339(year)  , at _____ County, Florida.
340  (Signature and title of officer administering oath)
341
342     Section 7.  Section 99.061, Florida Statutes, is amended to
343read:
344     99.061  Method of qualifying for nomination or election to
345federal, state, county, or district office.--
346     (1)  The provisions of any special act to the contrary
347notwithstanding, each person seeking to qualify for nomination
348or election to a federal, state, or multicounty district office,
349other than election to a judicial office as defined in chapter
350105 or the office of school board member, shall file his or her
351qualification papers with, and pay the qualifying fee, which
352shall consist of the filing fee and election assessment, and
353party assessment, if any has been levied, to, the Department of
354State, or qualify by the petition process pursuant to s. 99.095
355with the Department of State, at any time after noon of the 1st
356day for qualifying, which shall be as follows: the 120th day
357prior to the primary election, but not later than noon of the
358116th day prior to the date of the primary election, for persons
359seeking to qualify for nomination or election to federal office
360or to the office of the state attorney or the public defender;
361and noon of the 71st 50th day prior to the primary election, but
362not later than noon of the 67th 46th day prior to the date of
363the primary election, for persons seeking to qualify for
364nomination or election to a state or multicounty district
365office, other than the office of the state attorney or the
366public defender.
367     (2)  The provisions of any special act to the contrary
368notwithstanding, each person seeking to qualify for nomination
369or election to a county office, or district or special district
370office not covered by subsection (1), shall file his or her
371qualification papers with, and pay the qualifying fee, which
372shall consist of the filing fee and election assessment, and
373party assessment, if any has been levied, to, the supervisor of
374elections of the county, or shall qualify by the petition
375process pursuant to s. 99.095 with the supervisor of elections,
376at any time after noon of the 1st day for qualifying, which
377shall be the 71st 50th day prior to the primary election or
378special district election, but not later than noon of the 67th
37946th day prior to the date of the primary election or special
380district election. However, if a special district election is
381held at the same time as the general election, qualifying shall
382be the 50th day prior to the primary election, but not later
383than noon of the 46th day prior to the date of the primary
384election. Within 30 days after the closing of qualifying time,
385the supervisor of elections shall remit to the secretary of the
386state executive committee of the political party to which the
387candidate belongs the amount of the filing fee, two-thirds of
388which shall be used to promote the candidacy of candidates for
389county offices and the candidacy of members of the Legislature.
390     (3)  The provisions of any special act to the contrary
391notwithstanding, each person seeking to qualify for election to
392a special district office shall qualify between noon of the 71st
393day prior to the primary election and noon of the 67th day prior
394to the date of the primary election. Candidates for single
395county special districts shall qualify with the supervisor of
396elections in the county in which the district is located. If the
397district is a multicounty district, candidates shall qualify
398with the Department of State. All special district candidates
399shall qualify by paying a filing fee of $25 or by the petition
400process pursuant to s. 99.095. Notwithstanding s. 106.021, a
401candidate who does not collect contributions and whose only
402expense is the filing fee or signature verification fee is not
403required to appoint a campaign treasurer or designate a primary
404campaign depository.
405     (4)(3)(a)  Each person seeking to qualify for election to
406office as a write-in candidate shall file his or her
407qualification papers with the respective qualifying officer at
408any time after noon of the 1st day for qualifying, but not later
409than noon of the last day of the qualifying period for the
410office sought.
411     (b)  Any person who is seeking election as a write-in
412candidate shall not be required to pay a filing fee, election
413assessment, or party assessment. A write-in candidate shall not
414be entitled to have his or her name printed on any ballot;
415however, space for the write-in candidate's name to be written
416in shall be provided on the general election ballot. No person
417may qualify as a write-in candidate if the person has also
418otherwise qualified for nomination or election to such office.
419     (5)(4)  At the time of qualifying for office, each
420candidate for a constitutional office shall file a full and
421public disclosure of financial interests pursuant to s. 8, Art.
422II of the State Constitution, and a candidate for any other
423office, including local elective office, shall file a statement
424of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145.
425     (6)(5)  The Department of State shall certify to the
426supervisor of elections, within 7 days after the closing date
427for qualifying, the names of all duly qualified candidates for
428nomination or election who have qualified with the Department of
429State.
430     (6)  Notwithstanding the qualifying period prescribed in
431this section, if a candidate has submitted the necessary
432petitions by the required deadline in order to qualify by the
433petition process pursuant to s. 99.095 as a candidate for
434nomination or election and the candidate is notified after the
4355th day prior to the last day for qualifying that the required
436number of signatures has been obtained, the candidate is
437entitled to subscribe to the candidate's oath and file the
438qualifying papers at any time within 5 days from the date the
439candidate is notified that the necessary number of signatures
440has been obtained. Any candidate who qualifies within the time
441prescribed in this subsection is entitled to have his or her
442name printed on the ballot.
443     (7)(a)  In order for a candidate to be qualified, the
444following items must be received by the filing officer by the
445end of the qualifying period:
446     1.  A properly executed check drawn upon the candidate's
447campaign account in an amount not less than the fee required by
448s. 99.092 or, in lieu thereof, as applicable, the copy of the
449notice of obtaining ballot position pursuant to s. 99.095. The
450filing fee for a special district candidate is not required to
451be drawn upon the candidate's campaign account. If a candidate's
452check is returned by the bank for any reason, the filing officer
453shall immediately notify the candidate and the candidate shall,
454the end of qualifying notwithstanding, have 48 hours from the
455time such notification is received, excluding Saturdays,
456Sundays, and legal holidays, to pay the fee with a cashier's
457check purchased from funds of the campaign account. Failure to
458pay the fee as provided in this subparagraph shall disqualify
459the candidate.
460     2.  The candidate's oath required by s. 99.021, which must
461contain the name of the candidate as it is to appear on the
462ballot; the office sought, including the district or group
463number if applicable; and the signature of the candidate, duly
464acknowledged.
465     3.  The loyalty oath required by s. 876.05, signed by the
466candidate and duly acknowledged.
467     4.  If the office sought is partisan, the written statement
468of political party affiliation required by s. 99.021(1)(b).
469     5.  The completed form for the appointment of campaign
470treasurer and designation of campaign depository, as required by
471s. 106.021.
472     6.  The full and public disclosure or statement of
473financial interests required by subsection (5) (4). A public
474officer who has filed the full and public disclosure or
475statement of financial interests with the Commission on Ethics
476or the supervisor of elections prior to qualifying for office
477may file a copy of that disclosure at the time of qualifying.
478     (8)  Notwithstanding the qualifying period prescribed in
479this section, a qualifying office may accept and hold qualifying
480papers submitted not earlier than 14 days prior to the beginning
481of the qualifying period, to be processed and filed during the
482qualifying period.
483     (9)  Notwithstanding the qualifying period prescribed by
484this section, in each year in which the Legislature apportions
485the state, the qualifying period for persons seeking to qualify
486for nomination or election to federal office shall be between
487noon of the 71st 57th day prior to the primary election, but not
488later than noon of the 67th 53rd day prior to the primary
489election.
490     (10)  The Department of State may prescribe by rule
491requirements for filing papers to qualify as a candidate under
492this section.
493     Section 8.  Subsection (1) of section 99.093, Florida
494Statutes, is amended to read:
495     99.093  Municipal candidates; election assessment.--
496     (1)  Each person seeking to qualify for nomination or
497election to a municipal office shall pay, at the time of
498qualifying for office, an election assessment. The election
499assessment shall be an amount equal to 1 percent of the annual
500salary of the office sought. Within 30 days after the close of
501qualifying, the qualifying officer shall forward all assessments
502collected pursuant to this section to the Florida Elections
503Commission Department of State for deposit in the Elections
504Commission Trust Fund.
505     Section 9.  Subsections (2) and (4) of section 99.095,
506Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
507     99.095  Petition process in lieu of a qualifying fee and
508party assessment.--
509     (2)(a)  Except as provided in paragraph (b), a candidate
510shall obtain the number of signatures of voters in the
511geographical area represented by the office sought equal to at
512least 1 percent of the total number of registered voters of that
513geographical area, as shown by the compilation by the department
514for the last preceding general election. Signatures may not be
515obtained until the candidate has filed the appointment of
516campaign treasurer and designation of campaign depository
517pursuant to s. 106.021.
518     (b)  A candidate for a special district office shall obtain
51925 signatures of voters in the geographical area represented by
520the office sought.
521     (c)(b)  The format of the petition shall be prescribed by
522the division and shall be used by candidates to reproduce
523petitions for circulation. If the candidate is running for an
524office that requires a group or district designation, the
525petition must indicate that designation and, if it does not, the
526signatures are not valid. A separate petition is required for
527each candidate.
528     (4)(a)  Certifications for candidates for federal, state,
529or multicounty district, or multicounty special district office
530shall be submitted to the division no later than the 7th day
531before the first day of the qualifying period for the office
532sought. The division shall determine whether the required number
533of signatures has been obtained and shall notify the candidate.
534     (b)  For candidates for county, or district, or special
535district office not covered by paragraph (a), the supervisor
536shall determine whether the required number of signatures has
537been obtained and shall notify the candidate.
538     Section 10.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of section
53999.097, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
540     99.097  Verification of signatures on petitions.--
541     (3)
542     (b)  If a voter signs a petition and lists an address other
543than the legal residence where the voter is registered, the
544petition shall not be counted and the supervisor shall mail to
545the voter a new voter registration application, along with the
546reason the new application is being sent treat the signature as
547if the voter had listed the address where the voter is
548registered.
549     Section 11.  Section 100.061, Florida Statutes, is amended
550to read:
551     100.061  Primary election.--In each year in which a general
552election is held, a primary election for nomination of
553candidates of political parties shall be held on the Tuesday 10
5549 weeks prior to the general election. The candidate receiving
555the highest number of votes cast in each contest in the primary
556election shall be declared nominated for such office. If two or
557more candidates receive an equal and highest number of votes for
558the same office, such candidates shall draw lots to determine
559which candidate is nominated.
560     Section 12.  Section 100.191, Florida Statutes, is amended
561to read:
562     100.191  General election laws applicable to special
563elections; returns.--All laws that are applicable to general
564elections are applicable to special elections or special primary
565elections to fill a vacancy in office or nomination, except that
566the canvass of returns by the county canvassing board of each
567county in which a special election is held shall be made on the
568day following the election, and the certificate of the result of
569the canvass shall be immediately forwarded to the Department of
570State. The Elections Canvassing Commission shall immediately,
571upon receipt of returns from the county in which a special
572election is held, proceed to canvass the returns and determine
573and declare the result thereof.
574     Section 13.  Section 100.361, Florida Statutes, is amended
575to read:
576     100.361  Municipal recall.--
577     (1)  APPLICATION; DEFINITIONS RECALL PETITION.--Any member
578of the governing body of a municipality or charter county,
579hereinafter referred to in this section as "municipality," may
580be removed from office by the electors of the municipality. When
581the official represents a district and is elected only by
582electors residing in that district, only electors from that
583district are eligible to sign the petition to recall that
584official and are entitled to vote in the recall election. When
585the official represents a district and is elected at-large by
586the electors of the municipality, all electors of the
587municipality are eligible to sign the petition to recall that
588official and are entitled to vote in the recall election. Where
589used in this section, the term "district" shall be construed to
590mean the area or region of a municipality from which a member of
591the governing body is elected by the electors from such area or
592region. Members may be removed from office pursuant to by the
593procedures under this section. The method of removing members of
594the governing body of a municipality under this section is in
595addition to such other methods now or hereafter provided by
596general law. following procedure:
597     (2)  RECALL PETITION.--
598     (a)  Petition content.--A petition shall contain the name
599of be prepared naming the person sought to be recalled and
600containing a statement of grounds for recall. The statement of
601grounds shall not exceed in not more than 200 words, and the
602stated grounds are limited solely to those the grounds specified
603in paragraph (d) (b). If more than one member of the governing
604body is sought to be recalled, whether such member is elected by
605the electors of a district or by the electors of the
606municipality at-large, a separate recall petition shall be
607prepared for each member sought to be recalled. Upon request,
608the content of a petition should be, but is not required to be,
609provided by the proponent in alternative formats.
610     (b)  Requisite signatures.--
611     1.  In a municipality or district of fewer than 500
612electors, the petition shall be signed by at least 50 electors
613or by 10 percent of the total number of registered electors of
614the municipality or district as of the preceding municipal
615election, whichever is greater.
616     2.  In a municipality or district of 500 or more but fewer
617than 2,000 registered electors, the petition shall be signed by
618at least 100 electors or by 10 percent of the total number of
619registered electors of the municipality or district as of the
620preceding municipal election, whichever is greater.
621     3.  In a municipality or district of 2,000 or more but
622fewer than 5,000 registered electors, the petition shall be
623signed by at least 250 electors or by 10 percent of the total
624number of registered electors of the municipality or district as
625of the preceding municipal election, whichever is greater.
626     4.  In a municipality or district of 5,000 or more but
627fewer than 10,000 registered electors, the petition shall be
628signed by at least 500 electors or by 10 percent of the total
629number of registered electors of the municipality or district as
630of the preceding municipal election, whichever is greater.
631     5.  In a municipality or district of 10,000 or more but
632fewer than 25,000 registered electors, the petition shall be
633signed by at least 1,000 electors or by 10 percent of the total
634number of registered electors of the municipality or district as
635of the preceding municipal election, whichever is greater.
636     6.  In a municipality or district of 25,000 or more
637registered electors, the petition shall be signed by at least
6381,000 electors or by 5 percent of the total number of registered
639electors of the municipality or district as of the preceding
640municipal election, whichever is greater.
641
642Electors of the municipality or district making charges
643contained in the statement of grounds for recall and those
644signing the recall petition shall be designated as the
645"committee." A specific person shall be designated in the
646petition as chair of the committee to act for the committee.
647Electors of the municipality or district are eligible to sign
648the petition. Signatures and oaths of witnesses shall be
649executed as provided in paragraph (c). All signatures shall be
650obtained, as provided in paragraph (f), within a period of 30
651days, and each signed and dated petition form the petition shall
652be filed at the same time no later than within 30 days after the
653date the first signature is obtained on the petition.
654     (c)  Recall committee.--Electors of the municipality or
655district making charges contained in the statement of grounds
656for recall and those signing the recall petition shall be
657designated as the "committee." A specific person shall be
658designated in the petition as chair of the committee to act for
659the committee. The recall committee and the officer being
660recalled are subject to chapter 106.
661     (d)(b)  Grounds for recall.--The grounds for removal of
662elected municipal officials shall, for the purposes of this
663section act, be limited to the following and must be contained
664in the petition:
665     1.  Malfeasance;
666     2.  Misfeasance;
667     3.  Neglect of duty;
668     4.  Drunkenness;
669     5.  Incompetence;
670     6.  Permanent inability to perform official duties; and
671     7.  Conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.
672     (e)(c)  Signature process.--Electors of the municipality or
673district are eligible to sign the petition. Each elector of the
674municipality signing a petition shall sign his or her name in
675ink or indelible pencil as registered in the office of the
676supervisor of elections and shall state on the petition his or
677her place of residence and voting precinct. Each petition shall
678contain appropriate lines for the signature, printed name, and
679street address of the elector and an oath, to be executed by a
680witness thereof, verifying the fact that the witness saw each
681person sign the counterpart of the petition, that each signature
682appearing thereon is the genuine signature of the person it
683purports to be, and that the petition was signed in the presence
684of the witness on the date indicated.
685     (f)(d)  Filing of signed petitions.--Each signed petition
686form shall be filed at the same time no later than 30 days after
687the date the first signature is obtained on the petition. The
688petition shall be filed with the auditor or clerk of the
689municipality or charter county, or his or her equivalent,
690hereinafter referred to as clerk, by The person designated as
691chair of the committee shall file each signed petition form with
692the auditor or clerk of the municipality or charter county, or
693his or her equivalent, hereinafter referred to as "clerk." The
694petition cannot be amended after it is filed with the clerk.
695     (g)  Verification of signatures.--
696     1.  Immediately after the filing of the petition form, and,
697when the petition is filed, the clerk shall submit such form
698petition to the county supervisor of elections. No more than 30
699days after the date all petition forms are submitted to the
700supervisor by the clerk, the supervisor who shall promptly
701verify the signatures in accordance with s. 99.097 and, within a
702period of not more than 30 days after the petition is filed with
703the supervisor, determine whether the requisite number of
704verified and valid signatures was obtained for the petition
705contains the required valid signatures. The committee seeking
706verification of the signatures shall pay in advance to the
707supervisor the sum of 10 cents for each signature checked or the
708actual cost of checking such signature, whichever is less.
709     2.  The petition cannot be amended after it is filed with
710the clerk. The supervisor shall be paid by the persons or
711committee seeking verification the sum of 10 cents for each name
712checked. Upon filing with the clerk, the petition and all
713subsequent papers or forms required or permitted to be filed
714with the clerk in connection with this section must, upon
715request, be made available in alternative formats by the clerk.
716     3.(e)  If the supervisor determines it is determined that
717the petition does not contain the required signatures, the clerk
718shall, upon receipt of such determination, so certify to the
719governing body of the municipality or charter county and file
720the petition without taking further action, and the matter shall
721be at an end. No additional names may be added to the petition,
722and the petition shall not be used in any other proceeding.
723     4.(f)  If the supervisor determines it is determined that
724the petition has the requisite number of verified and valid
725required signatures, then the process described in subsection
726(3) is to be followed.
727     (3)  RECALL PETITION AND DEFENSE.--
728     (a)  Notice.--Upon a determination that the requisite
729number of verified and valid signatures was obtained, the clerk
730shall at once serve upon the person sought to be recalled a
731certified copy of the petition. Within 5 days after service, the
732person sought to be recalled may file with the clerk a defensive
733statement of not more than 200 words.
734     (b)  Content and preparation.--Within 5 days after the date
735of receipt of the defensive statement or after the last date a
736defensive statement could have been filed, the clerk shall,
737within 5 days, prepare a document entitled "Recall Petition and
738Defense." The "Recall Petition and Defense" shall consist
739sufficient number of typewritten, printed, or mimeographed
740copies of the recall petition, including the names, addresses,
741and oaths on the original petition form, the and defensive
742statement, or if no defensive statement was filed, a statement
743to that effect, and lines and spaces for the signatures of
744registered electors, places of residence, election precinct
745numbers, dates of signing, and signatures of witnesses to oaths
746which conform to the provisions of paragraph (2)(e). The clerk
747shall make sufficient copies of the "Recall Petition and
748Defense" sufficient to carry the signatures of 30 percent of the
749registered electors. Upon preparing and making sufficient copies
750of the "Recall Petition and Defense," the clerk shall as well as
751the names, addresses, and oaths on the original petition, and
752deliver the copies them to the person who has been designated as
753chair of the committee and take his or her receipt therefor.
754Such prepared copies shall be entitled "Recall Petition and
755Defense" and shall contain lines and spaces for signatures and
756printed names of registered electors, place of residence,
757election precinct number, and date of signing, together with
758oaths to be executed by the witnesses which conform to the
759provisions of paragraph (c). The clerk shall deliver forms
760sufficient to carry the signatures of 30 percent of the
761registered electors.
762     (c)(g)  Requisite signatures.--Upon receipt of the "Recall
763Petition and Defense," the committee may circulate them to
764obtain the signatures of 15 percent of the electors. All
765signatures shall be obtained and all signed petition forms shall
766be filed with the clerk no later than 60 days after delivery of
767the "Recall Petition and Defense" to the chair of the committee.
768Any elector who signs a recall petition shall have the right to
769demand in writing that his or her name be stricken from the
770petition. A written demand signed by the elector shall be filed
771with the clerk and upon receipt of the demand the clerk shall
772strike the name of the elector from the petition and place his
773or her initials to the side of the signature stricken. However,
774no signature may be stricken after the clerk has delivered the
775"Recall Petition and Defense" to the supervisor of elections for
776verification.
777     (d)(h)  Signed petitions; request for striking
778name.--Within 60 days after delivery of the "Recall Petition and
779Defense" to the chair, the chair shall file with the clerk the
780"Recall Petition and Defense" which bears the signatures of
781electors. The clerk shall assemble all signed petitions, check
782to see that each petition is properly verified by the oath of a
783witness, and submit such petitions to the county supervisor of
784elections. Any elector who signs a recall petition shall have
785the right to demand in writing that his or her name be stricken
786from the petition. A written demand signed by the elector shall
787be filed with the clerk, and, upon receipt of the demand, the
788clerk shall strike the name of the elector from the petition and
789place his or her initials to the side of the signature stricken.
790However, no signature may be stricken after the clerk has
791delivered the "Recall Petition and Defense" to the supervisor
792for verification of the signatures.
793     (e)  Verification of signatures.--Within 30 days of receipt
794of the signed "Recall Petition and Defense," the supervisor, who
795shall determine the number of valid signatures, purge the names
796withdrawn, and certify within 30 days whether 15 percent of the
797qualified electors of the municipality have signed the
798petitions, and report his or her findings to the governing body.
799The supervisor shall be paid by the persons or committee seeking
800verification the sum of 10 cents for each name checked.
801     (f)(i)  Reporting.--If the supervisor determines that the
802requisite number of signatures was not obtained, the petitions
803do not contain the required signatures, the clerk shall, upon
804receipt of the determination, certify report such determination
805fact to the governing body and retain file the petitions., The
806proceedings shall be terminated, and the petitions shall not
807again be used. If the supervisor determines that signatures do
808amount to at least 15 percent of the qualified electors signed
809the petition, the clerk shall, upon receipt of the
810determination, serve notice of that determination fact upon the
811person sought to be recalled and deliver to the governing body a
812certificate as to the percentage of qualified electors voters
813who signed.
814     (4)(2)  RECALL ELECTION.--If the person designated in the
815petition files with the clerk, within 5 days after the
816last-mentioned notice, his or her written resignation, the clerk
817shall at once notify the governing body of that fact, and the
818resignation shall be irrevocable. The governing body shall then
819proceed to fill the vacancy according to the provisions of the
820appropriate law. In the absence of a resignation, the chief
821judge of the judicial circuit in which the municipality is
822located shall fix a day for holding a recall election for the
823removal of those not resigning. Any such election shall be held
824not less than 30 days or more than 60 days after the expiration
825of the 5-day period last-mentioned and at the same time as any
826other general or special election held within the period; but if
827no such election is to be held within that period, the judge
828shall call a special recall election to be held within the
829period aforesaid.
830     (5)(3)  BALLOTS.--The ballots at the recall election shall
831conform to the following: With respect to each person whose
832removal is sought, the question shall be submitted: "Shall _____
833be removed from the office of _____ by recall?" Immediately
834following each question there shall be printed on the ballots
835the two propositions in the order here set forth:
836     "  (name of person)   should be removed from office."
837     "  (name of person)   should not be removed from office."
838     (6)(4)  FILLING OF VACANCIES; SPECIAL ELECTIONS.--
839     (a)  If an election is held for the recall of members
840elected only at-large, candidates to succeed them for the
841unexpired terms shall be voted upon at the same election and
842shall be elected in the same manner as provided by the
843appropriate law for the election of candidates at general
844elections. Candidates shall not be elected to succeed any
845particular member. If only one member is removed, the candidate
846receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected
847to fill the vacancy. If more than one member is removed,
848candidates equal in number to the number of members removed
849shall be declared elected to fill the vacancies; and, among the
850successful candidates, those receiving the greatest number of
851votes shall be declared elected for the longest terms. Cases of
852ties, and all other matters not herein specially provided for,
853shall be determined by the rules governing elections generally.
854     (b)  If an election is held for the recall of members
855elected only from districts, candidates to succeed them for the
856unexpired terms shall be voted upon at a special election called
857by the chief judge of the judicial circuit in which the
858districts are located not less than 30 days or more than 60 days
859after the expiration of the recall election. The qualifying
860period, for purposes of this section, shall be established by
861the chief judge of the judicial circuit after consultation with
862the clerk. Any candidate seeking election to fill the unexpired
863term of a recalled district municipal official shall reside in
864the district represented by the recalled official and qualify
865for office in the manner required by law. Each candidate
866receiving the highest number of votes for each office in the
867special district recall election shall be declared elected to
868fill the unexpired term of the recalled official. Candidates
869seeking election to fill a vacancy created by the removal of a
870municipal official shall be subject to the provisions of chapter
871106.
872     (c)  When an election is held for the recall of members of
873the governing body composed of both members elected at-large and
874from districts, candidates to succeed them for the unexpired
875terms shall be voted upon at a special election as provided in
876paragraph (b).
877     (d)  However, in any recall election held pursuant to
878paragraph (b) or paragraph (c), if only one member is voted to
879be removed from office, the vacancy created by the recall shall
880be filled by the governing body according to the provisions of
881the appropriate law for filling vacancies.
882     (7)(5)  EFFECT OF RESIGNATIONS.--If the member of the
883governing body being recalled resigns from office prior to the
884recall election, the remaining members shall fill the vacancy
885created according to the appropriate law for filling vacancies.
886If all of the members of the governing body are sought to be
887recalled and all of the members resign prior to the recall
888election, the recall election shall be canceled, and a special
889election shall be called to fill the unexpired terms of the
890resigning members. If all of the members of the governing body
891are sought to be recalled and any of the members resign prior to
892the recall election, the proceedings for the recall of members
893not resigning and the election of successors to fill the
894unexpired terms shall continue and have the same effect as
895though there had been no resignation.
896     (8)(6)  WHEN PETITION MAY BE FILED.--No petition to recall
897any member of the governing body of a municipality shall be
898filed until the member has served one-fourth of his or her term
899of office. No person removed by a recall, or resigning after a
900petition has been filed against him or her, shall be eligible to
901be appointed to the governing body within a period of 2 years
902after the date of such recall or resignation.
903     (9)  RETENTION OF PETITION.--The clerk shall preserve in
904his or her office all papers comprising or connected with a
905petition for recall for a period of 2 years after they were
906filed. This method of removing members of the governing body of
907a municipality is in addition to such other methods now or
908hereafter provided by the general laws of this state.
909     (10)(7)  OFFENSES RELATING TO PETITIONS.--No person shall
910impersonate another, purposely write his or her name or
911residence falsely in the signing of any petition for recall or
912forge any name thereto, or sign any paper with knowledge that he
913or she is not a qualified elector of the municipality. No
914expenditures for campaigning for or against an officer being
915recalled shall be made until the date on which the recall
916election is to be held is publicly announced. The committee and
917the officer being recalled shall be subject to chapter 106. No
918person shall employ or pay another to accept employment or
919payment for circulating or witnessing a recall petition. Any
920person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be
921deemed guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree and shall,
922upon conviction, be punished as provided by law.
923     (11)(8)  INTENT.--It is the intent of the Legislature that
924the recall procedures provided in this act shall be uniform
925statewide. Therefore, all municipal charter and special law
926provisions which are contrary to the provisions of this act are
927hereby repealed to the extent of this conflict.
928     (12)(9)  PROVISIONS APPLICABLE.--The provisions of this act
929shall apply to cities and charter counties whether or not they
930have adopted recall provisions.
931     Section 14.  Subsection (3) of section 100.371, Florida
932Statutes, is amended to read:
933     100.371  Initiatives; procedure for placement on ballot.--
934     (3)  Each signature shall be dated when made and shall be
935valid for a period of 2 4 years following such date, provided
936all other requirements of law are met. The sponsor shall submit
937signed and dated forms to the appropriate supervisor of
938elections for verification as to the number of registered
939electors whose valid signatures appear thereon. The supervisor
940shall promptly verify the signatures upon payment of the fee
941required by s. 99.097. The supervisor shall promptly record each
942valid signature in the statewide voter registration system in
943the manner prescribed by the Secretary of State. The supervisor
944shall retain the signature forms for at least 1 year following
945the election in which the issue appeared on the ballot or until
946the Division of Elections notifies the supervisors of elections
947that the committee which circulated the petition is no longer
948seeking to obtain ballot position.
949     Section 15.  Section 101.041, Florida Statutes, is amended
950to read:
951     101.041  Secret voting.--In all elections held on any
952subject which may be submitted to a vote, and for all or any
953state, county, district, or municipal officers, the voting shall
954be by secret, official ballot printed and distributed as
955provided by this code, and no vote shall be received or counted
956in any election, except as prescribed by this code.
957     Section 16.  Subsection (1) of section 101.048, Florida
958Statutes, is amended to read:
959     101.048  Provisional ballots.--
960     (1)  At all elections, a voter claiming to be properly
961registered in the state and eligible to vote at the precinct in
962the election but whose eligibility cannot be determined, a
963person whom an election official asserts is not eligible, and
964other persons specified in the code shall be entitled to vote a
965provisional ballot. Once voted, the provisional ballot shall be
966placed in a secrecy envelope and thereafter sealed in a
967provisional ballot envelope. The provisional ballot shall be
968deposited in a ballot box. All provisional ballots shall remain
969sealed in their envelopes for return to the supervisor of
970elections. The department shall prescribe the form of the
971provisional ballot envelope. A person casting a provisional
972ballot shall have the right to present written evidence
973supporting his or her eligibility to vote to the supervisor of
974elections by not later than 5 p.m. on the second third day
975following the election.
976     Section 17.  Subsection (3) of section 101.111, Florida
977Statutes, is amended to read:
978     101.111  Person desiring to vote may be challenged;
979challenger to execute oath; oath of person challenged;
980determination of challenge.--
981     (3)  Any elector or poll watcher may challenge the right of
982any voter to vote not sooner than 30 days before an election by
983filing a completed copy of the oath contained in subsection (1)
984to the supervisor of election's office. The supervisor shall
985provide the election board in the challenged voter's precinct
986with a copy of the challenge. The challenged voter shall be
987permitted to cast a provisional ballot.
988     Section 18.  Subsection (1) of section 101.51, Florida
989Statutes, is amended to read:
990     101.51  Electors to occupy booth alone.--
991     (1)  When the elector presents himself or herself to vote,
992the election official shall ascertain whether the elector's name
993is upon the register of electors, and, if the elector's name
994appears and no challenge interposes, or, if interposed, be not
995sustained, one of the election officials stationed at the
996entrance shall announce the name of the elector and permit him
997or her to enter the booth or compartment to cast his or her
998vote, allowing only one elector at a time to pass through to
999vote. An elector, while casting his or her ballot, may not
1000occupy a booth or compartment already occupied or speak with
1001anyone, except as provided by s. 101.051.
1002     Section 19.  Subsections (6) and (8) of section 101.6103,
1003Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1004     101.6103  Mail ballot election procedure.--
1005     (6)  The canvassing board may begin the canvassing of mail
1006ballots at 7 a.m. on the sixth fourth day before the election,
1007including processing the ballots through the tabulating
1008equipment. However, results may not be released until after 7
1009p.m. on election day. Any canvassing board member or election
1010employee who releases any result before 7 p.m. on election day
1011commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
1012s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
1013     (8)  Effective July 1, 2005, A ballot that otherwise
1014satisfies the requirements of subsection (5) shall be counted
1015even if the elector dies after mailing the ballot but before
1016election day, as long as, prior to the death of the voter, the
1017ballot was:
1018     (a)  Postmarked by the United States Postal Service;
1019     (b)  Date-stamped with a verifiable tracking number by
1020common carrier; or
1021     (c)  Already in the possession of the supervisor of
1022elections.
1023     Section 20.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) and subsection
1024(4) of section 101.62, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1025     101.62  Request for absentee ballots.--
1026     (1)(a)  The supervisor may accept a request for an absentee
1027ballot from an elector in person or in writing. Except as
1028provided in s. 101.694, one request shall be deemed sufficient
1029to receive an absentee ballot for all elections which are held
1030within a calendar year, unless the elector or the elector's
1031designee indicates at the time the request is made the elections
1032for which the elector desires to receive an absentee ballot.
1033Such request may be considered canceled when any first-class
1034mail sent by the supervisor to the elector is returned as
1035undeliverable.
1036     (4)(a)  To each absent qualified elector overseas who has
1037requested an absentee ballot, the supervisor of elections shall
1038mail an absentee ballot not fewer than 35 days before the
1039primary and not fewer than 45 days before the or general
1040election.
1041     (b)  The supervisor shall provide an absentee ballot to
1042each elector by whom a request for that ballot has been made by
1043one of the following means:
1044     1.  By nonforwardable, return-if-undeliverable mail to the
1045elector's current mailing address on file with the supervisor,
1046unless the elector specifies in the request that:
1047     a.  The elector is absent from the county and does not plan
1048to return before the day of the election;
1049     b.  The elector is temporarily unable to occupy the
1050residence because of hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, or other
1051emergency or natural disaster; or
1052     c.  The elector is in a hospital, assisted-living facility,
1053nursing home, short-term medical or rehabilitation facility, or
1054correctional facility,
1055
1056in which case the supervisor shall mail the ballot by
1057nonforwardable, return-if-undeliverable mail to any other
1058address the elector specifies in the request.
1059     2.  By forwardable mail to voters who are entitled to vote
1060by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens
1061Absentee Voting Act.
1062     3.  By personal delivery before 7 p.m. on election day to
1063the elector, upon presentation of the identification required in
1064s. 101.043 101.657.
1065     4.  By delivery to a designee on election day or up to 5 4
1066days prior to the day of an election. Any elector may designate
1067in writing a person to pick up the ballot for the elector;
1068however, the person designated may not pick up more than two
1069absentee ballots per election, other than the designee's own
1070ballot, except that additional ballots may be picked up for
1071members of the designee's immediate family. For purposes of this
1072section, "immediate family" means the designee's spouse or the
1073parent, child, grandparent, or sibling of the designee or of the
1074designee's spouse. The designee shall provide to the supervisor
1075the written authorization by the elector and a picture
1076identification of the designee and must complete an affidavit.
1077The designee shall state in the affidavit that the designee is
1078authorized by the elector to pick up that ballot and shall
1079indicate if the elector is a member of the designee's immediate
1080family and, if so, the relationship. The department shall
1081prescribe the form of the affidavit. If the supervisor is
1082satisfied that the designee is authorized to pick up the ballot
1083and that the signature of the elector on the written
1084authorization matches the signature of the elector on file, the
1085supervisor shall give the ballot to that designee for delivery
1086to the elector.
1087     Section 21.  Paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection (2) of
1088section 101.68, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1089     101.68  Canvassing of absentee ballot.--
1090     (2)(a)  The county canvassing board may begin the
1091canvassing of absentee ballots at 7 a.m. on the sixth fourth day
1092before the election, but not later than noon on the day
1093following the election. In addition, for any county using
1094electronic tabulating equipment, the processing of absentee
1095ballots through such tabulating equipment may begin at 7 a.m. on
1096the sixth fourth day before the election. However,
1097notwithstanding any such authorization to begin canvassing or
1098otherwise processing absentee ballots early, no result shall be
1099released until after the closing of the polls in that county on
1100election day. Any supervisor of elections, deputy supervisor of
1101elections, canvassing board member, election board member, or
1102election employee who releases the results of a canvassing or
1103processing of absentee ballots prior to the closing of the polls
1104in that county on election day commits a felony of the third
1105degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.
1106775.084.
1107     (c)1.  The canvassing board shall, if the supervisor has
1108not already done so, compare the signature of the elector on the
1109voter's certificate with the signature of the elector in the
1110registration books to see that the elector is duly registered in
1111the county and to determine the legality of that absentee
1112ballot. Effective July 1, 2005, The ballot of an elector who
1113casts an absentee ballot shall be counted even if the elector
1114dies on or before election day, as long as, prior to the death
1115of the voter, the ballot was postmarked by the United States
1116Postal Service, date-stamped with a verifiable tracking number
1117by common carrier, or already in the possession of the
1118supervisor of elections. An absentee ballot shall be considered
1119illegal if it does not include the signature of the elector, as
1120shown by the registration records. However, an absentee ballot
1121shall not be considered illegal if the signature of the elector
1122does not cross the seal of the mailing envelope. If the
1123canvassing board determines that any ballot is illegal, a member
1124of the board shall, without opening the envelope, mark across
1125the face of the envelope: "rejected as illegal." The envelope
1126and the ballot contained therein shall be preserved in the
1127manner that official ballots voted are preserved.
1128     2.  If any elector or candidate present believes that an
1129absentee ballot is illegal due to a defect apparent on the
1130voter's certificate, he or she may, at any time before the
1131ballot is removed from the envelope, file with the canvassing
1132board a protest against the canvass of that ballot, specifying
1133the precinct, the ballot, and the reason he or she believes the
1134ballot to be illegal. A challenge based upon a defect in the
1135voter's certificate may not be accepted after the ballot has
1136been removed from the mailing envelope.
1137     Section 22.  Subsection (2) of section 101.733, Florida
1138Statutes, is amended, and subsection (4) is added to that
1139section, to read:
1140     101.733  Election emergency; purpose; elections emergency
1141contingency plan.--Because of the existing and continuing
1142possibility of an emergency or common disaster occurring before
1143or during a regularly scheduled or special election, and in
1144order to ensure maximum citizen participation in the electoral
1145process and provide a safe and orderly procedure for persons
1146seeking to exercise their right to vote, generally to minimize
1147to whatever degree possible a person's exposure to danger during
1148declared states of emergency, and to protect the integrity of
1149the electoral process, it is hereby found and declared to be
1150necessary to designate a procedure for the emergency suspension
1151or delay and rescheduling of elections.
1152     (2)  The Governor, upon consultation with the Secretary of
1153State, shall reschedule any election suspended or delayed due to
1154an emergency. The election shall be held within 10 days after
1155the date of the suspended or delayed election or as soon
1156thereafter as is practicable. Notice of the election shall be
1157provided in any reasonable manner to include, where practicable,
1158publication published at least once in a newspaper of general
1159circulation in the affected area and, where practicable,
1160broadcast as a public service announcement on radio and
1161television stations at least 1 week prior to the date the
1162election is to be held.
1163     (4)  Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 101.6102, in lieu
1164of the suspension or delay of an election in cases where the
1165situation warrants it, the Governor may provide for holding the
1166election by mail. The Department of State shall adopt rules to
1167provide for the timelines and procedures when an emergency
1168exists for which the Governor has called a mail ballot election.
1169     Section 23.  Subsection (7) of section 102.014, Florida
1170Statutes, is amended to read:
1171     102.014  Poll worker recruitment and training.--
1172     (7)  The Department of State shall develop a mandatory,
1173statewide, and uniform program for training poll workers on
1174issues of etiquette and sensitivity with respect to voters
1175having a disability. The program must consist of approximately 1
1176hour of the required number of hours set forth in paragraph
1177(4)(a). The program must be conducted locally by each supervisor
1178of elections, who shall periodically certify to the Department
1179of State whether each poll worker has completed the program
1180prior to working during the election cycle. The supervisor of
1181elections shall contract with a recognized disability-related
1182organization, such as a center for independent living, family
1183network on disabilities, deaf service bureau, or other such
1184organization, to develop and assist with training the trainers
1185in the disability sensitivity programs. The program must include
1186actual demonstrations of obstacles confronted by disabled
1187persons during the voting process, including obtaining access to
1188the polling place, traveling through the polling area, and using
1189the voting system.
1190     Section 24.  Subsection (2) of section 102.112, Florida
1191Statutes, is amended to read:
1192     102.112  Deadline for submission of county returns to the
1193Department of State.--
1194     (2)  Returns must be filed by 5 p.m. on the 7th day
1195following a primary election and by noon 5 p.m. on the 12th 11th
1196day following the general election. However, the Department of
1197State may correct typographical errors, including the
1198transposition of numbers, in any returns submitted to the
1199Department of State pursuant to s. 102.111(1).
1200     Section 25.  Section 102.141, Florida Statutes, is amended
1201to read:
1202     102.141  County canvassing board; duties.--
1203     (1)  The county canvassing board shall be composed of the
1204supervisor of elections; a county court judge, who shall act as
1205chair; and the chair of the board of county commissioners. In
1206the event any member of the county canvassing board is unable to
1207serve, is a candidate who has opposition in the election being
1208canvassed, or is an active participant in the campaign or
1209candidacy of any candidate who has opposition in the election
1210being canvassed, such member shall be replaced as follows:
1211     (a)  If no county court judge is able to serve or if all
1212are disqualified, the chief judge of the judicial circuit in
1213which the county is located shall appoint as a substitute member
1214a qualified elector of the county who is not a candidate with
1215opposition in the election being canvassed and who is not an
1216active participant in the campaign or candidacy of any candidate
1217with opposition in the election being canvassed. In such event,
1218the members of the county canvassing board shall meet and elect
1219a chair.
1220     (b)  If the supervisor of elections is unable to serve or
1221is disqualified, the chair of the board of county commissioners
1222shall appoint as a substitute member a member of the board of
1223county commissioners who is not a candidate with opposition in
1224the election being canvassed and who is not an active
1225participant in the campaign or candidacy of any candidate with
1226opposition in the election being canvassed. The supervisor,
1227however, shall act in an advisory capacity to the canvassing
1228board.
1229     (c)  If the chair of the board of county commissioners is
1230unable to serve or is disqualified, the board of county
1231commissioners shall appoint as a substitute member one of its
1232members who is not a candidate with opposition in the election
1233being canvassed and who is not an active participant in the
1234campaign or candidacy of any candidate with opposition in the
1235election being canvassed.
1236     (d)  If a substitute member cannot be appointed as provided
1237elsewhere in this subsection, the chief judge of the judicial
1238circuit in which the county is located shall appoint as a
1239substitute member a qualified elector of the county who is not a
1240candidate with opposition in the election being canvassed and
1241who is not an active participant in the campaign or candidacy of
1242any candidate with opposition in the election being canvassed.
1243     (2)  The county canvassing board shall meet in a building
1244accessible to the public in the county where the election
1245occurred at a time and place to be designated by the supervisor
1246of elections to publicly canvass the absentee electors' ballots
1247as provided for in s. 101.68 and provisional ballots as provided
1248by ss. 101.048, 101.049, and 101.6925. Provisional ballots cast
1249pursuant to s. 101.049 shall be canvassed in a manner that votes
1250for candidates and issues on those ballots can be segregated
1251from other votes. Public notice of the time and place at which
1252the county canvassing board shall meet to canvass the absentee
1253electors' ballots and provisional ballots shall be given at
1254least 48 hours prior thereto by publication once in one or more
1255newspapers of general circulation in the county or, if there is
1256no newspaper of general circulation in the county, by posting
1257such notice in at least four conspicuous places in the county.
1258As soon as the absentee electors' ballots and the provisional
1259ballots are canvassed, the board shall proceed to publicly
1260canvass the vote given each candidate, nominee, constitutional
1261amendment, or other measure submitted to the electorate of the
1262county, as shown by the returns then on file in the office of
1263the supervisor of elections and the office of the county court
1264judge.
1265     (3)  The canvass, except the canvass of absentee electors'
1266returns and the canvass of provisional ballots, shall be made
1267from the returns and certificates of the inspectors as signed
1268and filed by them with the supervisor, and the county canvassing
1269board shall not change the number of votes cast for a candidate,
1270nominee, constitutional amendment, or other measure submitted to
1271the electorate of the county, respectively, in any polling
1272place, as shown by the returns. All returns shall be made to the
1273board on or before 2 a.m. of the day following any primary,
1274general, or other election. If the returns from any precinct are
1275missing, if there are any omissions on the returns from any
1276precinct, or if there is an obvious error on any such returns,
1277the canvassing board shall order a retabulation of the returns
1278from such precinct. Before canvassing such returns, the
1279canvassing board shall examine the tabulation of the ballots
1280cast in such precinct and determine whether the returns
1281correctly reflect the votes cast. If there is a discrepancy
1282between the returns and the tabulation of the ballots cast, the
1283tabulation of the ballots cast shall be presumed correct and
1284such votes shall be canvassed accordingly.
1285     (4)  The canvassing board shall submit preliminary returns
1286on election night to the Department of State in a format
1287provided by the department.
1288     (5)(4)  The canvassing board shall submit on forms or in
1289formats provided by the division unofficial returns to the
1290Department of State for each federal, statewide, state, or
1291multicounty office or ballot measure no later than noon on the
1292third day after any primary election and no later than noon on
1293the fourth fifth day after any general or other election. Such
1294returns shall include the canvass of all ballots as required by
1295subsection (2), except for provisional ballots, which returns
1296shall be reported at the time required for official returns
1297pursuant to s. 102.112(2).
1298     (6)(5)  If the county canvassing board determines that the
1299unofficial returns may contain a counting error in which the
1300vote tabulation system failed to count votes that were properly
1301marked in accordance with the instructions on the ballot, the
1302county canvassing board shall:
1303     (a)  Correct the error and retabulate the affected ballots
1304with the vote tabulation system; or
1305     (b)  Request that the Department of State verify the
1306tabulation software. When the Department of State verifies such
1307software, the department shall compare the software used to
1308tabulate the votes with the software filed with the department
1309pursuant to s. 101.5607 and check the election parameters.
1310     (7)(6)  If the unofficial returns reflect that a candidate
1311for any office was defeated or eliminated by one-half of a
1312percent or less of the votes cast for such office, that a
1313candidate for retention to a judicial office was retained or not
1314retained by one-half of a percent or less of the votes cast on
1315the question of retention, or that a measure appearing on the
1316ballot was approved or rejected by one-half of a percent or less
1317of the votes cast on such measure, the board responsible for
1318certifying the results of the vote on such race or measure shall
1319order a recount of the votes cast with respect to such office or
1320measure. The Elections Canvassing Commission is the board
1321responsible for ordering federal, state, and multicounty
1322recounts. A recount need not be ordered with respect to the
1323returns for any office, however, if the candidate or candidates
1324defeated or eliminated from contention for such office by one-
1325half of a percent or less of the votes cast for such office
1326request in writing that a recount not be made.
1327     (a)  Each canvassing board responsible for conducting a
1328recount shall put each marksense ballot through automatic
1329tabulating equipment and determine whether the returns correctly
1330reflect the votes cast. If any marksense ballot is physically
1331damaged so that it cannot be properly counted by the automatic
1332tabulating equipment during the recount, a true duplicate shall
1333be made of the damaged ballot pursuant to the procedures in s.
1334101.5614(5). Immediately before the start of the recount, a test
1335of the tabulating equipment shall be conducted as provided in s.
1336101.5612. If the test indicates no error, the recount tabulation
1337of the ballots cast shall be presumed correct and such votes
1338shall be canvassed accordingly. If an error is detected, the
1339cause therefor shall be ascertained and corrected and the
1340recount repeated, as necessary. The canvassing board shall
1341immediately report the error, along with the cause of the error
1342and the corrective measures being taken, to the Department of
1343State. No later than 11 days after the election, the canvassing
1344board shall file a separate incident report with the Department
1345of State, detailing the resolution of the matter and identifying
1346any measures that will avoid a future recurrence of the error.
1347     (b)  Each canvassing board responsible for conducting a
1348recount where touchscreen ballots were used shall examine the
1349counters on the precinct tabulators to ensure that the total of
1350the returns on the precinct tabulators equals the overall
1351election return. If there is a discrepancy between the overall
1352election return and the counters of the precinct tabulators, the
1353counters of the precinct tabulators shall be presumed correct
1354and such votes shall be canvassed accordingly.
1355     (c)  The canvassing board shall submit on forms or in
1356formats provided by the division a second set of unofficial
1357returns to the Department of State for each federal, statewide,
1358state, or multicounty office or ballot measure no later than 3
1359p.m. on the fifth day after any primary election and no later
1360than 3 p.m. on the ninth eighth day after any general election
1361in which a recount was conducted pursuant to this subsection. If
1362the canvassing board is unable to complete the recount
1363prescribed in this subsection by the deadline, the second set of
1364unofficial returns submitted by the canvassing board shall be
1365identical to the initial unofficial returns and the submission
1366shall also include a detailed explanation of why it was unable
1367to timely complete the recount. However, the canvassing board
1368shall complete the recount prescribed in this subsection, along
1369with any manual recount prescribed in s. 102.166, and certify
1370election returns in accordance with the requirements of this
1371chapter.
1372     (d)  The Department of State shall adopt detailed rules
1373prescribing additional recount procedures for each certified
1374voting system, which shall be uniform to the extent practicable.
1375     (8)(7)  The canvassing board may employ such clerical help
1376to assist with the work of the board as it deems necessary, with
1377at least one member of the board present at all times, until the
1378canvass of the returns is completed. The clerical help shall be
1379paid from the same fund as inspectors and other necessary
1380election officials.
1381     (9)(8)(a)  At the same time that the official results of an
1382election are certified to the Department of State, the county
1383canvassing board shall file a report with the Division of
1384Elections on the conduct of the election. The report must
1385describe:
1386     1.  All equipment or software malfunctions at the precinct
1387level, at a counting location, or within computer and
1388telecommunications networks supporting a county location, and
1389the steps that were taken to address the malfunctions;
1390     2.  All election definition errors that were discovered
1391after the logic and accuracy test, and the steps that were taken
1392to address the errors;
1393     3.  All ballot printing errors or ballot supply problems,
1394and the steps that were taken to address the errors or problems;
1395     4.  All staffing shortages or procedural violations by
1396employees or precinct workers which were addressed by the
1397supervisor of elections or the county canvassing board during
1398the conduct of the election, and the steps that were taken to
1399correct such issues;
1400     5.  All instances where needs for staffing or equipment
1401were insufficient to meet the needs of the voters; and
1402     6.  Any additional information regarding material issues or
1403problems associated with the conduct of the election.
1404     (b)  If a supervisor discovers new or additional
1405information on any of the items required to be included in the
1406report pursuant to paragraph (a) after the report is filed, the
1407supervisor shall notify the division that new information has
1408been discovered no later than the next business day after the
1409discovery, and the supervisor shall file an amended report
1410signed by the supervisor of elections on the conduct of the
1411election within 10 days after the discovery.
1412     (c)  Such reports shall be maintained on file in the
1413Division of Elections and shall be available for public
1414inspection. The division shall utilize the reports submitted by
1415the canvassing boards to determine what problems may be likely
1416to occur in other elections and disseminate such information,
1417along with possible solutions, to the supervisors of elections.
1418     (10)(9)  The supervisor shall file with the department a
1419copy of or an export file from the results database of the
1420county's voting system and other statistical information as may
1421be required by the department, the Legislature, or the Election
1422Assistance Commission. The department shall adopt rules
1423establishing the required content and acceptable formats for the
1424filings and time for filings.
1425     Section 26.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (5) of section
1426102.166, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1427     102.166  Manual recounts.--
1428     (5)  Procedures for a manual recount are as follows:
1429     (b)  Each duplicate ballot prepared pursuant to s.
1430101.5614(5) or s. 102.141 (7)(6) shall be compared with the
1431original ballot to ensure the correctness of the duplicate.
1432     Section 27.  Section 103.022, Florida Statutes, is amended
1433to read:
1434     103.022  Write-in candidates for President and Vice
1435President.--Persons seeking to qualify for election as write-in
1436candidates for President and Vice President of the United States
1437may have a blank space provided on the general election ballot
1438for their names to be written in by filing an oath with the
1439Department of State on or before September 1 at any time after
1440the 57th day, but before noon of the 49th day, prior to the date
1441of the primary election in the year in which a presidential
1442election is held. The Department of State shall prescribe the
1443form to be used in administering the oath. The candidates shall
1444file with the department on or before September 1 in the year in
1445which a presidential election is held a certificate naming the
1446required number of persons to serve as electors. Such write-in
1447candidates shall not be entitled to have their names on the
1448ballot.
1449     Section 28.  Section 103.085, Florida Statutes, is created
1450to read:
1451     103.085  Minor political parties.--Any group of citizens
1452organized for the general purposes of electing to office
1453qualified persons and determining public issues under the
1454democratic processes of the United States may become a minor
1455political party of this state by filing with the department a
1456certificate showing the name of the organization, the names of
1457its current officers, including the members of its executive
1458committee, and a copy of its constitution or bylaws. It shall be
1459the duty of the minor political party to notify the department
1460of any changes in the filing certificate within 5 days of such
1461changes. The Division of Elections may adopt rules to prescribe
1462the manner in which a minor party's registration may be
1463canceled. Such rules shall, at a minimum, provide for notice
1464that shall contain the facts and conduct that warrant the
1465intended action, including, but not limited to, failure to file
1466reports required by s. 106.29.
1467     Section 29.  Subsection (4) of section 103.091, Florida
1468Statutes, is amended to read:
1469     103.091  Political parties.--
1470     (4)  Any political party other than a minor political party
1471may by rule provide for the membership of its state or county
1472executive committee to be elected for 4-year terms at the
1473primary election in each year a presidential election is held.
1474The terms shall commence on the first day of the month following
1475each presidential general election; but the names of candidates
1476for political party offices shall not be placed on the ballot at
1477any other election. The results of such election shall be
1478determined by a plurality of the votes cast. In such event,
1479electors seeking to qualify for such office shall do so with the
1480Department of State or supervisor of elections not earlier than
1481noon of the 71st 57th day, or later than noon of the 67th 53rd
1482day, preceding the primary election. The outgoing chair of each
1483county executive committee shall, within 30 days after the
1484committee members take office, hold an organizational meeting of
1485all newly elected members for the purpose of electing officers.
1486The chair of each state executive committee shall, within 60
1487days after the committee members take office, hold an
1488organizational meeting of all newly elected members for the
1489purpose of electing officers.
1490     Section 30.  Subsection (1) of section 105.031, Florida
1491Statutes, is amended to read:
1492     105.031  Qualification; filing fee; candidate's oath; items
1493required to be filed.--
1494     (1)  TIME OF QUALIFYING.--Except for candidates for
1495judicial office, nonpartisan candidates for multicounty office
1496shall qualify with the Division of Elections of the Department
1497of State and nonpartisan candidates for countywide or less than
1498countywide office shall qualify with the supervisor of
1499elections. Candidates for judicial office other than the office
1500of county court judge shall qualify with the Division of
1501Elections of the Department of State, and candidates for the
1502office of county court judge shall qualify with the supervisor
1503of elections of the county. Candidates for judicial office shall
1504qualify no earlier than noon of the 120th day, and no later than
1505noon of the 116th day, before the primary election. Candidates
1506for the office of school board member shall qualify no earlier
1507than noon of the 71st 50th day, and no later than noon of the
150867th 46th day, before the primary election. Filing shall be on
1509forms provided for that purpose by the Division of Elections and
1510furnished by the appropriate qualifying officer. Any person
1511seeking to qualify by the petition process, as set forth in s.
1512105.035, who has submitted the necessary petitions by the
1513required deadline and is notified after the fifth day prior to
1514the last day for qualifying that the required number of
1515signatures has been obtained, shall be entitled to subscribe to
1516the candidate's oath and file the qualifying papers at any time
1517within 5 days from the date he or she is notified that the
1518necessary number of signatures has been obtained. Any person
1519other than a write-in candidate who qualifies within the time
1520prescribed in this subsection shall be entitled to have his or
1521her name printed on the ballot.
1522     Section 31.  Subsection (1) of section 106.07, Florida
1523Statutes, is amended to read:
1524     106.07  Reports; certification and filing.--
1525     (1)  Each campaign treasurer designated by a candidate or
1526political committee pursuant to s. 106.021 shall file regular
1527reports of all contributions received, and all expenditures
1528made, by or on behalf of such candidate or political committee.
1529Reports shall be filed on the 10th day following the end of each
1530calendar quarter from the time the campaign treasurer is
1531appointed, except that, if the 10th day following the end of a
1532calendar quarter occurs on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday,
1533the report shall be filed on the next following day which is not
1534a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. Quarterly reports shall
1535include all contributions received and expenditures made during
1536the calendar quarter which have not otherwise been reported
1537pursuant to this section.
1538     (a)  Except as provided in paragraph (b), Following the
1539last day of qualifying for office, the reports shall also be
1540filed on the 32nd, 18th, and 4th days immediately preceding the
1541primary and on the 46th, 32nd, 18th, and 4th days immediately
1542preceding the election, for a candidate who is opposed in
1543seeking nomination or election to any office, for a political
1544committee, or for a committee of continuous existence. Following
1545the primary, reports shall also be filed on the 46th, 32nd,
154618th, and 4th days immediately preceding the general election
1547for a candidate who is opposed in seeking election to any
1548office, for a political committee, or for a committee of
1549continuous existence.
1550     (b)  Following the last day of qualifying for office, In
1551addition, any statewide candidate who has requested to receive
1552contributions from the Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund or
1553any statewide candidate in a race with a candidate who has
1554requested to receive contributions from the trust fund shall
1555file reports on the 4th, 11th, and 18th, 25th, and 32nd days
1556prior to the primary election, and on the 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th,
155732nd, 39th, 46th, and 53rd days prior to the general election.
1558     (c)  Following the last day of qualifying for office, any
1559unopposed candidate need only file a report within 90 days after
1560the date such candidate became unopposed. Such report shall
1561contain all previously unreported contributions and expenditures
1562as required by this section and shall reflect disposition of
1563funds as required by s. 106.141.
1564     (d)1.  When a special election is called to fill a vacancy
1565in office, all political committees and committees of continuous
1566existence making contributions or expenditures to influence the
1567results of such special election shall file campaign treasurers'
1568reports with the filing officer on the dates set by the
1569Department of State pursuant to s. 100.111.
1570     2.  When an election is called for an issue to appear on
1571the ballot at a time when no candidates are scheduled to appear
1572on the ballot, all political committees making contributions or
1573expenditures in support of or in opposition to such issue shall
1574file reports on the 18th and 4th days prior to such election.
1575     (e)  The filing officer shall provide each candidate with a
1576schedule designating the beginning and end of reporting periods
1577as well as the corresponding designated due dates.
1578     Section 32.  Subsection (4) of section 106.35, Florida
1579Statutes, is amended to read:
1580     106.35  Distribution of funds.--
1581     (4)  Distribution of funds shall be made beginning on the
158233rd day prior to the primary within 7 days after the close of
1583qualifying and every 7 days thereafter.
1584     Section 33.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) and paragraph
1585(b) of subsection (3) of section 189.405, Florida Statutes, are
1586amended to read:
1587     189.405  Elections; general requirements and procedures;
1588education programs.--
1589     (2)
1590     (c)  A candidate for a position on a governing board of a
1591single-county special district that has its elections conducted
1592by the supervisor of elections shall qualify for the office with
1593the county supervisor of elections in whose jurisdiction the
1594district is located. Elections for governing board members
1595elected by registered electors shall be nonpartisan, except when
1596partisan elections are specified by a district's charter.
1597Candidates shall qualify as directed by chapter 99 by paying a
1598filing fee equal to 3 percent of the salary or honorarium paid
1599for the office, or a filing fee of $25, whichever is more.
1600Alternatively, candidates may qualify by submitting a petition
1601that contains the signatures of at least 3 percent of the
1602district's registered electors, or any lesser amount of
1603signatures directed by chapter 99, chapter 582, or other general
1604or special law. No election or party assessment shall be levied
1605if the election is nonpartisan. The qualifying fee shall be
1606remitted to the general revenue fund of the qualifying officer
1607to help defray the cost of the election. The petition form shall
1608be submitted and checked in the same manner as those for
1609nonpartisan judicial candidates pursuant to s. 105.035.
1610     (3)
1611     (b)  With the exception of those districts conducting
1612elections on a one-acre/one-vote basis, qualifying for
1613multicounty special district governing board positions shall be
1614coordinated by the Department of State. Elections for governing
1615board members elected by registered electors shall be
1616nonpartisan, except when partisan elections are specified by a
1617district's charter. Candidates shall qualify as directed by
1618chapter 99 by paying a filing fee equal to 3 percent of the
1619salary or honorarium paid for the office, or a filing fee of
1620$25, whichever is more. Alternatively, candidates may qualify by
1621submitting a petition that contains the signatures of at least 3
1622percent of the district's registered electors, or any lesser
1623amount of signatures directed by chapter 99, chapter 582, or
1624other general or special law. No election or party assessment
1625shall be levied if the election is nonpartisan. The qualifying
1626fee shall be remitted to the Department of State. The petition
1627form shall be submitted and checked in the same manner as those
1628for nonpartisan judicial candidates pursuant to s. 105.035.
1629     Section 34.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
1630191.005, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1631     191.005  District boards of commissioners; membership,
1632officers, meetings.--
1633     (1)(a)  With the exception of districts whose governing
1634boards are appointed collectively by the Governor, the county
1635commission, and any cooperating city within the county, the
1636business affairs of each district shall be conducted and
1637administered by a five-member board. All three-member boards
1638existing on the effective date of this act shall be converted to
1639five-member boards, except those permitted to continue as a
1640three-member board by special act adopted in 1997 or thereafter.
1641The board shall be elected in nonpartisan elections by the
1642electors of the district. Except as provided in this act, such
1643elections shall be held at the time and in the manner prescribed
1644by law for holding general elections in accordance with s.
1645189.405(2)(a) and (3), and each member shall be elected for a
1646term of 4 years and serve until the member's successor assumes
1647office. Candidates for the board of a district shall qualify as
1648directed by chapter 99 with the county supervisor of elections
1649in whose jurisdiction the district is located. If the district
1650is a multicounty district, candidates shall qualify with the
1651Department of State. All candidates may qualify by paying a
1652filing fee of $25 or by obtaining the signatures of at least 25
1653registered electors of the district on petition forms provided
1654by the supervisor of elections which petitions shall be
1655submitted and checked in the same manner as petitions filed by
1656nonpartisan judicial candidates pursuant to s. 105.035.
1657Notwithstanding s. 106.021, a candidate who does not collect
1658contributions and whose only expense is the filing fee is not
1659required to appoint a campaign treasurer or designate a primary
1660campaign depository.
1661     Section 35.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
1662582.18, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1663     582.18  Election of supervisors of each district.--
1664     (1)  The election of supervisors for each soil and water
1665conservation district shall be held every 2 years. The elections
1666shall be held at the time of the general election provided for
1667by s. 100.041. The office of the supervisor of a soil and water
1668conservation district is a nonpartisan office, and candidates
1669for such office are prohibited from campaigning or qualifying
1670for election based on party affiliation.
1671     (a)  Each candidate for supervisor for such district shall
1672qualify as directed by chapter 99 be nominated by nominating
1673petition subscribed by 25 or more qualified electors of such
1674district. Candidates shall obtain signatures on petition forms
1675prescribed by the Department of State and furnished by the
1676appropriate qualifying officer. In multicounty districts, the
1677appropriate qualifying officer is the Secretary of State; in
1678single-county districts, the appropriate qualifying officer is
1679the supervisor of elections. Such forms may be obtained at any
1680time after the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January
1681preceding the election, but prior to the 21st day preceding the
1682first day of the qualifying period for state office. Each
1683petition shall be submitted, prior to noon of the 21st day
1684preceding the first day of the qualifying period for state
1685office, to the supervisor of elections of the county for which
1686such petition was circulated. The supervisor of elections shall
1687check the signatures on the petition to verify their status as
1688electors in the district. Prior to the first date for
1689qualifying, the supervisor of elections shall determine whether
1690the required single-county signatures have been obtained; and
1691she or he shall so notify the candidate. In the case of a
1692multicounty candidate, the supervisor of elections shall check
1693the signatures on petitions and shall, prior to the first date
1694for qualifying for office, certify to the Department of State
1695the number shown as registered electors of the district. The
1696Department of State shall determine if the required number of
1697signatures has been obtained for multicounty candidates and
1698shall so notify the candidate. If the required number of
1699signatures has been obtained for the name of the candidate to be
1700placed on the ballot, the candidate shall, during the time
1701prescribed for qualifying for office in s. 99.061, submit a copy
1702of the notice to, and file her or his qualification papers with,
1703the qualifying officer and take the oath prescribed in s.
170499.021.
1705     Section 36.  Subsection (1) of section 876.05, Florida
1706Statutes, is amended to read:
1707     876.05  Public employees; oath.--
1708     (1)  All persons who now or hereafter are employed by or
1709who now or hereafter are on the payroll of the state, or any of
1710its departments and agencies, subdivisions, counties, cities,
1711school boards and districts of the free public school system of
1712the state or counties, or institutions of higher learning, and
1713all candidates for public office, except candidates for federal
1714office, are required to take an oath before any person duly
1715authorized to take acknowledgments of instruments for public
1716record in the state in the following form:
1717
1718     I, _____, a citizen of the State of Florida and of the
1719United States of America, and being employed by or an officer of
1720_____ and a recipient of public funds as such employee or
1721officer, do hereby solemnly swear or affirm that I will support
1722the Constitution of the United States and of the State of
1723Florida.
1724     Section 37.  Section 104.29, Florida Statutes, is hereby
1725repealed.
1726     Section 38.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2008,
1727except the amendment to section 100.371, Florida Statutes, shall
1728only apply to petitions that are approved for circulation after
1729January 1, 2008.


CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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