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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/SB 228 — Online Voter Registration

by Appropriations Committee; Ethics and Elections Committee; and Senators Clemens and Richter

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Ethics and Elections Committee (EE)

The bill directs the Division of Elections in the Department of State to develop an operational, online voter registration application system by October 1, 2017. The Division of Elections must develop security measures to prevent unauthorized tampering with a voter’s registration information, including the use of a unique identifier for each applicant. The online voter registration application system must comply with the Agency for State Technology’s information technology security provisions. The Division of Elections is required to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment before making the system available to the public and every two years thereafter. The risk assessment must comply with the risk assessment methodology developed by the Agency for State Technology. The system must also comply with certain federal laws to ensure equal access to voters with disabilities.

The online voter registration application system must be designed to submit a voter registration application and update voter registration information and obtain information sufficient to establish an applicant’s eligibility to vote. Information sufficient to establish an applicant’s eligibility to vote includes the information required for the statewide voter registration application pursuant to s. 97.052, F.S. The system must be able to compare an applicant’s driver license number and date of birth with Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (“DHSMV”) records. If the information provided does not match DHSMV records, the system must allow the person to print an application to mail to the Supervisor of Elections. The system must also be able to generate an immediate electronic confirmation that the Supervisor of Elections has received the application and provide instructions on how to check the status of the application. The bill provides an appropriation of $1.8 million in nonrecurring funds from the Federal Grants Trust Fund for the development and implementation of the online voter registration application system.

The Division of Elections is required to submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives regarding the implementation of online voter registration applications no later than January 1, 2016.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2015.

Vote: Senate 37-3; House 109-9