October 25, 2020
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_h0131e1
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 absent uniformed
25services voter's or overseas voter's request for an
26absentee ballot includes an e-mail address; requiring the
27supervisor to record the e-mail address in the absentee
28ballot record and, via e-mail, confirm that the request
29was received, inform the voter of the estimated date the
30absentee ballot will be sent, and notify the voter when
31the voted absentee ballot is received; amending s.
32379.352, F.S., relating to recreational licenses and
33permits; conforming cross-references; providing effective
34dates.
35
36Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
37
38     Section 1.  Subsections (2) through (43) of section 97.021,
39Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (3) through
40(44), respectively, a new subsection (2) is added to that
41section, and present subsection (22) of that section is amended,
42to read:
43     97.021  Definitions.-For the purposes of this code, except
44where the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term:
45     (2)  "Absent uniformed services voter" means:
46     (a)  A member of a uniformed service on active duty who, by
47reason of such active duty, is absent from the place of
48residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote;
49     (b)  A member of the merchant marine who, by reason of
50service in the merchant marine, is absent from the place of
51residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote; or
52     (c)  A spouse or dependent of a member referred to in
53paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) who, by reason of the active duty
54or service of the member, is absent from the place of residence
55where the spouse or dependent is otherwise qualified to vote.
56     (23)(22)  "Overseas voter" means:
57     (a)  An absent uniformed services voter who, by reason of
58active duty or service, is absent from the United States on the
59date of the election involved Members of the uniformed services
60while in the active service who are permanent residents of the
61state and are temporarily residing outside the territorial
62limits of the United States and the District of Columbia;
63     (b)  A person who resides outside the United States and is
64qualified to vote in the last place in which the person was
65domiciled before leaving the United States Members of the
66Merchant Marine of the United States who are permanent residents
67of the state and are temporarily residing outside the
68territorial limits of the United States and the District of
69Columbia; or and
70     (c)  A person who resides outside the United States and,
71but for such residence, would be qualified to vote in the last
72place in which the person was domiciled before leaving the
73United States Other citizens of the United States who are
74permanent residents of the state and are temporarily residing
75outside the territorial limits of the United States and the
76District of Columbia,
77
78who are qualified and registered to vote as provided by law.
79     Section 2.  Subsection (3) of section 98.0981, Florida
80Statutes, is amended to read:
81     98.0981  Reports; voting history; statewide voter
82registration system information; precinct-level election
83results; book closing statistics.-
84     (3)  PRECINCT-LEVEL BOOK CLOSING STATISTICS.-After the date
85of book closing but before the date of an election as defined in
86s. 97.021(11)(10) to fill a national, state, county, or district
87office, or to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment, the
88department shall compile the following precinct-level
89statistical data for each county:
90     (a)  Precinct numbers.
91     (b)  Total number of active registered voters by party for
92each precinct.
93     Section 3.  Paragraph (c) is added to subsection (1) of
94section 101.62, Florida Statutes, and subsections (4) and (5) of
95that section are amended to read:
96     101.62  Request for absentee ballots.-
97     (1)
98     (c)  Upon receiving a request for an absentee ballot from
99an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter, the
100supervisor of elections shall notify the voter of the free
101access system that has been designated by the department for
102determining the status of his or her absentee ballot.
103     (2)  A request for an absentee ballot to be mailed to a
104voter must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the sixth day
105before the election by the supervisor of elections. The
106supervisor of elections shall mail absentee ballots to voters
107requesting ballots by such deadline no later than 4 days before
108the election.
109     (4)(a)  No later than 45 days before each election, the
110supervisor of elections shall send an absentee ballot as
111provided in subparagraph (b)2. to each absent uniformed services
112voter and to each overseas voter who has requested an absentee
113ballot. To each absent qualified elector overseas who has
114requested an absentee ballot, the supervisor of elections shall
115mail an absentee ballot not less than 35 days before the primary
116election and not less than 45 days before the general election.
117     (b)  The supervisor shall provide an absentee ballot to
118each elector by whom a request for that ballot has been made by
119one of the following means:
120     1.  By nonforwardable, return-if-undeliverable mail to the
121elector's current mailing address on file with the supervisor,
122unless the elector specifies in the request that:
123     a.  The elector is absent from the county and does not plan
124to return before the day of the election;
125     b.  The elector is temporarily unable to occupy the
126residence because of hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, or other
127emergency or natural disaster; or
128     c.  The elector is in a hospital, assisted living facility,
129nursing home, short-term medical or rehabilitation facility, or
130correctional facility,
131
132in which case the supervisor shall mail the ballot by
133nonforwardable, return-if-undeliverable mail to any other
134address the elector specifies in the request.
135     2.  By forwardable mail, e-mail, or facsimile machine
136transmission to absent uniformed services voters and overseas
137voters who are entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the
138Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. The absent
139uniformed services voter or overseas voter may designate in the
140absentee ballot request the preferred method of transmission. If
141the voter does not designate the method of transmission, the
142absentee ballot shall be mailed.
143     3.  By personal delivery before 7 p.m. on election day to
144the elector, upon presentation of the identification required in
145s. 101.043.
146     4.  By delivery to a designee on election day or up to 5
147days prior to the day of an election. Any elector may designate
148in writing a person to pick up the ballot for the elector;
149however, the person designated may not pick up more than two
150absentee ballots per election, other than the designee's own
151ballot, except that additional ballots may be picked up for
152members of the designee's immediate family. For purposes of this
153section, "immediate family" means the designee's spouse or the
154parent, child, grandparent, or sibling of the designee or of the
155designee's spouse. The designee shall provide to the supervisor
156the written authorization by the elector and a picture
157identification of the designee and must complete an affidavit.
158The designee shall state in the affidavit that the designee is
159authorized by the elector to pick up that ballot and shall
160indicate if the elector is a member of the designee's immediate
161family and, if so, the relationship. The department shall
162prescribe the form of the affidavit. If the supervisor is
163satisfied that the designee is authorized to pick up the ballot
164and that the signature of the elector on the written
165authorization matches the signature of the elector on file, the
166supervisor shall give the ballot to that designee for delivery
167to the elector.
168     (5)  In the event that the department Elections Canvassing
169Commission is unable to certify candidates for the results of an
170election for a state office in time to comply with paragraph
171(4)(a) subsection (4), the Department of State is authorized to
172prescribe rules for a ballot to be sent to absent uniformed
173services voters and electors overseas voters.
174     Section 4.  Subsection (1) of section 101.694, Florida
175Statutes, is amended to read:
176     101.694  Mailing of ballots upon receipt of federal
177postcard application.-
178     (1)  Upon receipt of a federal postcard application for an
179absentee ballot executed by a person whose registration is in
180order or whose application is sufficient to register or update
181the registration of that person, the supervisor shall send the
182ballot in accordance with s. 101.62(4) mail to the applicant a
183ballot, if the ballots are available for mailing. The federal
184postcard application request for an absentee ballot shall be
185effective for all elections through the next two regularly
186scheduled general elections.
187     Section 5.  Effective July 1, 2010, section 101.6952,
188Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
189     101.6952  Absentee ballots for absent uniformed services
190and overseas voters.-
191     (1)  If an absent uniformed services voter's or an overseas
192voter's request for an absentee ballot includes an e-mail
193address, the supervisor of elections shall:
194     (a)  Record the voter's e-mail address in the absentee
195ballot record;
196     (b)  Confirm by e-mail that the absentee ballot request was
197received and include in that e-mail the estimated date the
198absentee ballot will be sent to the voter; and
199     (c)  Notify the voter by e-mail when the voted absentee
200ballot is received by the supervisor of elections inform the
201voter of the names of candidates who will be on the ballots via
202electronic transmission. The supervisor of elections shall e-
203mail to the voter the list of candidates for the primary and
204general election not later than 30 days before each election.
205     (2)  For absentee ballots received from absent uniformed
206services voters or overseas voters,there is a presumption that
207the envelope was mailed on the date stated on the outside of the
208return envelope, regardless of the absence of a postmark on the
209mailed envelope or the existence of a postmark date that is
210later than the date of the election.
211     Section 6.  Subsection (11) of section 379.352, Florida
212Statutes, is amended to read:
213     379.352  Recreational licenses, permits, and authorization
214numbers to take wild animal life, freshwater aquatic life, and
215marine life; issuance; costs; reporting.-
216     (11)  When acting in its official capacity pursuant to this
217section, neither the commission nor a subagent is deemed a
218third-party registration organization, as defined in s.
21997.021(37)(36), or a voter registration agency, as defined in s.
22097.021(41)(40), and is not authorized to solicit, accept, or
221collect voter registration applications or provide voter
222registration services.
223     Section 7.  Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
224act, this act shall take effect upon becoming a law.


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