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Senate Bill 0960

Senate Bill sb0960c1

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010

    By the Committee on Ethics and Elections; and Senators
    Constantine and Ring




    582-2511-07

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to elections; amending s.

  3         103.121, F.S.; revising the dates relating to

  4         the presidential preference primary; amending

  5         s. 101.75; authorizing municipalities to move

  6         their election date by ordinance to coincide

  7         with the presidential preference primary;

  8         amending s. 101.151, F.S.; authorizing the use

  9         of ballot-on-demand technology to produce

10         certain marksense ballots; creating s.

11         101.56075, F.S.; requiring all voting to be by

12         marksense ballot; providing an exemption for

13         voters with disabilities; amending s. 101.5612,

14         F.S.; requiring the use of certain marksense

15         ballots for pre-election testing; amending s.

16         101.591, F.S.; requiring post-election, random

17         audits of voting systems; providing general

18         audit procedures; mandating that audit results

19         be reported to the Department of State;

20         prescribing requirements for audit reports;

21         granting rulemaking authority to the department

22         to adopt detailed, uniform audit procedures and

23         a standard audit reporting form; providing

24         procedures for the purchase of new voting

25         systems and ballot equipment and the

26         disposition of existing touchscreen voting

27         systems for certain counties; authorizing the

28         Department of State to purchase optical scan

29         voting equipment and ballot-on-demand equipment

30         for certain counties; appropriating funds for

31         such purpose; amending s. 97.041, F.S.;

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
    582-2511-07




 1         authorizing qualified persons to preregister to

 2         vote on or after receipt of a valid driver's

 3         license; amending s. 97.053, F.S.; requiring an

 4         applicant for voter registration to be notified

 5         when the application cannot be verified;

 6         providing for registration upon presentation of

 7         evidence of a driver's license number,

 8         identification card number, or the last four

 9         digits of the applicant's social security

10         number; changing the time within which a person

11         casting a provisional ballot may present

12         evidence of eligibility to vote; changing the

13         time for voter registrations to be entered into

14         the statewide voter registration system;

15         amending s. 99.021, F.S.; prescribing form of

16         oath for candidates for federal office;

17         amending s. 99.061, F.S.; prescribing times for

18         qualifying for nomination or election;

19         prescribing specific procedures for qualifying

20         for special district office; providing that the

21         filing fee of a candidate for a special

22         district election need not be drawn on a

23         campaign account; amending s. 99.095, F.S.;

24         prescribing the number of signatures required

25         for a candidate for special district office to

26         qualify by petition; prescribing the time for

27         certification to the Division of Elections of

28         certain candidates qualifying by petition;

29         amending s. 99.096, F.S.; changing manner of

30         candidate selection by minor political parties;

31         repealing s. 99.0965, F.S., relating to the

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
    582-2511-07




 1         selection of minor party candidates; amending

 2         s. 100.041, F.S.; prescribing the time when a

 3         county commissioner is deemed elected; amending

 4         s. 100.061, F.S.; changing the date of the

 5         primary election; amending s. 100.191, F.S.;

 6         revising the time for canvassing special

 7         election returns; amending s. 101.043, F.S.;

 8         revising forms of identification accepted at

 9         the polls; amending s. 101.048, F.S.; changing

10         the time within which a person casting a

11         provisional ballot may present evidence of

12         eligibility to vote; amending s. 101.6103,

13         F.S.; changing the time to begin canvassing

14         mail ballots; amending s. 101.62, F.S.;

15         revising the period of effectiveness of a

16         request for an absentee ballot; revising the

17         time for sending an absentee ballot to an

18         overseas elector; revising time period for

19         providing absentee ballots; amending s. 101.68,

20         F.S.; changing the time to begin canvassing

21         absentee ballots; amending s. 102.112, F.S.;

22         changing the deadline for submitting county

23         returns to the Department of State; amending s.

24         102.141, F.S.; requiring submission of

25         preliminary returns in certain format by

26         election night to the Department of State;

27         changing the time to submit unofficial returns;

28         amending s. 102.166, F.S.; conforming a

29         cross-reference; amending s. 103.081, F.S.;

30         allowing political parties to file with the

31         Department of State names of groups associated

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
    582-2511-07




 1         with a party; prescribing conditions on the use

 2         of those filed names; amending s. 103.091,

 3         F.S.; revising the number of and the

 4         qualifications for state committeemen and

 5         committeewomen; changing the times for

 6         qualifying for election to a political party

 7         executive committee; amending s. 103.141, F.S.;

 8         providing that officers and members of a county

 9         executive committee may be removed from office

10         pursuant to s. 103.161; repealing s. 103.151,

11         F.S., relating to the removal of a state

12         executive committee member for violation of the

13         member's oath of office; creating s. 103.161,

14         F.S.; providing for the removal of officers and

15         members of a state or county executive

16         committee for violation of the officer's or

17         member's oath of office; prescribing procedures

18         for such removal and restrictions after

19         removal; amending s. 105.031, F.S.; changing

20         the times for qualifying for school board

21         candidates; amending s. 106.021, F.S.; revising

22         qualifications for a campaign treasurer and

23         deputy treasurer for a candidate or political

24         committee; amending s. 106.04, F.S.;

25         authorizing certain entities to collect and

26         forward membership dues to committees of

27         continuous existence; amending s. 106.055,

28         F.S.; prescribing valuation method for travel

29         on a private aircraft; amending s. 106.09,

30         F.S.; revising prohibition on making or

31         accepting a cash contribution; amending s.

                                  4

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
    582-2511-07




 1         106.143, F.S.; providing disclosure

 2         requirements for political advertisements made

 3         pursuant to s. 106.021(3)(d), F.S.; providing

 4         certain disclosure requirements for political

 5         advertisements paid for jointly or in kind;

 6         amending s. 106.17, F.S.; revising who may

 7         authorize or conduct polls or surveys relating

 8         to candidates; amending s. 106.25, F.S.;

 9         revising requirements for complaints filed

10         alleging violations of chapters 106 and 104,

11         F.S.; revising procedures after certain

12         complaints are filed; providing for the

13         withdrawal of certain complaints; providing for

14         the Florida Elections Commission to maintain a

15         searchable database of all final orders and

16         agency actions and providing requirements for

17         such database; amending s. 106.35, F.S.;

18         revising the time for the Division of Elections

19         to distribute funds to candidates; amending s.

20         112.51, F.S.; providing for filling vacancies

21         created when a municipal officer has been

22         removed from office; repealing s. 106.37, F.S.,

23         relating to willful violations of campaign

24         finance laws; amending s. 189.405, F.S.;

25         revising qualification procedures for

26         candidates for special district office;

27         amending s. 191.005, F.S.; revising

28         qualification procedures for candidates for

29         independent special fire control district

30         boards of commissioners; amending s. 582.18,

31         F.S.; revising qualification procedures for

                                  5

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
    582-2511-07




 1         candidates for soil and water conservation

 2         district supervisors; amending s. 876.05, F.S.;

 3         exempting candidates for federal office from

 4         taking the public employees' oath; providing

 5         effective dates.

 6  

 7  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

 8  

 9         Section 1.  Effective July 1, 2007, subsections (1),

10  (2), (3), and (6) of section 103.101, Florida Statutes, are

11  amended to read:

12         103.101  Presidential preference primary.--

13         (1)  Each political party other than a minor political

14  party shall, on the last second Tuesday in January March in

15  each year the number of which is a multiple of 4, elect one

16  person to be the candidate for nomination of such party for

17  President of the United States or select delegates to the

18  national nominating convention, as provided by party rule.

19         (2)  There shall be a Presidential Candidate Selection

20  Committee composed of the Secretary of State, who shall be a

21  nonvoting chair; the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

22  the President of the Senate; the minority leader of each house

23  of the Legislature; and the chair of each political party

24  required to have a presidential preference primary under this

25  section.

26         (a)  By October December 31 of the year preceding the

27  Florida presidential preference primary, each political party

28  shall submit to the Secretary of State a list of its

29  presidential candidates to be placed on the presidential

30  preference primary ballot or candidates entitled to have

31  delegates appear on the presidential preference primary

                                  6

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
    582-2511-07




 1  ballot.  The Secretary of State shall prepare and publish a

 2  list of the names of the presidential candidates submitted.

 3  The Secretary of State shall submit such list of names of

 4  presidential candidates to the selection committee on the

 5  first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of the

 6  January each year preceding the a presidential preference

 7  primary election is held.  Each person designated as a

 8  presidential candidate shall have his or her name appear, or

 9  have his or her delegates' names appear, on the presidential

10  preference primary ballot unless all committee members of the

11  same political party as the candidate agree to delete such

12  candidate's name from the ballot.  The selection committee

13  shall meet in Tallahassee on the first Tuesday after the first

14  Monday in November of the January each year preceding the a

15  presidential preference primary is held.  The selection

16  committee shall publicly announce and submit to the Department

17  of State no later than 5 p.m. on the following day the names

18  of presidential candidates who shall have their names appear,

19  or who are entitled to have their delegates' names appear, on

20  the presidential preference primary ballot.  The Department of

21  State shall immediately notify each presidential candidate

22  designated by the committee.  Such notification shall be in

23  writing, by registered mail, with return receipt requested.

24         (b)  Any presidential candidate whose name does not

25  appear on the list submitted to the Secretary of State may

26  request that the selection committee place his or her name on

27  the ballot. Such request shall be made in writing to the

28  Secretary of State no later than the second Tuesday after the

29  first Monday in November of the year preceding the

30  presidential preference primary January.

31  

                                  7

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
    582-2511-07




 1         (c)  If a presidential candidate makes a request that

 2  the selection committee reconsider placing the candidate's

 3  name on the ballot, the selection committee will reconvene no

 4  later than the second Thursday after the first Monday in

 5  November of the year preceding the presidential preference

 6  primary January to reconsider placing the candidate's name on

 7  the ballot. The Department of State shall immediately notify

 8  such candidate of the selection committee's decision.

 9         (3)  A candidate's name shall be printed on the

10  presidential preference primary ballot unless the candidate

11  submits to the Department of State, prior to the second

12  Tuesday after the first Monday in November of the year

13  preceding the presidential preference primary January, an

14  affidavit stating that he or she is not now, and does not

15  presently intend to become, a candidate for President at the

16  upcoming nominating convention.  If a candidate withdraws

17  pursuant to this subsection, the Department of State shall

18  notify the state executive committee that the candidate's name

19  will not be placed on the ballot.  The Department of State

20  shall, no later than the third Tuesday after the first Monday

21  in November of the year preceding the presidential preference

22  primary January, certify to each supervisor of elections the

23  name of each candidate for political party nomination to be

24  printed on the ballot.

25         (6)  Delegates must qualify no later than the second

26  Friday in November of the year preceding the presidential

27  preference primary January in the manner provided by party

28  rule.

29         Section 2.  Effective July 1, 2007, subsection (3) is

30  added to section 101.75, Florida Statutes, to read:

31  

                                  8

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
    582-2511-07




 1         101.75  Municipal elections; change of dates for

 2  cause.--

 3         (3)  Notwithstanding any provision of local law, for

 4  any municipality whose election is scheduled to be held in

 5  March 2008, the governing body of the municipality,

 6  notwithstanding any municipal charter provision, may, by

 7  ordinance, move the date of the general municipal election in

 8  2008 and in each subsequent year that is a multiple of 4 to

 9  the date concurrent with the presidential preference primary.

10  The dates for qualifying for the general municipal election

11  moved by the passage of such an ordinance shall be

12  specifically provided for in the ordinance and shall run for

13  no less than 14 days. The term of office for any elected

14  municipal official shall commence as provided by the relevant

15  municipal charter, and the term of office for any elected

16  municipal official whose term was due to expire in March 2008

17  shall expire as provided by the relevant municipal charter.

18         Section 3.  Effective July 1, 2008, subsection (1) of

19  section 101.151, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

20         101.151  Specifications for ballots.--

21         (1)(a)  Marksense ballots shall be printed on paper of

22  such thickness that the printing cannot be distinguished from

23  the back and shall meet the specifications of the voting

24  system that will be used to tabulate the ballots.

25         (b)  Early voting sites may employ a ballot-on-demand

26  production system to print individual marksense ballots,

27  including provisional ballots, for eligible electors pursuant

28  to s. 101.657. Ballot-on-demand technology may be used to

29  produce marksense absentee ballots. Not later than 30 days

30  before an election, the Secretary of State may also authorize

31  

                                  9

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
    582-2511-07




 1  in writing the use of ballot-on-demand technology for the

 2  production of election-day ballots.

 3         Section 4.  Effective July 1, 2008, section 101.56075,

 4  Florida Statutes, is created to read:

 5         101.56075  Voting methods.--

 6         (1)  Except as provided in subsection (2), all voting

 7  shall be by marksense ballot utilizing a marking device for

 8  the purpose of designating ballot selections.

 9         (2)  Persons with disabilities may vote on a voter

10  interface device that meets the voting system accessibility

11  requirements for individuals with disabilities pursuant to

12  section 301 of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 and

13  s. 101.56062.

14         Section 5.  Effective July 1, 2008, subsection (5) is

15  added to section 101.5612, Florida Statutes, to read:

16         101.5612  Testing of tabulating equipment.--

17         (5)  Any tests involving marksense ballots pursuant to

18  this section shall employ pre-printed ballots, if pre-printed

19  ballots will be used in the election, and ballot-on-demand

20  ballots, if ballot-on-demand technology will be used to

21  produce ballots in the election, or both.

22         Section 6.  Effective July 1, 2008, section 101.591,

23  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

24         (Substantial rewording of section. See

25         s. 101.591, F.S., for present text.)

26         101.591  Voting system audit.--

27         (1)  Immediately following the certification of each

28  election, the county canvassing board or the local board

29  responsible for certifying the election shall conduct a manual

30  audit of the voting systems used in randomly selected

31  precincts.

                                  10

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
    582-2511-07




 1         (2)  The audit shall consist of a public manual tally

 2  of the votes cast in the "President and Vice President" or

 3  "Governor and Lieutenant Governor" race that appears at the

 4  top of the ballot or, if neither appears, the first race

 5  appearing on the ballot pursuant to s. 101.151(2), or, in the

 6  case of a purely municipal election, the first municipal race

 7  or issue on that ballot. The tally shall include election-day,

 8  absentee, early voting, provisional, and overseas ballots, in

 9  at least 1 percent but no more than 2 percent of the precincts

10  chosen at random by the county canvassing board or the local

11  board responsible for certifying the election. If 1 percent of

12  the precincts is less than one entire precinct, the audit

13  shall be conducted using at least one precinct chosen at

14  random by the county canvassing board or the local board

15  responsible for certifying the election. Such precincts shall

16  be selected at a publicly-noticed canvassing board meeting.

17         (3)  The canvassing board shall post a notice of the

18  audit, including the date, time, and place, in four

19  conspicuous places in the county and on the home page of the

20  county supervisor of elections web site.

21         (4)  The audit must be completed and the results made

22  public no later than 11:59 p.m. on the 9th day following

23  certification of the election by the county canvassing board

24  or the local board responsible for certifying the election.

25         (5)  Within 15 days after completion of the audit, the

26  county canvassing board or the board responsible for

27  certifying the election shall provide a report with the

28  results of the audit to the Department of State in a standard

29  format as prescribed by the department. The report shall

30  contain, but is not limited to, the following items:

31         (a)  The overall accuracy of audit.

                                  11

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
    582-2511-07




 1         (b)  A description of any problems or discrepancies

 2  encountered.

 3         (c)  The likely cause of such problems or

 4  discrepancies.

 5         (d)  Recommended corrective action with respect to

 6  avoiding or mitigating such circumstances in future elections.

 7         Section 7.  Effective upon this act becoming a law, the

 8  Department of State shall adopt rules to implement the

 9  provisions of s. 101.591, Florida Statutes, as amended by

10  section 4 which prescribe detailed audit procedures for each

11  voting system, which shall be uniform to the extent

12  practicable, along with the standard form for audit reports.

13         Section 8.  Effective upon this act becoming a law:

14         (1)  Notwithstanding ss. 101.292-101.295 and s.

15  101.5604, Florida Statutes, as a condition of the state

16  purchasing optical scan voting equipment and ballot-on-demand

17  equipment to replace touchscreen equipment as provided in

18  section 7, each recipient county hereby authorizes the

19  Secretary of State to act as its agent to negotiate the

20  purchase of new equipment and the sale, exchange, or other

21  disposition of existing touchscreen voting equipment that is

22  not necessary to conduct voting for individuals with

23  disabilities. Further, each such county hereby designates the

24  Secretary of State as the authorized recipient of all proceeds

25  realized from the sale, exchange, or other disposition of the

26  voting equipment up to and including the state's cost to fund

27  the county's new equipment. The secretary shall deposit the

28  proceeds in the Grants and Donations Trust Fund within 60 days

29  after the sale, exchange, or other disposition.

30         (2)  A county commission may choose to opt out of this

31  state funding scheme by filing a notice to that effect with

                                  12

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
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 1  the Department of State no later than June 30, 2007. Any

 2  county choosing to opt out shall continue to be governed by

 3  the provisions of ss. 101.292-101.295 and s. 101.5604, Florida

 4  Statutes, with respect to the purchase of new voting systems

 5  and equipment.

 6         Section 9.  Effective July 1, 2007:

 7         (1)  The Department of State is authorized to purchase:

 8         (a)  Election-day optical scan voting equipment, for

 9  the following counties:  Broward, Charlotte, Collier,

10  Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade,

11  Nassau, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Sumter.

12         (b)  Ballot-on-demand equipment for use at early voting

13  sites, including optical scan tabulators, for the following

14  counties:  Bay, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier,

15  Escambia, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jackson, Lake, Lee,

16  Levy, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okaloosa, Orange,

17  Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Santa Rosa, Sarasota,

18  St. Johns, Sumter, Taylor, and Washington.

19         (2)  The sum of $27,861,850 is appropriated from the

20  Grants and Donations Trust Fund to the Division of Elections

21  within the Department of State for the purpose of implementing

22  this section.

23         Section 10.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section

24  97.041, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

25         97.041  Qualifications to register or vote.--

26         (1)

27         (b)  A person who is otherwise qualified may

28  preregister on or after that person's 17th birthday or receipt

29  of a valid Florida driver's license, whichever occurs earlier,

30  and may vote in any election occurring on or after that

31  person's 18th birthday.

                                  13

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
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 1         Section 11.  Subsections (6) and (7) of section 97.053,

 2  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 3         97.053  Acceptance of voter registration

 4  applications.--

 5         (6)  A voter registration application may be accepted

 6  as valid only after the department has verified the

 7  authenticity or nonexistence of the driver's license number,

 8  the Florida identification card number, or the last four

 9  digits of the social security number provided by the

10  applicant. If a completed voter registration application has

11  been received by the book-closing deadline but the driver's

12  license number, the Florida identification card number, or the

13  last four digits of the social security number provided by the

14  applicant cannot be verified, the applicant shall be notified

15  that the application is incomplete and that the voter must

16  provide evidence to the supervisor sufficient to verify the

17  authenticity of the number provided on the application. If the

18  voter provides the necessary evidence, the supervisor shall

19  place the voter's name on the registration rolls as an active

20  voter. If the voter has not provided the necessary evidence or

21  the number has not otherwise been verified prior to the

22  applicant presenting himself or herself to vote, the applicant

23  shall be provided a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot

24  shall be counted only if the application is verified by the

25  end of the canvassing period or if the applicant presents

26  evidence to the supervisor of elections sufficient to verify

27  the authenticity of the driver's license number, Florida

28  identification card number, or last four digits of the social

29  security number provided on the application no later than 5

30  p.m. of the second third day following the election.

31  

                                  14

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
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 1         (7)  All voter registration applications received by a

 2  voter registration official shall be entered into the

 3  statewide voter registration system within 13 15 days after

 4  receipt. Once entered, the application shall be immediately

 5  forwarded to the appropriate supervisor of elections.

 6         Section 12.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section

 7  99.021, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 8         99.021  Form of candidate oath.--

 9         (1)(a)1.  Each candidate, whether a party candidate, a

10  candidate with no party affiliation, or a write-in candidate,

11  in order to qualify for nomination or election to any office

12  other than a judicial office as defined in chapter 105 or a

13  federal office, shall take and subscribe to an oath or

14  affirmation in writing.  A printed copy of the oath or

15  affirmation shall be furnished to the candidate by the officer

16  before whom such candidate seeks to qualify and shall be

17  substantially in the following form:

18  

19  State of Florida

20  County of....

21         Before me, an officer authorized to administer oaths,

22  personally appeared ...(please print name as you wish it to

23  appear on the ballot)..., to me well known, who, being sworn,

24  says that he or she is a candidate for the office of ....;

25  that he or she is a qualified elector of .... County, Florida;

26  that he or she is qualified under the Constitution and the

27  laws of Florida to hold the office to which he or she desires

28  to be nominated or elected; that he or she has taken the oath

29  required by ss. 876.05-876.10, Florida Statutes; that he or

30  she has qualified for no other public office in the state, the

31  term of which office or any part thereof runs concurrent with

                                  15

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    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
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 1  that of the office he or she seeks; and that he or she has

 2  resigned from any office from which he or she is required to

 3  resign pursuant to s. 99.012, Florida Statutes.

 4                                  ...(Signature of candidate)...

 5                                                 ...(Address)...

 6  

 7  Sworn to and subscribed before me this .... day of ....,

 8  ...(year)..., at .... County, Florida.

 9       ...(Signature and title of officer administering oath)...

10  

11         2.  Each candidate for federal office, whether a party

12  candidate, a candidate with no party affiliation, or a

13  write-in candidate, in order to qualify for nomination or

14  election to office shall take and subscribe to an oath or

15  affirmation in writing. A printed copy of the oath or

16  affirmation shall be furnished to the candidate by the officer

17  before whom such candidate seeks to qualify and shall be

18  substantially in the following form:

19  

20  State of Florida

21  County of __________

22         Before me, an officer authorized to administer oaths,

23  personally appeared (please print name as you wish it to

24  appear on the ballot), to me well known, who, being sworn,

25  says that he or she is a candidate for the office of

26  __________; that he or she is qualified under the Constitution

27  and laws of the United States to hold the office to which he

28  or she desires to be nominated or elected; that he or she has

29  qualified for no other public office in the state, the term of

30  which office or any part thereof runs concurrent with that of

31  the office he or she seeks; and that he or she has resigned

                                  16

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 1  from any office from which he or she is required to resign

 2  pursuant to s. 99.012, Florida Statutes.

 3                                   __(Signature of candidate) __

 4                                                       (Address)

 5  

 6  Sworn to and subscribed before me this _____ day of ______

 7  (year), at _____ County, Florida.

 8       ...(Signature and title of officer administering oath)...

 9         Section 13.  Section 99.061, Florida Statutes, is

10  amended to read:

11         99.061  Method of qualifying for nomination or election

12  to federal, state, county, or district office.--

13         (1)  The provisions of any special act to the contrary

14  notwithstanding, each person seeking to qualify for nomination

15  or election to a federal, state, or multicounty district

16  office, other than election to a judicial office as defined in

17  chapter 105 or the office of school board member, shall file

18  his or her qualification papers with, and pay the qualifying

19  fee, which shall consist of the filing fee and election

20  assessment, and party assessment, if any has been levied, to,

21  the Department of State, or qualify by the petition process

22  pursuant to s. 99.095 with the Department of State, at any

23  time after noon of the 1st day for qualifying, which shall be

24  as follows: the 120th day prior to the primary election, but

25  not later than noon of the 116th day prior to the date of the

26  primary election, for persons seeking to qualify for

27  nomination or election to federal office or to the office of

28  the state attorney or the public defender; and noon of the

29  71st 50th day prior to the primary election, but not later

30  than noon of the 67th 46th day prior to the date of the

31  primary election, for persons seeking to qualify for

                                  17

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 1  nomination or election to a state or multicounty district

 2  office, other than the office of the state attorney or the

 3  public defender.

 4         (2)  The provisions of any special act to the contrary

 5  notwithstanding, each person seeking to qualify for nomination

 6  or election to a county office, or district or special

 7  district office not covered by subsection (1), shall file his

 8  or her qualification papers with, and pay the qualifying fee,

 9  which shall consist of the filing fee and election assessment,

10  and party assessment, if any has been levied, to, the

11  supervisor of elections of the county, or shall qualify by the

12  petition process pursuant to s. 99.095 with the supervisor of

13  elections, at any time after noon of the 1st day for

14  qualifying, which shall be the 71st 50th day prior to the

15  primary election or special district election, but not later

16  than noon of the 67th 46th day prior to the date of the

17  primary election or special district election. However, if a

18  special district election is held at the same time as the

19  general election, qualifying shall be the 50th day prior to

20  the primary election, but not later than noon of the 46th day

21  prior to the date of the primary election. Within 30 days

22  after the closing of qualifying time, the supervisor of

23  elections shall remit to the secretary of the state executive

24  committee of the political party to which the candidate

25  belongs the amount of the filing fee, two-thirds of which

26  shall be used to promote the candidacy of candidates for

27  county offices and the candidacy of members of the

28  Legislature.

29         (3)  Notwithstanding the provisions of any special act

30  to the contrary, each person seeking to qualify for election

31  to a special district office shall qualify between noon of the

                                  18

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 1  71st day prior to the primary election and noon of the 67th

 2  day prior to the date of the primary election. Candidates for

 3  single county special districts shall qualify with the

 4  supervisor of elections in the county in which the district is

 5  located. If the district is a multicounty district, candidates

 6  shall qualify with the Department of State. All special

 7  district candidates shall qualify by paying a filing fee of

 8  $25 or qualify by the petition process pursuant to s. 99.095.

 9  Notwithstanding s. 106.021, a candidate who does not collect

10  contributions and whose only expense is the filing fee or

11  signature verification fee is not required to appoint a

12  campaign treasurer or designate a primary campaign depository.

13         (4)(3)(a)  Each person seeking to qualify for election

14  to office as a write-in candidate shall file his or her

15  qualification papers with the respective qualifying officer at

16  any time after noon of the 1st day for qualifying, but not

17  later than noon of the last day of the qualifying period for

18  the office sought.

19         (b)  Any person who is seeking election as a write-in

20  candidate shall not be required to pay a filing fee, election

21  assessment, or party assessment. A write-in candidate is shall

22  not be entitled to have his or her name printed on any ballot;

23  however, space for the write-in candidate's name to be written

24  in must shall be provided on the general election ballot. A No

25  person may not qualify as a write-in candidate if the person

26  has also otherwise qualified for nomination or election to

27  such office.

28         (5)(4)  At the time of qualifying for office, each

29  candidate for a constitutional office shall file a full and

30  public disclosure of financial interests pursuant to s. 8,

31  Art. II of the State Constitution, and a candidate for any

                                  19

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 1  other office, including local elective office, shall file a

 2  statement of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145.

 3         (6)(5)  The Department of State shall certify to the

 4  supervisor of elections, within 7 days after the closing date

 5  for qualifying, the names of all duly qualified candidates for

 6  nomination or election who have qualified with the Department

 7  of State.

 8         (6)  Notwithstanding the qualifying period prescribed

 9  in this section, if a candidate has submitted the necessary

10  petitions by the required deadline in order to qualify by the

11  petition process pursuant to s. 99.095 as a candidate for

12  nomination or election and the candidate is notified after the

13  5th day prior to the last day for qualifying that the required

14  number of signatures has been obtained, the candidate is

15  entitled to subscribe to the candidate's oath and file the

16  qualifying papers at any time within 5 days from the date the

17  candidate is notified that the necessary number of signatures

18  has been obtained. Any candidate who qualifies within the time

19  prescribed in this subsection is entitled to have his or her

20  name printed on the ballot.

21         (7)(a)  In order for a candidate to be qualified, the

22  following items must be received by the filing officer by the

23  end of the qualifying period:

24         1.  A properly executed check drawn upon the

25  candidate's campaign account in an amount not less than the

26  fee required by s. 99.092 or, in lieu thereof, as applicable,

27  the copy of the notice of obtaining ballot position pursuant

28  to s. 99.095. The filing fee for a special district candidate

29  is not required to be drawn upon the candidate's campaign

30  account. If a candidate's check is returned by the bank for

31  any reason, the filing officer shall immediately notify the

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 1  candidate and the candidate shall, the end of qualifying

 2  notwithstanding, have 48 hours from the time such notification

 3  is received, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays,

 4  to pay the fee with a cashier's check purchased from funds of

 5  the campaign account. Failure to pay the fee as provided in

 6  this subparagraph shall disqualify the candidate.

 7         2.  The candidate's oath required by s. 99.021, which

 8  must contain the name of the candidate as it is to appear on

 9  the ballot; the office sought, including the district or group

10  number if applicable; and the signature of the candidate, duly

11  acknowledged.

12         3.  The loyalty oath required by s. 876.05, signed by

13  the candidate and duly acknowledged.

14         4.  If the office sought is partisan, the written

15  statement of political party affiliation required by s.

16  99.021(1)(b).

17         5.  The completed form for the appointment of campaign

18  treasurer and designation of campaign depository, as required

19  by s. 106.021.

20         6.  The full and public disclosure or statement of

21  financial interests required by subsection (5) (4). A public

22  officer who has filed the full and public disclosure or

23  statement of financial interests with the Commission on Ethics

24  or the supervisor of elections prior to qualifying for office

25  may file a copy of that disclosure at the time of qualifying.

26         (b)  If the filing officer receives qualifying papers

27  that do not include all items as required by paragraph (a)

28  prior to the last day of qualifying, the filing officer shall

29  make a reasonable effort to notify the candidate of the

30  missing or incomplete items and shall inform the candidate

31  that all required items must be received by the close of

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 1  qualifying. A candidate's name as it is to appear on the

 2  ballot may not be changed after the end of qualifying.

 3         (8)  Notwithstanding the qualifying period prescribed

 4  in this section, a qualifying office may accept and hold

 5  qualifying papers submitted not earlier than 14 days prior to

 6  the beginning of the qualifying period, to be processed and

 7  filed during the qualifying period.

 8         (9)  Notwithstanding the qualifying period prescribed

 9  by this section, in each year in which the Legislature

10  apportions the state, the qualifying period for persons

11  seeking to qualify for nomination or election to federal

12  office shall be between noon of the 71st 57th day prior to the

13  primary election, but not later than noon of the 67th 53rd day

14  prior to the primary election.

15         (10)  The Department of State may prescribe by rule

16  requirements for filing papers to qualify as a candidate under

17  this section.

18         Section 14.  Subsections (2) and (4) of section 99.095,

19  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

20         99.095  Petition process in lieu of a qualifying fee

21  and party assessment.--

22         (2)(a)  Except as provided in paragraph (b), a

23  candidate must shall obtain the number of signatures of voters

24  in the geographical area represented by the office sought

25  equal to at least 1 percent of the total number of registered

26  voters of that geographical area, as shown by the compilation

27  by the department for the immediately last preceding general

28  election. Signatures may not be obtained until the candidate

29  has filed the appointment of campaign treasurer and

30  designation of campaign depository pursuant to s. 106.021.

31  

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 1         (b)  A candidate for a special district office shall

 2  obtain 25 signatures of voters in the geographical area

 3  represented by the office sought.

 4         (c)(b)  The format of the petition shall be prescribed

 5  by the division and shall be used by candidates to reproduce

 6  petitions for circulation. If the candidate is running for an

 7  office that requires a group or district designation, the

 8  petition must indicate that designation and, if it does not,

 9  the signatures are not valid. A separate petition is required

10  for each candidate.

11         (4)(a)  Certifications for candidates for federal,

12  state, or multicounty district, or multicounty special

13  district office shall be submitted to the division no later

14  than the 7th day before the first day of the qualifying period

15  for the office sought. The division shall determine whether

16  the required number of signatures has been obtained and shall

17  notify the candidate.

18         (b)  For candidates for county, or district, or special

19  district office not covered by paragraph (a), the supervisor

20  shall determine whether the required number of signatures has

21  been obtained and shall notify the candidate.

22         Section 15.  Section 99.096, Florida Statutes, is

23  amended to read:

24         99.096  Minor political party candidates; names on

25  ballot.--

26         (1)  No later than noon of the third day prior to the

27  first day of the qualifying period prescribed for federal

28  candidates, the executive committee of a minor political party

29  shall submit to the Department of State a list of federal

30  candidates nominated by the party to be on the general

31  election ballot. No later than noon of the third day prior to

                                  23

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 1  the first day of the qualifying period for state candidates,

 2  the executive committee of a minor political party shall

 3  submit to the filing officer for each of the candidates the

 4  official list of the state, multicounty, and county candidates

 5  nominated by that party to be on the ballot in the general

 6  election. The official list of nominated candidates may not be

 7  changed by the party after having been filed with the filing

 8  officers, except that vacancies in nominations may be filled

 9  pursuant to s. 100.111.

10         (2)  Each person seeking to qualify for election as a

11  candidate of a minor political party shall file his or her

12  qualifying papers with, and pay the qualifying fee and, if one

13  has been levied, the party assessment, or qualify by the

14  petition process pursuant to s. 99.095, with the officer and

15  at the times and under the circumstances provided in s.

16  99.061.

17         Section 16.  Section 99.0965, Florida Statutes, is

18  repealed.

19         Section 17.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section

20  100.041, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

21         100.041  Officers chosen at general election.--

22         (2)(a)  Each county commissioner from an odd-numbered

23  district shall be elected at the general election in each year

24  the number of which is a multiple of 4, for a 4-year term

25  commencing on the second Tuesday following such election, and

26  each county commissioner from an even-numbered district shall

27  be elected at the general election in each even-numbered year

28  the number of which is not a multiple of 4, for a 4-year term

29  commencing on the second Tuesday following such election. A

30  county commissioner is "elected" for purposes of this

31  

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 1  paragraph on the date that the county canvassing board

 2  certifies the results of the election pursuant to s. 102.151.

 3         Section 18.  Section 100.061, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         100.061  Primary election.--In each year in which a

 6  general election is held, a primary election for nomination of

 7  candidates of political parties shall be held on the Tuesday

 8  10 9 weeks prior to the general election. The candidate

 9  receiving the highest number of votes cast in each contest in

10  the primary election shall be declared nominated for such

11  office. If two or more candidates receive an equal and highest

12  number of votes for the same office, such candidates shall

13  draw lots to determine which candidate is nominated.

14         Section 19.  Section 100.191, Florida Statutes, is

15  amended to read:

16         100.191  General election laws applicable to special

17  elections; returns.--All laws that are applicable to general

18  elections are applicable to special elections or special

19  primary elections to fill a vacancy in office or nomination,

20  except that the canvass of returns by the county canvassing

21  board of each county in which a special election is held shall

22  be made on the day following the election, and the certificate

23  of the result of the canvass shall be immediately forwarded to

24  the Department of State. The Elections Canvassing Commission

25  shall immediately, upon receipt of returns from the county in

26  which a special election is held, proceed to canvass the

27  returns and determine and declare the result thereof.

28         Section 20.  Subsection (1) of section 101.043, Florida

29  Statutes, is amended to read:

30         101.043  Identification required at polls.--

31  

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 1         (1)  The precinct register, as prescribed in s. 98.461,

 2  shall be used at the polls for the purpose of identifying the

 3  elector at the polls prior to allowing him or her to vote. The

 4  clerk or inspector shall require each elector, upon entering

 5  the polling place, to present one of the following current and

 6  valid picture identifications:

 7         (a)  Florida driver's license.

 8         (b)  Florida identification card issued by the

 9  Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

10         (c)  United States passport.

11         (d)  Employee badge or identification.

12         (e)  Buyer's club identification.

13         (f)  Debit or credit card.

14         (d)(g)  Military identification.

15         (h)  Student identification.

16         (i)  Retirement center identification.

17         (j)  Neighborhood association identification.

18         (e)(k)  Public assistance identification.

19  

20  If the picture identification does not contain the signature

21  of the voter, an additional identification that provides the

22  voter's signature shall be required. The elector shall sign

23  his or her name in the space provided on the precinct register

24  or on an electronic device provided for recording the voter's

25  signature. The clerk or inspector shall compare the signature

26  with that on the identification provided by the elector and

27  enter his or her initials in the space provided on the

28  precinct register or on an electronic device provided for that

29  purpose and allow the elector to vote if the clerk or

30  inspector is satisfied as to the identity of the elector.

31  

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 1         Section 21.  Subsection (1) of section 101.048, Florida

 2  Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         101.048  Provisional ballots.--

 4         (1)  At all elections, a voter claiming to be properly

 5  registered in the state and eligible to vote at the precinct

 6  in the election but whose eligibility cannot be determined, a

 7  person whom an election official asserts is not eligible, and

 8  other persons specified in the code shall be entitled to vote

 9  a provisional ballot. Once voted, the provisional ballot shall

10  be placed in a secrecy envelope and thereafter sealed in a

11  provisional ballot envelope. The provisional ballot shall be

12  deposited in a ballot box. All provisional ballots shall

13  remain sealed in their envelopes for return to the supervisor

14  of elections. The department shall prescribe the form of the

15  provisional ballot envelope. A person casting a provisional

16  ballot shall have the right to present written evidence

17  supporting his or her eligibility to vote to the supervisor of

18  elections by not later than 5 p.m. on the second third day

19  following the election.

20         Section 22.  Subsections (6) and (8) of section

21  101.6103, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

22         101.6103  Mail ballot election procedure.--

23         (6)  The canvassing board may begin the canvassing of

24  mail ballots at 7 a.m. on the sixth fourth day before the

25  election, including processing the ballots through the

26  tabulating equipment. However, results may not be released

27  until after 7 p.m. on election day. Any canvassing board

28  member or election employee who releases any result before 7

29  p.m. on election day commits a felony of the third degree,

30  punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.

31  775.084.

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 1         (8)  Effective July 1, 2005, A ballot that otherwise

 2  satisfies the requirements of subsection (5) shall be counted

 3  even if the elector dies after mailing the ballot but before

 4  election day, as long as, prior to the death of the voter, the

 5  ballot was:

 6         (a)  Postmarked by the United States Postal Service;

 7         (b)  Date-stamped with a verifiable tracking number by

 8  common carrier; or

 9         (c)  Already in the possession of the supervisor of

10  elections.

11         Section 23.  Effective July 1, 2007, subsections (1)

12  and (4) of section 101.62, Florida Statutes, are amended to

13  read:

14         101.62  Request for absentee ballots.--

15         (1)(a)  The supervisor may accept a request for an

16  absentee ballot from an elector in person or in writing.

17  Except as provided in s. 101.694, one request shall be deemed

18  sufficient to receive an absentee ballot for all elections

19  through the next two regularly scheduled general elections

20  which are held within a calendar year, unless the elector or

21  the elector's designee indicates at the time the request is

22  made the elections for which the elector desires to receive an

23  absentee ballot. Such request may be considered canceled when

24  any first-class mail sent by the supervisor to the elector is

25  returned as undeliverable.

26         (b)  The supervisor may accept a written or telephonic

27  request for an absentee ballot from the elector, or, if

28  directly instructed by the elector, a member of the elector's

29  immediate family, or the elector's legal guardian. For

30  purposes of this section, the term "immediate family" has the

31  

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 1  same meaning as specified in paragraph (4)(b). The person

 2  making the request must disclose:

 3         1.  The name of the elector for whom the ballot is

 4  requested;

 5         2.  The elector's address;

 6         3.  The elector's date of birth;

 7         4.  The requester's name;

 8         5.  The requester's address;

 9         6.  The requester's driver's license number, if

10  available;

11         7.  The requester's relationship to the elector; and

12         8.  The requester's signature (written requests only).

13         (4)(a)  To each absent qualified elector overseas who

14  has requested an absentee ballot, the supervisor of elections

15  shall mail an absentee ballot not less fewer than 35 days

16  before the primary election and not less than 45 days before

17  the or general election.

18         (b)  The supervisor shall provide an absentee ballot to

19  each elector by whom a request for that ballot has been made

20  by one of the following means:

21         1.  By nonforwardable, return-if-undeliverable mail to

22  the elector's current mailing address on file with the

23  supervisor, unless the elector specifies in the request that:

24         a.  The elector is absent from the county and does not

25  plan to return before the day of the election;

26         b.  The elector is temporarily unable to occupy the

27  residence because of hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, or other

28  emergency or natural disaster; or

29         c.  The elector is in a hospital, assisted-living

30  facility, nursing home, short-term medical or rehabilitation

31  facility, or correctional facility,

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 1  

 2  in which case the supervisor shall mail the ballot by

 3  nonforwardable, return-if-undeliverable mail to any other

 4  address the elector specifies in the request.

 5         2.  By forwardable mail to voters who are entitled to

 6  vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas

 7  Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

 8         3.  By personal delivery before 7 p.m. on election day

 9  to the elector, upon presentation of the identification

10  required in s. 101.043 s. 101.657.

11         4.  By delivery to a designee on election day or up to

12  5 4 days prior to the day of an election. Any elector may

13  designate in writing a person to pick up the ballot for the

14  elector; however, the person designated may not pick up more

15  than two absentee ballots per election, other than the

16  designee's own ballot, except that additional ballots may be

17  picked up for members of the designee's immediate family. For

18  purposes of this section, "immediate family" means the

19  designee's spouse or the parent, child, grandparent, or

20  sibling of the designee or of the designee's spouse. The

21  designee shall provide to the supervisor the written

22  authorization by the elector and a picture identification of

23  the designee and must complete an affidavit. The designee

24  shall state in the affidavit that the designee is authorized

25  by the elector to pick up that ballot and shall indicate if

26  the elector is a member of the designee's immediate family

27  and, if so, the relationship. The department shall prescribe

28  the form of the affidavit. If the supervisor is satisfied that

29  the designee is authorized to pick up the ballot and that the

30  signature of the elector on the written authorization matches

31  

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 1  the signature of the elector on file, the supervisor shall

 2  give the ballot to that designee for delivery to the elector.

 3         Section 24.  Subsection (2) of section 101.68, Florida

 4  Statutes, is amended to read:

 5         101.68  Canvassing of absentee ballot.--

 6         (2)(a)  The county canvassing board may begin the

 7  canvassing of absentee ballots at 7 a.m. on the sixth fourth

 8  day before the election, but not later than noon on the day

 9  following the election. In addition, for any county using

10  electronic tabulating equipment, the processing of absentee

11  ballots through such tabulating equipment may begin at 7 a.m.

12  on the sixth fourth day before the election. However,

13  notwithstanding any such authorization to begin canvassing or

14  otherwise processing absentee ballots early, no result shall

15  be released until after the closing of the polls in that

16  county on election day. Any supervisor of elections, deputy

17  supervisor of elections, canvassing board member, election

18  board member, or election employee who releases the results of

19  a canvassing or processing of absentee ballots prior to the

20  closing of the polls in that county on election day commits a

21  felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.

22  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

23         (b)  To ensure that all absentee ballots to be counted

24  by the canvassing board are accounted for, the canvassing

25  board shall compare the number of ballots in its possession

26  with the number of requests for ballots received to be counted

27  according to the supervisor's file or list.

28         (c)1.  The canvassing board shall, if the supervisor

29  has not already done so, compare the signature of the elector

30  on the voter's certificate with the signature of the elector

31  in the registration books to see that the elector is duly

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 1  registered in the county and to determine the legality of that

 2  absentee ballot. Effective July 1, 2005, The ballot of an

 3  elector who casts an absentee ballot shall be counted even if

 4  the elector dies on or before election day, as long as, prior

 5  to the death of the voter, the ballot was postmarked by the

 6  United States Postal Service, date-stamped with a verifiable

 7  tracking number by common carrier, or already in the

 8  possession of the supervisor of elections. An absentee ballot

 9  shall be considered illegal if it does not include the

10  signature of the elector, as shown by the registration

11  records. However, an absentee ballot shall not be considered

12  illegal if the signature of the elector does not cross the

13  seal of the mailing envelope. If the canvassing board

14  determines that any ballot is illegal, a member of the board

15  shall, without opening the envelope, mark across the face of

16  the envelope: "rejected as illegal." The envelope and the

17  ballot contained therein shall be preserved in the manner that

18  official ballots voted are preserved.

19         2.  If any elector or candidate present believes that

20  an absentee ballot is illegal due to a defect apparent on the

21  voter's certificate, he or she may, at any time before the

22  ballot is removed from the envelope, file with the canvassing

23  board a protest against the canvass of that ballot, specifying

24  the precinct, the ballot, and the reason he or she believes

25  the ballot to be illegal. A challenge based upon a defect in

26  the voter's certificate may not be accepted after the ballot

27  has been removed from the mailing envelope.

28         (d)  The canvassing board shall record the ballot upon

29  the proper record, unless the ballot has been previously

30  recorded by the supervisor. The mailing envelopes shall be

31  opened and the secrecy envelopes shall be mixed so as to make

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 1  it impossible to determine which secrecy envelope came out of

 2  which signed mailing envelope; however, in any county in which

 3  an electronic or electromechanical voting system is used, the

 4  ballots may be sorted by ballot styles and the mailing

 5  envelopes may be opened and the secrecy envelopes mixed

 6  separately for each ballot style. The votes on absentee

 7  ballots shall be included in the total vote of the county.

 8         Section 25.  Subsection (2) of section 102.112, Florida

 9  Statutes, is amended to read:

10         102.112  Deadline for submission of county returns to

11  the Department of State.--

12         (2)  Returns must be filed by 5 p.m. on the 7th day

13  following a primary election and by noon 5 p.m. on the 12th

14  11th day following the general election. However, the

15  Department of State may correct typographical errors,

16  including the transposition of numbers, in any returns

17  submitted to the Department of State pursuant to s.

18  102.111(1).

19         Section 26.  Present subsections (4) through (9) of

20  section 102.141, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as

21  subsections (5) through (10), respectively, present

22  subsections (4) and (6) of that section are amended, and a new

23  subsection (4) is added to that section, to read:

24         102.141  County canvassing board; duties.--

25         (4)  The canvassing board shall submit by 11:59 p.m. on

26  election night the preliminary returns it has received to the

27  Department of State in a format provided by the department.

28         (5)(4)  The canvassing board shall submit on forms or

29  in formats provided by the division unofficial returns to the

30  Department of State for each federal, statewide, state, or

31  multicounty office or ballot measure no later than noon on the

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 1  third day after any primary election and no later than noon on

 2  the fourth fifth day after any general or other election. Such

 3  returns shall include the canvass of all ballots as required

 4  by subsection (2), except for provisional ballots, which

 5  returns shall be reported at the time required for official

 6  returns pursuant to s. 102.112(2).

 7         (7)(6)  If the unofficial returns reflect that a

 8  candidate for any office was defeated or eliminated by

 9  one-half of a percent or less of the votes cast for such

10  office, that a candidate for retention to a judicial office

11  was retained or not retained by one-half of a percent or less

12  of the votes cast on the question of retention, or that a

13  measure appearing on the ballot was approved or rejected by

14  one-half of a percent or less of the votes cast on such

15  measure, the board responsible for certifying the results of

16  the vote on such race or measure shall order a recount of the

17  votes cast with respect to such office or measure. The

18  Elections Canvassing Commission is the board responsible for

19  ordering federal, state, and multicounty recounts. A recount

20  need not be ordered with respect to the returns for any

21  office, however, if the candidate or candidates defeated or

22  eliminated from contention for such office by one-half of a

23  percent or less of the votes cast for such office request in

24  writing that a recount not be made.

25         (a)  Each canvassing board responsible for conducting a

26  recount shall put each marksense ballot through automatic

27  tabulating equipment and determine whether the returns

28  correctly reflect the votes cast. If any marksense ballot is

29  physically damaged so that it cannot be properly counted by

30  the automatic tabulating equipment during the recount, a true

31  duplicate shall be made of the damaged ballot pursuant to the

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 1  procedures in s. 101.5614(5). Immediately before the start of

 2  the recount, a test of the tabulating equipment shall be

 3  conducted as provided in s. 101.5612. If the test indicates no

 4  error, the recount tabulation of the ballots cast shall be

 5  presumed correct and such votes shall be canvassed

 6  accordingly. If an error is detected, the cause therefor shall

 7  be ascertained and corrected and the recount repeated, as

 8  necessary. The canvassing board shall immediately report the

 9  error, along with the cause of the error and the corrective

10  measures being taken, to the Department of State. No later

11  than 11 days after the election, the canvassing board shall

12  file a separate incident report with the Department of State,

13  detailing the resolution of the matter and identifying any

14  measures that will avoid a future recurrence of the error.

15         (b)  Each canvassing board responsible for conducting a

16  recount where touchscreen ballots were used shall examine the

17  counters on the precinct tabulators to ensure that the total

18  of the returns on the precinct tabulators equals the overall

19  election return. If there is a discrepancy between the overall

20  election return and the counters of the precinct tabulators,

21  the counters of the precinct tabulators shall be presumed

22  correct and such votes shall be canvassed accordingly.

23         (c)  The canvassing board shall submit on forms or in

24  formats provided by the division a second set of unofficial

25  returns to the Department of State for each federal,

26  statewide, state, or multicounty office or ballot measure no

27  later than 3 p.m. on the fifth day after any primary election

28  and no later than 3 p.m. on the ninth eighth day after any

29  general election in which a recount was conducted pursuant to

30  this subsection. If the canvassing board is unable to complete

31  the recount prescribed in this subsection by the deadline, the

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 1  second set of unofficial returns submitted by the canvassing

 2  board shall be identical to the initial unofficial returns and

 3  the submission shall also include a detailed explanation of

 4  why it was unable to timely complete the recount. However, the

 5  canvassing board shall complete the recount prescribed in this

 6  subsection, along with any manual recount prescribed in s.

 7  102.166, and certify election returns in accordance with the

 8  requirements of this chapter.

 9         (d)  The Department of State shall adopt detailed rules

10  prescribing additional recount procedures for each certified

11  voting system, which shall be uniform to the extent

12  practicable.

13         Section 27.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (5) of section

14  102.166, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

15         102.166  Manual recounts.--

16         (5)  Procedures for a manual recount are as follows:

17         (b)  Each duplicate ballot prepared pursuant to s.

18  101.5614(5) or s. 102.141(7) s. 102.141(6) shall be compared

19  with the original ballot to ensure the correctness of the

20  duplicate.

21         Section 28.  Subsection (3) is added to section

22  103.081, Florida Statutes, to read:

23         103.081  Use of party name; political advertising.--

24         (3)  A political party may file with the Department of

25  State names of groups or committees associated with the

26  political party. Such filed names may not be used without

27  first obtaining the written permission of the chair of the

28  state executive committee of the party.

29         Section 29.  Subsections (1) and (4) and paragraph (b)

30  of subsection (6) of section 103.091, Florida Statutes, are

31  amended to read:

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 1         103.091  Political parties.--

 2         (1)  Each political party of the state shall be

 3  represented by a state executive committee.  County executive

 4  committees and other committees may be established in

 5  accordance with the rules of the state executive committee.  A

 6  political party may provide for the selection of its national

 7  committee and its state and county executive committees in

 8  such manner as it deems proper. Unless otherwise provided by

 9  party rule, the county executive committee of each political

10  party shall consist of at least two members, a man and a

11  woman, from each precinct, who shall be called the precinct

12  committeeman and committeewoman.  For counties divided into 40

13  or more precincts, the state executive committee may adopt a

14  district unit of representation for such county executive

15  committees.  Upon adoption of a district unit of

16  representation, the state executive committee shall request

17  the supervisor of elections of that county, with approval of

18  the board of county commissioners, to provide for election

19  districts as nearly equal in number of registered voters as

20  possible.  Each county committeeman or committeewoman shall be

21  a resident of the precinct from which he or she is elected.

22  Each state committeeman or committeewoman must be a member in

23  good standing of the county executive committee for the county

24  in which the state committeeman or committeewoman is a

25  registered voter.

26         (4)  Any political party other than a minor political

27  party may by rule provide for the membership of its state or

28  county executive committee to be elected for 4-year terms at

29  the primary election in each year a presidential election is

30  held. The terms shall commence on the first day of the month

31  following each presidential general election; but the names of

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 1  candidates for political party offices shall not be placed on

 2  the ballot at any other election. The results of such election

 3  shall be determined by a plurality of the votes cast. In such

 4  event, electors seeking to qualify for such office shall do so

 5  with the Department of State or supervisor of elections not

 6  earlier than noon of the 71st 57th day, or later than noon of

 7  the 67th 53rd day, preceding the primary election. The

 8  outgoing chair of each county executive committee shall,

 9  within 30 days after the committee members take office, hold

10  an organizational meeting of all newly elected members for the

11  purpose of electing officers. The chair of each state

12  executive committee shall, within 60 days after the committee

13  members take office, hold an organizational meeting of all

14  newly elected members for the purpose of electing officers.

15         (6)

16         (b)  Each state executive committee shall include, as

17  at-large committeemen and committeewomen, all members of the

18  United States Congress representing the State of Florida who

19  are members of the political party, all statewide elected

20  officials who are members of the party, 10 Florida registered

21  voters who are members of the party as appointed by the

22  Governor if the Governor is a member of the party, and the

23  President of the Senate or the Minority Leader in the Senate,

24  and the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the

25  Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, whichever is

26  a member of the political party, and 20 members of the

27  Legislature who are members of the political party.  Ten of

28  the legislators shall be appointed with the concurrence of the

29  state chair of the respective party, as follows: five to be

30  appointed by the President of the Senate; five by the Minority

31  

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 1  Leader in the Senate; five by the Speaker of the House of

 2  Representatives; and five by the Minority Leader in the House.

 3         Section 30.  Section 103.141, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         103.141  Removal of county executive committee member

 6  for violation of oath.--

 7         (1)  Where the county executive committee by at least a

 8  two-thirds majority vote of the members of the committee,

 9  attending a meeting held after due notice has been given and

10  at which meeting a quorum is present, determines an incumbent

11  county executive committee member to be guilty of an offense

12  involving a violation of the member's oath of office, said

13  member so violating his or her oath shall be removed from

14  office and the office shall be deemed vacant.  Provided,

15  however, if the county committee wrongfully removes a county

16  committee member and the committee member so wrongfully

17  removed files suit in the circuit court alleging his or her

18  removal was wrongful and wins said suit, the committee member

19  shall be restored to office and the county committee shall pay

20  the costs incurred by the wrongfully removed committee member

21  in bringing the suit, including reasonable attorney's fees.

22         (2)  Any officer, county committeeman, county

23  committeewoman, precinct committeeman, precinct

24  committeewoman, or member of a county executive committee may

25  be removed from office pursuant to s. 103.161. Either the

26  county or state executive committee is empowered to take

27  judicial action in chancery against a county committee member

28  for alleged violation of the member's oath of office in the

29  circuit court of the county in which that committee member is

30  an elector; provided, however, that the state committee may

31  take such judicial action only when a county committee refuses

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 1  to take such judicial action within 10 days after a charge is

 2  made. Procedure shall be as in other cases in chancery, and if

 3  the court shall find as fact that the defendant did violate

 4  his or her oath of office, it shall enter a decree removing

 5  the defendant from the county committee.  If either such

 6  executive committee brings suit in the circuit court for the

 7  removal of a county committee member and loses said suit, such

 8  committee shall pay the court costs incurred in such suit by

 9  the committee member, including reasonable attorney's fees.

10         Section 31.  Section 103.151, Florida Statutes, is

11  repealed.

12         Section 32.  Section 103.161, Florida Statutes, is

13  created to read:

14         103.161  Removal of officers or members of state

15  executive committee or county executive committee.--

16         (1)  The chairman of the state executive committee is

17  empowered to remove from an office within the chairman's

18  political party any officer, state committeeman, state

19  committeewoman, county committeeman, county committeewoman,

20  precinct committeeman, precinct committeewoman, or other

21  member of a state executive committee, county executive

22  committee, political party club, or other organization using

23  the political party name as provided in s. 103.081 for a

24  violation of the oath of office taken by such individual.

25         (2)  Such violation may include activities that have or

26  could have injured the name or status of the political party

27  or interfered with the activities of the political party. The

28  chairman has sole discretion to determine if a violation

29  occurred.

30         (3)  Upon the chairman's determination that a violation

31  of the oath of office occurred, the chairman may remove the

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 1  individual from office. Should the chairman remove the

 2  individual from office, the office shall be deemed vacant upon

 3  the delivery of the chairman's written notice of removal to

 4  the individual found in violation of his or her oath of

 5  office. When a vacancy in office is created, the chairman

 6  shall appoint an individual to serve through the end of the

 7  term of the office.

 8         (4)  An individual removed from office by the chairman

 9  is ineligible to serve on the state executive committee or any

10  county executive committee of the political party for a period

11  of no less than 4 years from the effective date of the

12  removal.

13         Section 33.  Subsection (1) of section 105.031, Florida

14  Statutes, is amended to read:

15         105.031  Qualification; filing fee; candidate's oath;

16  items required to be filed.--

17         (1)  TIME OF QUALIFYING.--Except for candidates for

18  judicial office, nonpartisan candidates for multicounty office

19  shall qualify with the Division of Elections of the Department

20  of State and nonpartisan candidates for countywide or less

21  than countywide office shall qualify with the supervisor of

22  elections. Candidates for judicial office other than the

23  office of county court judge shall qualify with the Division

24  of Elections of the Department of State, and candidates for

25  the office of county court judge shall qualify with the

26  supervisor of elections of the county. Candidates for judicial

27  office shall qualify no earlier than noon of the 120th day,

28  and no later than noon of the 116th day, before the primary

29  election. Candidates for the office of school board member

30  shall qualify no earlier than noon of the 71st 50th day, and

31  no later than noon of the 67th 46th day, before the primary

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 1  election. Filing shall be on forms provided for that purpose

 2  by the Division of Elections and furnished by the appropriate

 3  qualifying officer. Any person seeking to qualify by the

 4  petition process, as set forth in s. 105.035, who has

 5  submitted the necessary petitions by the required deadline and

 6  is notified after the fifth day prior to the last day for

 7  qualifying that the required number of signatures has been

 8  obtained, shall be entitled to subscribe to the candidate's

 9  oath and file the qualifying papers at any time within 5 days

10  from the date he or she is notified that the necessary number

11  of signatures has been obtained. Any person other than a

12  write-in candidate who qualifies within the time prescribed in

13  this subsection shall be entitled to have his or her name

14  printed on the ballot.

15         Section 34.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section

16  106.021, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

17         106.021  Campaign treasurers; deputies; primary and

18  secondary depositories.--

19         (1)

20         (c)  Any campaign treasurer or deputy treasurer

21  appointed pursuant to this section shall be a registered voter

22  in this state and shall, before such appointment may become

23  effective, have accepted appointment to such position in

24  writing and filed such acceptance with the officer before whom

25  the candidate is required to qualify or with the officer with

26  whom the political committee is required to file reports.  An

27  individual may be appointed and serve as campaign treasurer of

28  a candidate and a political committee or two or more

29  candidates and political committees.  A candidate may appoint

30  herself or himself as campaign treasurer.

31  

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 1         Section 35.  Subsection (1) of section 106.04, Florida

 2  Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         106.04  Committees of continuous existence.--

 4         (1)  In order to qualify as a committee of continuous

 5  existence for the purposes of this chapter, a group,

 6  organization, association, or other such entity which is

 7  involved in making contributions to candidates, political

 8  committees, or political parties, shall meet the following

 9  criteria:

10         (a)  It shall be organized and operated in accordance

11  with a written charter or set of bylaws which contains

12  procedures for the election of officers and directors and

13  which clearly defines membership in the organization; and

14         (b)  At least 25 percent of the income of such

15  organization, excluding interest, must be derived from dues or

16  assessments payable on a regular basis by its membership

17  pursuant to provisions contained in the charter or bylaws.

18  Dues may be collected by a group, organization, association,

19  or other such entity from its members and forwarded to the

20  committee of continuous existence. All dues collected and

21  forwarded in this manner shall be reported by the committee of

22  continuous existence as dues from the member who originally

23  paid the dues.

24         Section 36.  Section 106.055, Florida Statutes, is

25  amended to read:

26         106.055  Valuation of in-kind contributions.--Any

27  person who makes an in-kind contribution shall, at the time of

28  making such contribution, place a value on such contribution,

29  which valuation shall be the fair market value of such

30  contribution. Travel conveyed upon private aircraft shall be

31  

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 1  valued at the actual cost of per person commercial air travel

 2  for the same or a substantially similar route.

 3         Section 37.  Section 106.09, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         106.09  Cash contributions and contribution by

 6  cashier's checks.--

 7         (1)  A person may not make or accept a cash

 8  contribution or contribution by means of a cashier's check in

 9  excess of $50 $100.

10         (2)(a)  Any person who makes or accepts a contribution

11  in excess of $50 $100 in violation of this section commits a

12  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.

13  775.082 or s. 775.083.

14         (b)  Any person who knowingly and willfully makes or

15  accepts a contribution in excess of $5,000 in violation of

16  this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable

17  as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

18         Section 38.  Subsection (1) of section 106.143, Florida

19  Statutes, is amended to read:

20         106.143  Political advertisements circulated prior to

21  election; requirements.--

22         (1)(a)  Any political advertisement that is paid for by

23  a candidate and that is published, displayed, or circulated

24  prior to, or on the day of, any election must prominently

25  state: "Political advertisement paid for and approved by

26  ...(name of candidate)..., ...(party affiliation)..., for

27  ...(office sought)...."

28         (b)  Any other political advertisement published,

29  displayed, or circulated prior to, or on the day of, any

30  election must prominently:

31  

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 1         1.  Be marked "paid political advertisement" or with

 2  the abbreviation "pd. pol. adv."

 3         2.  State the name and address of the persons

 4  sponsoring the advertisement.

 5         3.a.(I)  State whether the advertisement and the cost

 6  of production is paid for or provided in kind by or at the

 7  expense of the entity publishing, displaying, broadcasting, or

 8  circulating the political advertisement; or

 9         (II)  State who provided or paid for the advertisement

10  and cost of production, if different from the source of

11  sponsorship.

12         b.  This subparagraph does not apply if the source of

13  the sponsorship is patently clear from the content or format

14  of the political advertisement.

15         (c)  Any communication made pursuant to s.

16  106.021(3)(d) must prominently state, "Paid for and sponsored

17  by ...(name of person paying for documentation or

18  communication)."... "Approved by ...(names of persons, party

19  affiliation, and offices sought in the communication)."...

20         (d)  Any communication paid for jointly must state the

21  names and addresses of the persons paying for the

22  communication. If the communication was paid for in-kind,

23  either in whole or in part, the communication must so state.

24  

25  This subsection does not apply to campaign messages used by a

26  candidate and the candidate's supporters if those messages are

27  designed to be worn by a person.

28         Section 39.  Section 106.17, Florida Statutes, is

29  amended to read:

30         106.17  Polls and surveys relating to candidacies.--Any

31  candidate, political committee, committee of continuous

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 1  existence, electioneering communication organization, or state

 2  or county executive committee of a political party may

 3  authorize or conduct a political poll, survey, index, or

 4  measurement of any kind relating to candidacy for public

 5  office so long as the candidate, political committee,

 6  committee of continuous existence, electioneering

 7  communication organization, or political party maintains

 8  complete jurisdiction over the poll in all its aspects.

 9         Section 40.  Section 106.25, Florida Statutes, is

10  amended to read:

11         106.25  Reports of alleged violations to Florida

12  Elections Commission; disposition of findings.--

13         (1)  Jurisdiction to investigate and determine

14  violations of this chapter and chapter 104 is vested in the

15  Florida Elections Commission; however, nothing in this section

16  limits the jurisdiction of any other officers or agencies of

17  government empowered by law to investigate, act upon, or

18  dispose of alleged violations of this code.

19         (2)  The commission shall investigate all violations of

20  this chapter and chapter 104, but only after having received

21  either a sworn complaint or information reported to it under

22  this subsection by the Division of Elections. Such sworn

23  complaint must be based upon personal information or

24  information other than hearsay. Any person, other than the

25  division, having information of any violation of this chapter

26  or chapter 104 shall file a sworn complaint with the

27  commission. The commission shall investigate only those

28  alleged violations specifically contained within the sworn

29  complaint. If any complainant fails to allege all violations

30  that arise from the facts or allegations alleged in a

31  complaint, the commission shall be barred from investigating a

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 1  subsequent complaint from such complainant that is based upon

 2  such facts or allegations that were raised or could have been

 3  raised in the first complaint. If the complaint includes

 4  allegations of violations relating to expense items reimbursed

 5  by a candidate, committee, or organization to the campaign

 6  account before a sworn complaint is filed, the commission

 7  shall be barred from investigating such allegations. Such

 8  sworn complaint shall state whether a complaint of the same

 9  violation has been made to any state attorney. Within 5 days

10  after receipt of a sworn complaint, the commission shall

11  transmit a copy of the complaint to the alleged violator. If

12  the executive director finds that the complaint is legally

13  sufficient, the respondent shall be notified of such finding

14  by letter, which sets forth the statutory provisions alleged

15  to have been violated and the alleged factual basis that

16  supports the finding. All sworn complaints alleging violations

17  of the Florida Election Code over which the commission has

18  jurisdiction shall be filed with the commission within 2 years

19  after the alleged violations. The period of limitations is

20  tolled on the day a sworn complaint is filed with the

21  commission. The complainant may withdraw the sworn complaint

22  at any time prior to a probable cause hearing if good cause is

23  shown. Withdrawal shall be requested in writing, signed by the

24  complainant, and witnessed by a notary public, stating the

25  facts and circumstances constituting good cause. The executive

26  director shall prepare a written recommendation regarding

27  disposition of the request which shall be given to the

28  commission together with the request. "Good cause" shall be

29  determined based upon the legal sufficiency or insufficiency

30  of the complaint to allege a violation and the reasons given

31  by the complainant for wishing to withdraw the complaint. If

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 1  withdrawal is permitted, the commission must close the

 2  investigation and the case. No further action may be taken.

 3  The complaint will become a public record at the time of

 4  withdrawal.

 5         (3)  For the purposes of commission jurisdiction, a

 6  violation shall mean the willful performance of an act

 7  prohibited by this chapter or chapter 104 or the willful

 8  failure to perform an act required by this chapter or chapter

 9  104. Willfulness is a determination of fact; however, at the

10  request of the respondent, willfulness may be considered and

11  determined in an informal hearing before the commission.

12         (4)  The commission shall undertake a preliminary

13  investigation to determine if the facts alleged in a sworn

14  complaint or a matter initiated by the division constitute

15  probable cause to believe that a violation has occurred. The

16  respondent, the complainant, and their respective counsel

17  shall be permitted to attend the hearing at which the probable

18  cause determination is made. Notice of the hearing shall be

19  sent to the respondent and the complainant at least 14 days

20  prior to the date of the hearing. The respondent and his or

21  her counsel shall be permitted to make a brief oral statement

22  in the nature of oral argument to the commission before the

23  probable cause determination. The commission's determination

24  shall be based upon the investigator's report, the complaint,

25  and staff recommendations, as well as any written statements

26  submitted by the respondent and any oral statements made at

27  the hearing. No testimony or other evidence shall be accepted

28  at the hearing. Upon completion of the preliminary

29  investigation, the commission shall, by written report, find

30  probable cause or no probable cause to believe that this

31  chapter or chapter 104 has been violated.

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 1         (a)  When the investigator's report is completed, the

 2  executive director shall notify the respondent that the report

 3  is completed and shall send to the respondent a copy of the

 4  investigator's report. The investigatory file and main

 5  complaint file shall be open for inspection by the respondent

 6  and the respondent's counsel at that time, and copies may be

 7  obtained at no more than cost.

 8         (b)  The respondent shall be given not less than 14

 9  days from the date of mailing of the investigator's report to

10  file with the commission a written response to the

11  investigator's report. This time period may be shortened with

12  the consent of the respondent, or without the consent of the

13  respondent when the passage of time could reasonably be

14  expected to render moot the ultimate disposition of the matter

15  by the commission so long as reasonable notice under the

16  circumstances is given.

17         (c)  Counsel for the commission shall review the

18  investigator's report and shall make a written recommendation

19  to the commission for the disposition of the complaint. If the

20  counsel for the commission recommends that the commission find

21  probable cause, the recommendation shall include a statement

22  of what charges shall be at issue. A copy of the

23  recommendation shall be furnished to the respondent. The

24  respondent shall be given not less than 14 days from the date

25  of mailing of the recommendation of counsel for the commission

26  to file with the commission a written response to the

27  recommendation. This time period may be shortened with the

28  consent of the respondent, or without the consent of the

29  respondent when the passage of time could reasonably be

30  expected to render moot the ultimate disposition of the matter

31  by the commission, so long as the recommendation is furnished

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 1  to the respondent within a reasonable period of time under the

 2  circumstances.

 3         (d)  The respondent and each complainant, their

 4  counsel, and the counsel for the commission shall be permitted

 5  to attend the hearing at which the probable cause

 6  determination is made. Notice of the hearing shall be sent to

 7  the respondent, each complainant, and counsel for the

 8  commission at least 14 days before the hearing. This time

 9  period may be shortened with the consent of the respondent, or

10  without the consent of the respondent when the passage of time

11  could reasonably be expected to render moot the ultimate

12  disposition of the matter by the commission, so long as the

13  notice is furnished within a reasonable period of time under

14  the circumstances.

15         (e)  The probable cause determination is the conclusion

16  of the preliminary investigation. The respondent and the

17  counsel for the commission shall be permitted to make brief

18  oral statements in the nature of oral argument to the

19  commission, based on the investigator's report, before the

20  probable cause determination. The commission's determination

21  shall be based upon the investigator's report, the

22  recommendation of counsel for the commission, the complaint,

23  and staff recommendations, as well as any written statements

24  submitted by the respondent and any oral statements made at

25  the hearing. No testimony or other evidence will be accepted

26  at the hearing.

27         (f)  At its meeting to determine probable cause, the

28  commission may continue its determination to allow further

29  investigation; may order the issuance of a public report of

30  its investigation if it finds no probable cause to believe

31  that there has been a violation of this chapter or chapter

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 1  104, concluding the matter before it; may order a final,

 2  public hearing of the complaint if it finds probable cause to

 3  believe that there has been a violation of this chapter or

 4  chapter 104; or may take such other action as it deems

 5  necessary to resolve the complaint, consistent with due

 6  process of law. In making its determination, the commission

 7  may consider:

 8         1.  The sufficiency of the evidence against the

 9  respondent, as contained in the investigator's report;

10         2.  The admissions and other stipulations of the

11  respondent, if any;

12         3.  The nature and circumstances of the respondent's

13  actions;

14         4.  The expense of further proceedings; and

15         5.  Such other factors as it deems material to its

16  decision.

17  

18  If the commission finds probable cause, the commission shall

19  determine what charges shall be at issue.

20         (g)(a)  If no probable cause is found, the commission

21  shall dismiss the case and the case shall become a matter of

22  public record, except as otherwise provided in this section,

23  together with a written statement of the findings of the

24  preliminary investigation and a summary of the facts which the

25  commission shall send to the complainant and the alleged

26  violator. A finding of no probable cause by the commission is

27  a full adjudication of all such matters. The commission may

28  not charge a respondent in a subsequent complaint alleging

29  violations based upon the same actions, nonactions, or

30  circumstances wherein the commission found no probable cause.

31  

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 1         (h)(b)  If probable cause is found, the commission

 2  shall so notify the complainant and the alleged violator in

 3  writing. All documents made or received in the disposition of

 4  the complaint shall become public records upon a finding by

 5  the commission.

 6         (i)1.  Upon a commission finding of probable cause, the

 7  counsel for the commission shall attempt to reach a consent

 8  agreement with the respondent.

 9         2.  A consent agreement is not binding upon either

10  party unless and until it is signed by the respondent and by

11  counsel for the commission upon approval by the commission.

12         3.  Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the

13  commission from entering into a consent agreement with a

14  respondent prior to a commission finding of probable cause if

15  a respondent indicates in writing a desire to enter into

16  negotiations directed towards reaching such a consent

17  agreement. Any consent agreement reached under this

18  subparagraph is subject to the provisions of subparagraph 2.

19  and shall have the same force and effect as a consent

20  agreement reached after the commission finding of probable

21  cause.

22         (j)  If a consent agreement is reached between the

23  commission and the respondent, counsel for the commission

24  shall send a copy of the signed agreement to both complainant

25  and respondent.

26  

27  In a case where probable cause is found, the commission shall

28  make a preliminary determination to consider the matter or to

29  refer the matter to the state attorney for the judicial

30  circuit in which the alleged violation occurred.

31  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the

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 1  commission may, at its discretion, dismiss any complaint at

 2  any stage of disposition if it determines that the public

 3  interest would not be served by proceeding further, in which

 4  case the commission shall issue a public report stating with

 5  particularity its reasons for the dismissal.

 6         (5)  Unless When there are disputed issues of material

 7  fact in a proceeding conducted under ss. 120.569 and 120.57, a

 8  person alleged by the Elections Commission to have committed a

 9  violation of this chapter or chapter 104 elects may elect,

10  within 30 days after the date of the filing of the

11  commission's allegations, to have a formal or informal hearing

12  conducted before the commission, or elects to resolve the

13  complaint by consent order, such person shall be entitled to a

14  formal administrative hearing conducted by an administrative

15  law judge in the Division of Administrative Hearings. The

16  administrative law judge in such proceedings shall enter a

17  final order subject to appeal as provided in s. 120.68.

18         (6)  It is the duty of a state attorney receiving a

19  complaint referred by the commission to investigate the

20  complaint promptly and thoroughly; to undertake such criminal

21  or civil actions as are justified by law; and to report to the

22  commission the results of such investigation, the action

23  taken, and the disposition thereof.  The failure or refusal of

24  a state attorney to prosecute or to initiate action upon a

25  complaint or a referral by the commission shall not bar

26  further action by the commission under this chapter.

27         (7)  Every sworn complaint filed pursuant to this

28  chapter with the commission, every investigation and

29  investigative report or other paper of the commission with

30  respect to a violation of this chapter or chapter 104, and

31  every proceeding of the commission with respect to a violation

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 1  of this chapter or chapter 104 is confidential, is exempt from

 2  the provisions of ss. 119.07(1) and 286.011, and is exempt

 3  from publication in the Florida Administrative Weekly of any

 4  notice or agenda with respect to any proceeding relating to

 5  such violation, except under the following circumstances:

 6         (a)  As provided in subsection (6);

 7         (b)  Upon a determination of probable cause or no

 8  probable cause by the commission; or

 9         (c)  For proceedings conducted with respect to appeals

10  of fines levied by filing officers for the late filing of

11  reports required by this chapter.

12  

13  However, a complainant is not bound by the confidentiality

14  provisions of this section.  In addition, confidentiality may

15  be waived in writing by the person against whom the complaint

16  has been filed or the investigation has been initiated.  If a

17  finding of probable cause in a case is entered within 30 days

18  prior to the date of the election with respect to which the

19  alleged violation occurred, such finding and the proceedings

20  and records relating to such case shall not become public

21  until noon of the day following such election.  When two or

22  more persons are being investigated by the commission with

23  respect to an alleged violation of this chapter or chapter

24  104, the commission may not publicly enter a finding of

25  probable cause or no probable cause in the case until a

26  finding of probable cause or no probable cause for the entire

27  case has been determined. However, once the confidentiality of

28  any case has been breached, the person or persons under

29  investigation have the right to waive the confidentiality of

30  the case, thereby opening up the proceedings and records to

31  the public.  Any person who discloses any information or

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 1  matter made confidential by the provisions of this subsection

 2  commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as

 3  provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

 4         (8)  Any person who files a complaint pursuant to this

 5  section while knowing that the allegations contained in such

 6  complaint are false or without merit commits a misdemeanor of

 7  the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.

 8  775.083.

 9         (9)  The commission shall maintain a database of all

10  final orders and agency actions. Such database shall be

11  available to the public and shall be maintained in such a

12  manner as to be searchable, at a minimum, by issue, statutes,

13  individuals, or entities referenced.

14         Section 41.  Subsection (4) of section 106.35, Florida

15  Statutes, is amended to read:

16         106.35  Distribution of funds.--

17         (4)  Distribution of funds shall be made beginning on

18  the 32nd day prior to the primary within 7 days after the

19  close of qualifying and every 7 days thereafter.

20         Section 42.  Section 112.51, Florida Statutes, is

21  amended to read:

22         112.51  Municipal officers; suspension; removal from

23  office.--

24         (1)  By executive order stating the grounds for the

25  suspension and filed with the Secretary of State, the Governor

26  may suspend from office any elected or appointed municipal

27  official for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty,

28  habitual drunkenness, incompetence, or permanent inability to

29  perform official duties.

30         (2)  Whenever any elected or appointed municipal

31  official is arrested for a felony or for a misdemeanor related

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 1  to the duties of office or is indicted or informed against for

 2  the commission of a federal felony or misdemeanor or state

 3  felony or misdemeanor, the Governor has the power to suspend

 4  such municipal official from office.

 5         (3)  The suspension of such official by the Governor

 6  creates a temporary vacancy in such office during the

 7  suspension. Any temporary vacancy in office created by

 8  suspension of an official under the provisions of this section

 9  shall be filled by a temporary appointment to such office for

10  the period of the suspension.  Such temporary appointment

11  shall be made in the same manner and by the same authority by

12  which a permanent vacancy in such office is filled as provided

13  by law.  If no provision for filling a permanent vacancy in

14  such office is provided by law, the temporary appointment

15  shall be made by the Governor.

16         (4)  No municipal official who has been suspended from

17  office under this section may perform any official act, duty,

18  or function during his or her suspension; receive any pay or

19  allowance during his or her suspension; or be entitled to any

20  of the emoluments or privileges of his or her office during

21  suspension.

22         (5)  If the municipal official is convicted of any of

23  the charges contained in the indictment or information by

24  reason of which he or she was suspended under the provisions

25  of this section, the Governor shall remove such municipal

26  official from office. If a person was selected to fill the

27  temporary vacancy pursuant to subsection (3), that person

28  shall serve the remaining balance, if any, of the removed

29  official's term of office. Otherwise, any vacancy created by

30  the removal shall be filled as provided by law. For the

31  purposes of this section, any person who pleads guilty or nolo

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 1  contendere or who is found guilty shall be deemed to have been

 2  convicted, notwithstanding a suspension of sentence or a

 3  withholding of adjudication.

 4         (6)  If the municipal official is acquitted or found

 5  not guilty or is otherwise cleared of the charges which were

 6  the basis of the arrest, indictment, or information by reason

 7  of which he or she was suspended under the provisions of this

 8  section, then the Governor shall forthwith revoke the

 9  suspension and restore such municipal official to office; and

10  the official shall be entitled to and be paid full back pay

11  and such other emoluments or allowances to which he or she

12  would have been entitled for the full period of time of the

13  suspension.  If, during the suspension, the term of office of

14  the municipal official expires and a successor is either

15  appointed or elected, such back pay, emoluments, or allowances

16  shall only be paid for the duration of the term of office

17  during which the municipal official was suspended under the

18  provisions of this section, and he or she shall not be

19  reinstated.

20         Section 43.  Section 106.37, Florida Statutes, is

21  repealed.

22         Section 44.  Subsections (2) and (3) of section

23  189.405, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

24         189.405  Elections; general requirements and

25  procedures; education programs.--

26         (2)(a)  Any independent special district located

27  entirely in a single county may provide for the conduct of

28  district elections by the supervisor of elections for that

29  county.  Any independent special district that conducts its

30  elections through the office of the supervisor shall make

31  election procedures consistent with the Florida Election Code.

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 1         (b)  Any independent special district not conducting

 2  district elections through the supervisor of elections shall

 3  report to the supervisor in a timely manner the purpose, date,

 4  authorization, procedures, and results of each election

 5  conducted by the district.

 6         (c)  A candidate for a position on a governing board of

 7  a single-county special district that has its elections

 8  conducted by the supervisor of elections shall qualify for the

 9  office with the county supervisor of elections in whose

10  jurisdiction the district is located. Elections for governing

11  board members elected by registered electors shall be

12  nonpartisan, except when partisan elections are specified by a

13  district's charter. Candidates shall qualify as directed by

14  chapter 99. by paying a filing fee equal to 3 percent of the

15  salary or honorarium paid for the office, or a filing fee of

16  $25, whichever is more. Alternatively, candidates may qualify

17  by submitting a petition that contains the signatures of at

18  least 3 percent of the district's registered electors, or any

19  lesser amount of signatures directed by chapter 99, chapter

20  582, or other general or special law.  No election or party

21  assessment shall be levied if the election is nonpartisan. The

22  qualifying fee shall be remitted to the general revenue fund

23  of the qualifying officer to help defray the cost of the

24  election. The petition form shall be submitted and checked in

25  the same manner as those for nonpartisan judicial candidates

26  pursuant to s. 105.035.

27         (3)(a)  If a multicounty special district has a

28  popularly elected governing board, elections for the purpose

29  of electing members to such board shall conform to the Florida

30  Election Code, chapters 97-106.

31  

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 1         (b)  With the exception of those districts conducting

 2  elections on a one-acre/one-vote basis, qualifying for

 3  multicounty special district governing board positions shall

 4  be coordinated by the Department of State.  Elections for

 5  governing board members elected by registered electors shall

 6  be nonpartisan, except when partisan elections are specified

 7  by a district's charter. Candidates shall qualify as directed

 8  by chapter 99. by paying a filing fee equal to 3 percent of

 9  the salary or honorarium paid for the office, or a filing fee

10  of $25, whichever is more. Alternatively, candidates may

11  qualify by submitting a petition that contains the signatures

12  of at least 3 percent of the district's registered electors,

13  or any lesser amount of signatures directed by chapter 99,

14  chapter 582, or other general or special law.  No election or

15  party assessment shall be levied if the election is

16  nonpartisan. The qualifying fee shall be remitted to the

17  Department of State. The petition form shall be submitted and

18  checked in the same manner as those for nonpartisan judicial

19  candidates pursuant to s. 105.035.

20         Section 45.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section

21  191.005, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

22         191.005  District boards of commissioners; membership,

23  officers, meetings.--

24         (1)(a)  With the exception of districts whose governing

25  boards are appointed collectively by the Governor, the county

26  commission, and any cooperating city within the county, the

27  business affairs of each district shall be conducted and

28  administered by a five-member board. All three-member boards

29  existing on the effective date of this act shall be converted

30  to five-member boards, except those permitted to continue as a

31  three-member board by special act adopted in 1997 or

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 1  thereafter. The board shall be elected in nonpartisan

 2  elections by the electors of the district.  Except as provided

 3  in this act, such elections shall be held at the time and in

 4  the manner prescribed by law for holding general elections in

 5  accordance with s. 189.405(2)(a) and (3), and each member

 6  shall be elected for a term of 4 years and serve until the

 7  member's successor assumes office. Candidates for the board of

 8  a district shall qualify as directed by chapter 99. with the

 9  county supervisor of elections in whose jurisdiction the

10  district is located.  If the district is a multicounty

11  district, candidates shall qualify with the Department of

12  State.  All candidates may qualify by paying a filing fee of

13  $25 or by obtaining the signatures of at least 25 registered

14  electors of the district on petition forms provided by the

15  supervisor of elections which petitions shall be submitted and

16  checked in the same manner as petitions filed by nonpartisan

17  judicial candidates pursuant to s. 105.035. Notwithstanding s.

18  106.021, a candidate who does not collect contributions and

19  whose only expense is the filing fee is not required to

20  appoint a campaign treasurer or designate a primary campaign

21  depository.

22         Section 46.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section

23  582.18, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

24         582.18  Election of supervisors of each district.--

25         (1)  The election of supervisors for each soil and

26  water conservation district shall be held every 2 years.  The

27  elections shall be held at the time of the general election

28  provided for by s. 100.041.  The office of the supervisor of a

29  soil and water conservation district is a nonpartisan office,

30  and candidates for such office are prohibited from campaigning

31  or qualifying for election based on party affiliation.

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 1         (a)  Each candidate for supervisor for such district

 2  shall qualify as directed by chapter 99. be nominated by

 3  nominating petition subscribed by 25 or more qualified

 4  electors of such district.  Candidates shall obtain signatures

 5  on petition forms prescribed by the Department of State and

 6  furnished by the appropriate qualifying officer.  In

 7  multicounty districts, the appropriate qualifying officer is

 8  the Secretary of State; in single-county districts, the

 9  appropriate qualifying officer is the supervisor of elections.

10  Such forms may be obtained at any time after the first Tuesday

11  after the first Monday in January preceding the election, but

12  prior to the 21st day preceding the first day of the

13  qualifying period for state office. Each petition shall be

14  submitted, prior to noon of the 21st day preceding the first

15  day of the qualifying period for state office, to the

16  supervisor of elections of the county for which such petition

17  was circulated.  The supervisor of elections shall check the

18  signatures on the petition to verify their status as electors

19  in the district. Prior to the first date for qualifying, the

20  supervisor of elections shall determine whether the required

21  single-county signatures have been obtained; and she or he

22  shall so notify the candidate.  In the case of a multicounty

23  candidate, the supervisor of elections shall check the

24  signatures on petitions and shall, prior to the first date for

25  qualifying for office, certify to the Department of State the

26  number shown as registered electors of the district. The

27  Department of State shall determine if the required number of

28  signatures has been obtained for multicounty candidates and

29  shall so notify the candidate.  If the required number of

30  signatures has been obtained for the name of the candidate to

31  be placed on the ballot, the candidate shall, during the time

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 1  prescribed for qualifying for office in s. 99.061, submit a

 2  copy of the notice to, and file her or his qualification

 3  papers with, the qualifying officer and take the oath

 4  prescribed in s. 99.021.

 5         Section 47.  Subsection (1) of section 876.05, Florida

 6  Statutes, is amended to read:

 7         876.05  Public employees; oath.--

 8         (1)  All persons who now or hereafter are employed by

 9  or who now or hereafter are on the payroll of the state, or

10  any of its departments and agencies, subdivisions, counties,

11  cities, school boards and districts of the free public school

12  system of the state or counties, or institutions of higher

13  learning, and all candidates for public office, except

14  candidates for federal office, are required to take an oath

15  before any person duly authorized to take acknowledgments of

16  instruments for public record in the state in the following

17  form:

18  

19         I, ...., a citizen of the State of Florida and of the

20  United States of America, and being employed by or an officer

21  of .... and a recipient of public funds as such employee or

22  officer, do hereby solemnly swear or affirm that I will

23  support the Constitution of the United States and of the State

24  of Florida.

25         Section 48.  Except as otherwise expressly provided in

26  this act and except for this section, which shall take effect

27  upon becoming a law, this act shall take effect January 1,

28  2008.

29  

30  

31  

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 1          STATEMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES CONTAINED IN
                       COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
 2                     Senate Bill's 960 & 1010

 3                                 

 4  The committee substitute substantially differs from the
    original bill in that it:  requires precinct-based optical
 5  scan voting for all voters on election-day and at early
    voting, except for disabled voters who may continue to vote on
 6  existing touchscreen machines; authorizes the use of
    ballot-on-demand ballot production technology for absentee and
 7  early voting, and allows its use on election-day if the
    Secretary of State so authorizes; replaces an unused audit
 8  provision in Florida Statutes with a post-election,
    post-certification requirement that local canvassing boards
 9  audit the top race on the ballot in at least 1% but not more
    than 2% of the precincts; appropriates approximately $27.9
10  million to the Department of State to purchase new voting
    equipment for the counties, and provides that the Secretary of
11  State shall act as the buying and selling agent for the
    counties; moves the date of the presidential preference
12  primary to the last Tuesday in January (January 29, 2008);
    authorizes municipalities to move their local election dates
13  by ordinance to coincide with the new presidential preference
    primary date; provides for voter pre-registration upon receipt
14  of a valid Florida driver's license; provides notice and
    opportunity to voters to provide sufficient evidence prior to
15  election day to verify a voter registration application;
    exempts federal candidates from the current candidate oath and
16  public employee oath; creates a new federal candidate oath;
    changes the qualification period for state, multicounty
17  district, county, district, and special district offices,
    except judicial offices or the offices of state attorney or
18  public defender; provides a uniform method of qualifying for
    special district offices; changes the way in which a minor
19  political party selects candidates for nomination to office;
    provides that a county commissioner is "elected" at the time
20  of certification of the election results; changes the primary
    election to 10 weeks before general election, rather than 9
21  weeks; provides that all laws applicable to general elections
    are applicable to special elections; changes the forms of
22  acceptable identification required at the polls; includes
    provisional ballots in the first set of unofficial returns;
23  provides that ballots in a mail ballot election may be
    canvassed on the sixth day prior to the election rather than
24  the fourth day; provides that requests for absentee ballots
    are effective for all elections through next two general
25  elections; requires supervisors to send absentee ballots
    overseas at least 45 days before the general election; allots
26  on the sixth day before the election rather than the fourth
    day; provides an additional 19 hours for the submission of
27  returns after a general election; requires the submission of
    preliminary election returns to the department on election
28  night; provides that the names of groups associated with a
    political party which are filed with the Department of State
29  may not be used without permission; provides that state
    committeemen and women must be a member in good standing of
30  the county executive committee in the county where he or she
    is a registered voter; provides for an additional ten members
31  of the party to be appointed by the Governor for inclusion on
    the state executive committee if the members are Florida
                                  63

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






    Florida Senate - 2007                   CS for SB's 960 & 1010
    582-2511-07




 1  registered voters and if the Governor is a member of the
    party; moves up the qualification period for candidates for a
 2  state or county executive committee office of a political
    party by two weeks; provides that the state executive
 3  committee chair may remove state or county party officers or
    members for violation of the oath of office; removes
 4  requirement that a campaign treasurer and deputy treasurer of
    a political committee or candidate has to be a registered
 5  voter of Florida; allows groups to collect dues from its
    members and forward those dues to the committee of continuous
 6  existence (CCE), which must report the dues as coming from the
    member who originally paid the dues; values private air travel
 7  at the cost of what commercial air travel would cost for the
    same or a substantially similar route; prohibits a person from
 8  making or accepting any cash contribution in excess of $50;
    provides new disclosure requirements for certain
 9  communications; provides that committees of continuous
    existence and electioneering communication organizations may
10  conduct candidacy polls; changes the requirements for
    complaints and the procedure for their disposition before the
11  Florida Elections Commission; requires the Florida Elections
    commission to maintain a public, searchable database of all
12  final orders and agency actions; provides that if a person is
    selected to fill a temporary vacancy in a municipal office due
13  to the suspension of the officeholder, the person may serve
    the remainder of the officeholder's term if the officeholder
14  is subsequently removed from office; repeals ss. 99.0965,
    103.151, 106.37, F.S. Except as provided, the committee
15  substitute will take effect on January 1, 2008.

16  

17  

18  

19  

20  

21  

22  

23  

24  

25  

26  

27  

28  

29  

30  

31  

                                  64

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

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