September 27, 2020
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The Florida Statutes

The 2003 Florida Statutes

Title IX
ELECTORS AND ELECTIONS
Chapter 97
QUALIFICATION AND REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS
View Entire Chapter
Section 97.021, Florida Statutes 2003

97.021  Definitions.--For the purposes of this code, except where the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term:

(1)  "Absent elector" means any registered and qualified voter who casts an absentee ballot.

1(2)  "Alternative formats" has the meaning ascribed in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336, 42 U.S.C. ss. 12101 et seq., including specifically the technical assistance manuals promulgated thereunder, as amended.

(3)  "Ballot" or "official ballot" when used in reference to:

(a)  "Paper ballots" means that printed sheet of paper, used in conjunction with an electronic or electromechanical vote tabulation voting system, containing the names of candidates, or a statement of proposed constitutional amendments or other questions or propositions submitted to the electorate at any election, on which sheet of paper an elector casts his or her vote.

(b)  "Electronic or electromechanical devices" means a ballot that is voted by the process of electronically designating, including by touchscreen, or marking with a marking device for tabulation by automatic tabulating equipment or data processing equipment.

(4)  "Candidate" means any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:

(a)  Any person who seeks to qualify for nomination or election by means of the petitioning process.

(b)  Any person who seeks to qualify for election as a write-in candidate.

(c)  Any person who receives contributions or makes expenditures, or gives his or her consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures, with a view to bringing about his or her nomination or election to, or retention in, public office.

(d)  Any person who appoints a treasurer and designates a primary depository.

(e)  Any person who files qualification papers and subscribes to a candidate's oath as required by law.

However, this definition does not include any candidate for a political party executive committee.

(5)  "Department" means the Department of State.

(6)  "Division" means the Division of Elections of the Department of State.

(7)  "Election" means any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election.

(8)  "Election board" means the clerk and inspectors appointed to conduct an election.

(9)  "Election costs" shall include, but not be limited to, expenditures for all paper supplies such as envelopes, instructions to voters, affidavits, reports, ballot cards, ballot booklets for absentee voters, postage, notices to voters; advertisements for registration book closings, testing of voting equipment, sample ballots, and polling places; forms used to qualify candidates; polling site rental and equipment delivery and pickup; data processing time and supplies; election records retention; and labor costs, including those costs uniquely associated with absentee ballot preparation, poll workers, and election night canvass.

(10)  "Elector" is synonymous with the word "voter" or "qualified elector or voter," except where the word is used to describe presidential electors.

(11)  "General election" means an election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in the even-numbered years, for the purpose of filling national, state, county, and district offices and for voting on constitutional amendments not otherwise provided for by law.

(12)  "Lists of registered electors" means copies of printed lists of registered electors, computer tapes or disks, or any other device used by the supervisor of elections to maintain voter records.

(13)  "Member of the Merchant Marine" means an individual, other than a member of a uniformed service or an individual employed, enrolled, or maintained on the Great Lakes for the inland waterways, who is:

(a)  Employed as an officer or crew member of a vessel documented under the laws of the United States, a vessel owned by the United States, or a vessel of foreign-flag registry under charter to or control of the United States; or

(b)  Enrolled with the United States for employment or training for employment, or maintained by the United States for emergency relief service, as an officer or crew member of such vessel.

(14)  "Minor political party" is any group as defined in this subsection which on January 1 preceding a primary election does not have registered as members 5 percent of the total registered electors of the state. Any group of citizens organized for the general purposes of electing to office qualified persons and determining public issues under the democratic processes of the United States may become a minor political party of this state by filing with the department a certificate showing the name of the organization, the names of its current officers, including the members of its executive committee, and a copy of its constitution or bylaws. It shall be the duty of the minor political party to notify the department of any changes in the filing certificate within 5 days of such changes.

(15)  "Newspaper of general circulation" means a newspaper printed in the language most commonly spoken in the area within which it circulates and which is readily available for purchase by all inhabitants in the area of circulation, but does not include a newspaper intended primarily for members of a particular professional or occupational group, a newspaper the primary function of which is to carry legal notices, or a newspaper that is given away primarily to distribute advertising.

(16)  "Nominal value" means having a retail value of $10 or less.

(17)  "Nonpartisan office" means an office for which a candidate is prohibited from campaigning or qualifying for election or retention in office based on party affiliation.

(18)  "Office that serves persons with disabilities" means any state office that takes applications either in person or over the telephone from persons with disabilities for any program, service, or benefit primarily related to their disabilities.

(19)  "Overseas voter" means:

(a)  Members of the uniformed services while in the active service who are permanent residents of the state and are temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia;

(b)  Members of the Merchant Marine of the United States who are permanent residents of the state and are temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia; and

(c)  Other citizens of the United States who are permanent residents of the state and are temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia,

who are qualified and registered to vote as provided by law.

(20)  "Overvote" means that the elector marks or designates more names than there are persons to be elected to an office or designates more than one answer to a ballot question, and the tabulator records no vote for the office or question.

(21)  "Persons with disabilities" means individuals who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

(22)  "Polling place" is the building which contains the polling room where ballots are cast.

(23)  "Polling room" means the actual room in which ballots are cast.

(24)  "Primary election" means an election held preceding the general election for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted for in the general election to fill a national, state, county, or district office. The first primary is a nomination or elimination election; the second primary is a nominating election only.

(25)  "Provisional ballot" means a conditional ballot, the validity of which is determined by the canvassing board.

(26)  "Public assistance" means assistance provided through the food stamp program; the Medicaid program; the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children; and the WAGES Program.

(27)  "Public office" means any federal, state, county, municipal, school, or other district office or position which is filled by vote of the electors.

(28)  "Qualifying educational institution" means any public or private educational institution receiving state financial assistance which has, as its primary mission, the provision of education or training to students who are at least 18 years of age, provided such institution has more than 200 students enrolled in classes with the institution and provided that the recognized student government organization has requested this designation in writing and has filed the request with the office of the supervisor of elections in the county in which the institution is located.

(29)  "Special election" is a special election called for the purpose of voting on a party nominee to fill a vacancy in the national, state, county, or district office.

(30)  "Special primary election" is a special nomination election designated by the Governor, called for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted on in a general or special election.

(31)  "Supervisor" means the supervisor of elections.

1(32)  "Tactile input device" means a device that provides information to a voting system by means of a voter touching the device, such as a keyboard, and that complies with the requirements of s. 101.56062(1)(k) and (l).

(33)  "Undervote" means that the elector does not properly designate any choice for an office or ballot question, and the tabulator records no vote for the office or question.

(34)  "Uniformed services" means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

1(35)  "Voter interface device" means any device that communicates voting instructions and ballot information to a voter and allows the voter to select and vote for candidates and issues.

(36)  "Voter registration agency" means any office that provides public assistance, any office that serves persons with disabilities, any center for independent living, or any public library.

(37)  "Voting booth" or "booth" means that booth or enclosure wherein an elector casts his or her ballot for tabulation by an electronic or electromechanical device.

(38)  "Voting system" means a method of casting and processing votes that functions wholly or partly by use of electromechanical or electronic apparatus or by use of paper ballots and includes, but is not limited to, the procedures for casting and processing votes and the programs, operating manuals, tabulating cards, printouts, and other software necessary for the system's operation.

History.--s. 2, ch. 6469, 1913; RGS 300; s. 1, ch. 8582, 1921; CGL 356; s. 1, ch. 13761, 1929; s. 1, ch. 18060, 1937; s. 1, ch. 19663, 1939; s. 1, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 28156, 1953; s. 1, ch. 61-370; s. 2, ch. 65-60; s. 1, ch. 67-32; s. 2, ch. 67-142; s. 2, ch. 67-386; s. 1, ch. 69-137; s. 1, ch. 69-280; s. 1, ch. 69-377; s. 1, ch. 70-269; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 1, ch. 71-206; s. 1, ch. 73-157; s. 31, ch. 73-333; s. 23, ch. 77-104; s. 1, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 79-157; s. 24, ch. 79-400; s. 1, ch. 81-105; s. 15, ch. 82-143; s. 22, ch. 84-302; s. 1, ch. 87-184; ss. 5, 12, ch. 87-363; s. 1, ch. 89-338; s. 3, ch. 89-348; s. 2, ch. 90-315; s. 3, ch. 94-224; s. 1382, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 96-57; s. 54, ch. 96-175; s. 1, ch. 96-327; s. 35, ch. 97-13; s. 3, ch. 98-129; ss. 2, 34, ch. 2001-40; s. 4, ch. 2002-281; s. 2, ch. 2003-415.

1Note.--As amended by s. 4, ch. 2002-281, and s. 2, ch. 2003-415. The definitions of "[a]lternative formats," "[t]actile input device," and "[v]oter interface device" were added to s. 97.021 by s. 4, ch. 2002-281, effective upon the occurrence of the contingency in s. 22, ch. 2002-281. Section 22, ch. 2002-281, provides that "[e]xcept as otherwise expressly provided in this act, this act shall take effect one year after the legislature adopts the general appropriations act specifically appropriating to the Department of State, for distribution to the counties, $8.7 million or such other amounts as it determines and appropriates for the specific purpose of funding this act." The appropriation has not been adopted.

Note.--Former s. 102.02.

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