Main Provisions of HB7013 – 2013 Election Bill
Increases the number of days for early voting and the hours allowed per-day.
Requires supervisors to offer at least 64 hours of early voting over the course of 8 days, with a minimum of 8 hours per day and gives them flexibility to offer 168 hours over the course of 14 days, with 12 hours per day. The 2nd Sunday before the election is optional. Table partners recommended 14-days of early voting with 12-hours per-day as a floor rather than a ceiling with the 2nd Sunday being mandatory.
The bill expands options for early voting locations.
Supervisors are now allowed to use fairgrounds, civic centers, courthouses, county commission buildings, stadiums, convention centers, government-owned senior centers, or government-owned community centers. They can also pick one additional location that does not meet statutory requirements. The only requirement is that it be placed geographically to provide all voters in that area with an equal opportunity to cast a ballot “insofar as practicable”. Additionally, there’s a new requirement that each county operate, at a minimum, as many early voting sites as they operated for the 2012 election.
Portability issue created by 1355 is partly addressed
Allows out-of-county (or “move-in”) voters to make address changes at the polls and vote by regular ballots rather than provisional ballots so long as electronic poll books are being used as a precinct register at a polling place. 63 or o FL’s 67 counties use electronic poll books. However, counties who do use electronic poll books for early voting don’t have enough for all precincts during the regular election.
Absentee voters can correct their signatures at the supervisors office
Absentee voters now have the capability to correct their signature at the Supervisors office up to 5pm on the day before an election. SOE’s are also required to notify voters of the specific reason their ballot was rejected and they must send the voter a new ballot. Info about the forms and directions must be on each SOE’s website.
Legislative ballot amendment summaries, for the first issue, are limited to 75 words.
This is not ideal in principle but in practice it is likely to cover most of the ballot questions as few joint resolutions require multiple ballot summaries and even fewer are likely to see a revision by the Attorney General. Groups were calling for a 75 word limit to all joint resolution summaries and compromise language was filed in amendments that would have limited any joint resolution beyond the first one to 100 words.
This bill gives the Division of Elections power to hold election machine vendors accountable. It requires that these companies have some actual business presence in the state, details how they will address defects and requires them to provide replacement parts for machines to make sure they are in compliance with their contracts. It also gives the Division ability to initiate investigations, the ability to respond to complaints and the power to prevent bad vendors from getting future contracts.
Requires Supervisors to submit 3-month preparation reports
These reports must include, at a minimum, staffing and tabulation equipment needs. The information must also be available online.
Miscellaneous Other Provisions:
* Military voters overseas no longer have to submit a signed written request for an absentee ballot
* Specifies that absentee ballots for overseas voters must be postmarked by election day and received no later than 10 days after election day.
* In counties subject to multi-language ballot requirements, the supervisor may petition the US DOJ for authorization for the SOE to print & deliver single-language ballots for each minority language required.
* Disability voter compliance date for SOE’s moved from 2016 to 2020.
* After certification of an election the board responsible for certifying an election shall conduct a manual audit or an automated, independent audit. Previously, it was only a manual audit. The automated audit appears advantageous in that unlike the manual audit looking at one race and the voting results in 1%-2% of the precincts, the automated audit would look at every race on the ballot in at least 20% of the precincts to be selected publicly at random.
* Division shall adopt rules for approval of the independent audit system. But the bill states explicitly that the system must be completely independent of the primary voting system. Must be fast enough to meet the required time frame and capable of demonstrating that the ballots of record have been accurately adjudicated by the audit system.
* Supervisor may not deliver an absentee ballot to an elector or their family on election day unless there’s an emergency preventing them from going to their polling place and they’ll have to sign a form indicating there was a reason for the delivery. The form will be developed by the division.
* Canvassing board will now check signatures against the signature on the registration books or the precinct register which is likely to be more current.
* The 100 foot no-solicitation rule expanded to include an office of the SOE where absentee ballots are requested or printed on demand for the convenience of voters.
* SOE’s may not designate a no-solicitation zone or further restrict anyone outside of the 100 ft rule. Applies to any public or private property used as a polling place or early voting site.
* Alternate canvassing board members appointed. Chief judge of county circuit appoints a county court judge as an alternate member. The Chair of the board of county commissioners will appoint a member of that board as an alternate member of the canvassing board. If member of canvassing board can’t participate the chair of the canvassing board chooses which alternate will be used.
* SOE’s are required to upload in to the county’s election management system all early voting and absentee voting results by 7pm on the day before the election.
* Anyone receiving some sort of benefit for gathering absentee ballots who is caught with more than 2 absentee ballots (not including his/her own or family members) will be guilty of a misdemeanor.
* Presidential candidates submitted by the party to the SOS by November 30 rather than October 31st.