October 25, 2020
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_h0131c2
CS/CS/HB 131

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to absent uniformed services and overseas
3voters; amending s. 97.021, F.S.; defining the term
4"absent uniformed services voter"; revising the definition
5of the term "overseas voter"; amending s. 98.0981, F.S.,
6relating to statewide voter information; conforming a
7cross-reference; amending s. 101.62, F.S.; requiring the
8supervisor of elections to notify the absent uniformed
9services voter and overseas voter of the free access
10system for determining absentee ballot status; providing a
11timeframe for an absentee ballot to be sent to each absent
12uniformed services voter and overseas voter; providing
13acceptable formats for requesting an absentee ballot;
14modifying circumstances under which the department is
15authorized to prescribe rules for a ballot to be sent to
16absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters;
17amending s. 101.694, F.S.; conforming timeframes for
18sending an absentee ballot upon receipt of federal
19postcard application to those prescribed in s. 101.62,
20F.S.; deleting the requirement for a federal postcard
21application request to be effective through two regularly
22scheduled general elections pursuant to changes in federal
23law; amending s. 101.6952, F.S.; revising responsibilities
24of the supervisor of elections when an overseas voter's
25request for an absentee ballot includes an e-mail address;
26requiring the supervisor to record the e-mail address in
27the absentee ballot record and, via e-mail, confirm that
28the request was received, inform the voter of the
29estimated date the absentee ballot will be sent, and
30notify the voter when the voted absentee ballot is
31received; amending s. 379.352, F.S., relating to
32recreational licenses and permits; conforming cross-
33references; providing effective dates.
34
35Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
36
37     Section 1.  Subsections (2) through (43) of section 97.021,
38Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (3) through
39(44), respectively, a new subsection (2) is added to that
40section, and present subsection (22) of that section is amended,
41to read:
42     97.021  Definitions.-For the purposes of this code, except
43where the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term:
44     (2)  "Absent uniformed services voter" means:
45     (a)  A member of a uniformed service on active duty who, by
46reason of such active duty, is absent from the place of
47residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote;
48     (b)  A member of the merchant marine who, by reason of
49service in the merchant marine, is absent from the place of
50residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote; or
51     (c)  A spouse or dependent of a member referred to in
52paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) who, by reason of the active duty
53or service of the member, is absent from the place of residence
54where the spouse or dependent is otherwise qualified to vote.
55     (23)(22)  "Overseas voter" means:
56     (a)  An absent uniformed services voter who, by reason of
57active duty or service, is absent from the United States on the
58date of the election involved Members of the uniformed services
59while in the active service who are permanent residents of the
60state and are temporarily residing outside the territorial
61limits of the United States and the District of Columbia;
62     (b)  A person who resides outside the United States and is
63qualified to vote in the last place in which the person was
64domiciled before leaving the United States Members of the
65Merchant Marine of the United States who are permanent residents
66of the state and are temporarily residing outside the
67territorial limits of the United States and the District of
68Columbia; or and
69     (c)  A person who resides outside the United States and,
70but for such residence, would be qualified to vote in the last
71place in which the person was domiciled before leaving the
72United States Other citizens of the United States who are
73permanent residents of the state and are temporarily residing
74outside the territorial limits of the United States and the
75District of Columbia,
76
77who are qualified and registered to vote as provided by law.
78     Section 2.  Subsection (3) of section 98.0981, Florida
79Statutes, is amended to read:
80     98.0981  Reports; voting history; statewide voter
81registration system information; precinct-level election
82results; book closing statistics.-
83     (3)  PRECINCT-LEVEL BOOK CLOSING STATISTICS.-After the date
84of book closing but before the date of an election as defined in
85s. 97.021(11)(10) to fill a national, state, county, or district
86office, or to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment, the
87department shall compile the following precinct-level
88statistical data for each county:
89     (a)  Precinct numbers.
90     (b)  Total number of active registered voters by party for
91each precinct.
92     Section 3.  Paragraph (c) is added to subsection (1) of
93section 101.62, Florida Statutes, and subsections (4) and (5) of
94that section are amended to read:
95     101.62  Request for absentee ballots.-
96     (1)
97     (c)  Upon receiving a request for an absentee ballot from
98an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter, the
99supervisor of elections shall notify the voter of the free
100access system that has been designated by the department for
101determining the status of his or her absentee ballot.
102     (2)  A request for an absentee ballot to be mailed to a
103voter must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the sixth day
104before the election by the supervisor of elections. The
105supervisor of elections shall mail absentee ballots to voters
106requesting ballots by such deadline no later than 4 days before
107the election.
108     (4)(a)  No later than 45 days before each election, the
109supervisor of elections shall send an absentee ballot as
110provided in subparagraph (b)2. to each absent uniformed services
111voter and to each overseas voter who has requested an absentee
112ballot. To each absent qualified elector overseas who has
113requested an absentee ballot, the supervisor of elections
114mail an absentee ballot not less than 35 days before the
115election and not less than 45 days before the general
116     (b)  The supervisor shall provide an absentee ballot to
117each elector by whom a request for that ballot has been made by
118one of the following means:
119     1.  By nonforwardable, return-if-undeliverable mail to the
120elector's current mailing address on file with the supervisor,
121unless the elector specifies in the request that:
122     a.  The elector is absent from the county and does not plan
123to return before the day of the election;
124     b.  The elector is temporarily unable to occupy the
125residence because of hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, or other
126emergency or natural disaster; or
127     c.  The elector is in a hospital, assisted living facility,
128nursing home, short-term medical or rehabilitation facility, or
129correctional facility,
130
131in which case the supervisor shall mail the ballot by
132nonforwardable, return-if-undeliverable mail to any other
133address the elector specifies in the request.
134     2.  By forwardable mail, e-mail, or facsimile machine
135transmission to absent uniformed services voters and overseas
136voters who are entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the
137Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. The absent
138uniformed services voter or overseas voter may designate in the
139absentee ballot request the preferred method of transmission. If
140the voter does not designate the method of transmission, the
141absentee ballot shall be mailed.
142     3.  By personal delivery before 7 p.m. on election day to
143the elector, upon presentation of the identification required in
144s. 101.043.
145     4.  By delivery to a designee on election day or up to 5
146days prior to the day of an election. Any elector may designate
147in writing a person to pick up the ballot for the elector;
148however, the person designated may not pick up more than two
149absentee ballots per election, other than the designee's own
150ballot, except that additional ballots may be picked up for
151members of the designee's immediate family. For purposes of this
152section, "immediate family" means the designee's spouse or the
153parent, child, grandparent, or sibling of the designee or of the
154designee's spouse. The designee shall provide to the supervisor
155the written authorization by the elector and a picture
156identification of the designee and must complete an affidavit.
157The designee shall state in the affidavit that the designee is
158authorized by the elector to pick up that ballot and shall
159indicate if the elector is a member of the designee's immediate
160family and, if so, the relationship. The department shall
161prescribe the form of the affidavit. If the supervisor is
162satisfied that the designee is authorized to pick up the ballot
163and that the signature of the elector on the written
164authorization matches the signature of the elector on file, the
165supervisor shall give the ballot to that designee for delivery
166to the elector.
167     (5)  In the event that the department Elections Canvassing
168Commission is unable to certify candidates for the results of an
169election for a state office in time to comply
170(4)(a) subsection (4), the Department of State is authorized to
171prescribe rules for a ballot to be sent to absent uniformed
172services voters and electors overseas voters.
173     Section 4.  Subsection (1) of section 101.694, Florida
174Statutes, is amended to read:
175     101.694  Mailing of ballots upon receipt of federal
176postcard application.-
177     (1)  Upon receipt of a federal postcard application for an
178absentee ballot executed by a person whose registration is in
179order or whose application is sufficient to register or update
180the registration of that person, the supervisor shall send the
181ballot in accordance with s. 101.62(4) mail to the applicant a
182ballot, if the ballots are available for mailing. The federal
183postcard application request for an absentee ballot shall be
184effective for all elections through the next two regularly
185scheduled general elections.
186     Section 5.  Effective July 1, 2010, section 101.6952,
187Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
188     101.6952  Absentee ballots for overseas voters.-
189     (1)  If an overseas voter's request for an absentee ballot
190includes an e-mail address, the supervisor of elections shall:
191     (a)  Record the voter's e-mail address in the absentee
192ballot record;
193     (b)  Confirm by e-mail that the absentee ballot request was
194received and include in that e-mail the estimated date the
195absentee ballot will be sent to the voter;
196     (c)  Inform the voter of the names of candidates who will
197be on the ballots via electronic transmission. The supervisor of
198elections shall e-mail to the voter the list of candidates for
199the primary and general election not later than 30 days before
200each election; and
201     (d)  Notify the voter by e-mail when the voted absentee
202ballot is received by the supervisor of elections.
203     (2)  For absentee ballots received from overseas voters,
204there is a presumption that the envelope was mailed on the date
205stated on the outside of the return envelope, regardless of the
206absence of a postmark on the mailed envelope or the existence of
207a postmark date that is later than the date of the election.
208     Section 6.  Subsection (11) of section 379.352, Florida
209Statutes, is amended to read:
210     379.352  Recreational licenses, permits, and authorization
211numbers to take wild animal life, freshwater aquatic life, and
212marine life; issuance; costs; reporting.-
213     (11)  When acting in its official capacity pursuant to this
214section, neither the commission nor a subagent is deemed a
215third-party registration organization, as defined in s.
21697.021(37)(36), or a voter registration agency, as defined in s.
21797.021(41)(40), and is not authorized to solicit, accept, or
218collect voter registration applications or provide voter
219registration services.
220     Section 7.  Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
221act, this act shall take effect upon becoming a law.


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