Florida Senate - 2017                              CS for SB 598
       By the Committee on Ethics and Elections; and Senator Gibson
       582-03405-17                                           2017598c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the canvassing of provisional
    3         ballots; amending s. 97.053, F.S.; revising a
    4         reference to the deadline for a person who cast a
    5         provisional ballot to present evidence verifying
    6         authenticity of certain information in a voter
    7         registration application, to conform; amending s.
    8         101.048, F.S.; extending the timeframe for which a
    9         person who cast a provisional ballot may present
   10         written evidence supporting his or her eligibility to
   11         vote; revising requirements for instructions provided
   12         to a person who casts a provisional ballot, to
   13         conform; requiring the supervisor to provide certain
   14         notification to a person whose provisional ballot was
   15         rejected; requiring the supervisor to allow a person
   16         who voted a provisional ballot to present
   17         identification and submit an affidavit to cure an
   18         unsigned Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and
   19         Affirmation or a provisional ballot rejected due to a
   20         signature discrepancy; prescribing the form and
   21         content of the affidavit; providing instructions to
   22         accompany each affidavit; requiring the affidavit,
   23         instructions, and the supervisor’s contact information
   24         to be posted on specified websites; requiring the
   25         supervisor to attach a received affidavit to the
   26         corresponding provisional ballot envelope; providing
   27         an effective date.
   29  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   31         Section 1. Subsection (6) of section 97.053, Florida
   32  Statutes, is amended to read:
   33         97.053 Acceptance of voter registration applications.—
   34         (6) A voter registration application may be accepted as
   35  valid only after the department has verified the authenticity or
   36  nonexistence of the driver license number, the Florida
   37  identification card number, or the last four digits of the
   38  social security number provided by the applicant. If a completed
   39  voter registration application has been received by the book
   40  closing deadline but the driver license number, the Florida
   41  identification card number, or the last four digits of the
   42  social security number provided by the applicant cannot be
   43  verified, the applicant shall be notified that the number cannot
   44  be verified and that the applicant must provide evidence to the
   45  supervisor sufficient to verify the authenticity of the
   46  applicant’s driver license number, Florida identification card
   47  number, or last four digits of the social security number. If
   48  the applicant provides the necessary evidence, the supervisor
   49  shall place the applicant’s name on the registration rolls as an
   50  active voter. If the applicant has not provided the necessary
   51  evidence or the number has not otherwise been verified prior to
   52  the applicant presenting himself or herself to vote, the
   53  applicant shall be provided a provisional ballot. The
   54  provisional ballot shall be counted only if the number is
   55  verified by the end of the canvassing period or if the applicant
   56  presents evidence to the supervisor of elections sufficient to
   57  verify the authenticity of the applicant’s driver license
   58  number, Florida identification card number, or last four digits
   59  of the social security number no later than 5 p.m. of the third
   60  second day following the election.
   61         Section 2. Subsection (1), paragraph (b) of subsection (2),
   62  and subsection (5) of section 101.048, Florida Statutes, are
   63  amended, and subsection (7) is added to that section, to read:
   64         101.048 Provisional ballots.—
   65         (1) At all elections, a voter claiming to be properly
   66  registered in the state and eligible to vote at the precinct in
   67  the election but whose eligibility cannot be determined, a
   68  person whom an election official asserts is not eligible, and
   69  other persons specified in the code shall be entitled to vote a
   70  provisional ballot. Once voted, the provisional ballot shall be
   71  placed in a secrecy envelope and thereafter sealed in a
   72  provisional ballot envelope. The provisional ballot shall be
   73  deposited in a ballot box. All provisional ballots shall remain
   74  sealed in their envelopes for return to the supervisor of
   75  elections. The department shall prescribe the form of the
   76  provisional ballot envelope. A person casting a provisional
   77  ballot shall have the right to present written evidence
   78  supporting his or her eligibility to vote to the supervisor of
   79  elections by not later than 5 p.m. on the third second day
   80  following the election.
   81         (2)
   82         (b)1. If it is determined that the person was registered
   83  and entitled to vote at the precinct where the person cast a
   84  vote in the election, the canvassing board shall compare the
   85  signature on the Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and
   86  Affirmation or the provisional ballot affidavit, if applicable,
   87  as provided under paragraph (7)(a), with the signature on the
   88  voter’s registration and, if it matches, shall count the ballot.
   89         2. If it is determined that the person voting the
   90  provisional ballot was not registered or entitled to vote at the
   91  precinct where the person cast a vote in the election, the
   92  provisional ballot shall not be counted and the ballot shall
   93  remain in the envelope containing the Provisional Ballot Voter’s
   94  Certificate and Affirmation and the envelope shall be marked
   95  “Rejected as Illegal.”
   96         (5) Each person casting a provisional ballot shall be given
   97  written instructions regarding the person’s right to provide the
   98  supervisor of elections with written evidence of his or her
   99  eligibility to vote, and regarding the free access system
  100  established pursuant to subsection (6), and the opportunity to
  101  cure a rejected provisional ballot pursuant to subsection (7).
  102  The instructions shall contain information on how to access the
  103  system and the information the voter will need to provide to
  104  obtain information on his or her particular ballot. The
  105  instructions shall also include the following statement: “If
  106  this is a primary election, you should contact the supervisor of
  107  elections’ office immediately to confirm that you are registered
  108  and can vote in the general election.”
  109         (7)The supervisor of elections shall, on behalf of the
  110  county canvassing board, notify each person whose provisional
  111  ballot was rejected as illegal and provide the specific reason
  112  the ballot was rejected. To the extent possible, the supervisor
  113  shall provide such notification before the deadline to submit a
  114  provisional ballot affidavit pursuant to paragraph (a).
  115         (a) Until 5 p.m. on the third day following the election,
  116  the supervisor of elections shall allow a person who has voted a
  117  provisional ballot that does not include the person’s signature
  118  on the Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and Affirmation,
  119  or that was rejected due to a difference between the person’s
  120  signature on the Voter’s Certificate and Affirmation with the
  121  signature on the voter’s registration, to complete and submit an
  122  affidavit in order to cure the provisional ballot. The
  123  supervisor of elections may allow a person to submit an
  124  affidavit to cure a provisional ballot only if the person’s
  125  identity can otherwise be ascertained through information
  126  provided in the Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and
  127  Affirmation.
  128         (b) The person must provide identification to the
  129  supervisor of elections and must complete a provisional ballot
  130  affidavit in substantially the following form:
  132                    PROVISIONAL BALLOT AFFIDAVIT                   
  133         I, ...., am a qualified voter in this election and
  134  registered voter of .... County, Florida. I do solemnly swear or
  135  affirm that I voted a provisional ballot and that I have not and
  136  will not vote more than one ballot in this election. I
  137  understand that if I commit or attempt any fraud in connection
  138  with voting, vote a fraudulent ballot, or vote more than once in
  139  an election, I may be convicted of a felony of the third degree,
  140  fined up to $5,000, and imprisoned for up to 5 years. I
  141  understand that my failure to sign this affidavit means that my
  142  provisional ballot will be invalidated.
  144  ...(Voter’s Signature)...
  146  ...(Address)...
  148         (c) Instructions must accompany the provisional ballot
  149  affidavit in substantially the following form:
  155         1. In order to cure the missing signature or the signature
  156  discrepancy on your Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and
  157  Affirmation, your affidavit should be completed and returned as
  158  soon as possible so that it can reach the supervisor of
  159  elections of the county in which your precinct is located no
  160  later than 5 p.m. on the third day following the election.
  161         2. You must sign your name on the line above (Voter’s
  162  Signature).
  163         3. You must make a copy of one of the following forms of
  164  identification:
  165         a. Identification that includes your name and photograph:
  166  United States passport; debit or credit card; military
  167  identification; student identification; retirement center
  168  identification; neighborhood association identification; public
  169  assistance identification; veteran health identification card
  170  issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs;
  171  Florida license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm; or
  172  employee identification card issued by any branch, department,
  173  agency, or entity of the Federal Government, the state, a
  174  county, or a municipality; or
  175         b. Identification that shows your name and current
  176  residence address: current utility bill; bank statement;
  177  government check; paycheck; or government document (excluding
  178  voter identification card).
  179         4. Place the envelope bearing the affidavit into a mailing
  180  envelope addressed to the supervisor of elections. Insert a copy
  181  of your identification in the mailing envelope. Mail, deliver,
  182  or have delivered the completed affidavit along with the copy of
  183  your identification to your county supervisor of elections. Be
  184  sure there is sufficient postage if mailed and that the
  185  supervisor’s address is correct.
  186         5. Alternatively, you may fax or e-mail your completed
  187  affidavit and a copy of your identification to the supervisor of
  188  elections. If e-mailing, please provide these documents as
  189  attachments.
  190         6. Submitting a provisional ballot affidavit does not
  191  establish your eligibility to vote in this election or guarantee
  192  that your ballot will be counted. The county canvassing board
  193  determines your eligibility to vote through information provided
  194  on the Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and Affirmation,
  195  written evidence provided by you, and any other evidence
  196  presented by the supervisor of elections or a challenger. You
  197  may still be required to present additional written evidence to
  198  support your eligibility to vote no later than 5 p.m. on the
  199  third day following the election.
  200         (d) The department and each supervisor of elections shall
  201  include the affidavit and instructions on their respective
  202  websites. The supervisor of elections shall include his or her
  203  office mailing address, e-mail address, and facsimile number on
  204  the page containing the affidavit instructions; the department’s
  205  instruction page must include the office mailing addresses, e
  206  mail addresses, and facsimile numbers of all supervisors of
  207  elections or provide a conspicuous link to such addresses.
  208         (e) The supervisor of elections shall attach each affidavit
  209  received to the appropriate provisional ballot envelope
  210  containing the Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and
  211  Affirmation.
  212         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.