Florida Senate - 2021 SB 1492
By Senator Broxson
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to public records; amending s.
3 97.0585, F.S.; providing an exemption from public
4 records requirements for specified information
5 regarding a voter or voter registration applicant;
6 authorizing disclosure of confidential and exempt
7 information under certain circumstances; providing for
8 future legislative review and repeal; providing for
9 retroactive application; providing statements of
10 public necessity; providing an effective date.
12 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
14 Section 1. Section 97.0585, Florida Statutes, is amended to
16 97.0585 Public records exemption; information regarding
17 voters and voter registration; confidentiality.—
18 (1) The following information held by an agency, as defined
19 in s. 119.011, and obtained for the purpose of voter
20 registration is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s.
21 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and may be used only for
22 purposes of voter registration, unless disclosure is authorized
23 under subsection (2):
24 (a) All declinations to register to vote made pursuant to
25 ss. 97.057 and 97.058.
26 (b) Information relating to the place where a person
27 registered to vote or where a person updated a voter
29 (c) The social security number, driver license number, and
30 Florida identification number of a voter registration applicant
31 or voter.
32 (d) Information related to a voter registration applicant’s
33 or voter’s prior felony conviction and whether such person has
34 had his or her voting rights restored by the Board of Executive
35 Clemency or pursuant to s. 4, Art. VI of the State Constitution.
36 (e) All information concerning preregistered voter
37 registration applicants who are 16 or 17 years of age.
38 (f) The address of legal residence, date of birth,
39 telephone number, and e-mail address of a voter registration
40 applicant or voter.
(f) Paragraphs (d) and (e) are subject to the Open
42 Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and
43 shall stand repealed on October 2, 2024, unless reviewed and
44 saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
45 (h) Paragraph (f) is subject to the Open Government Sunset
46 Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed
47 on October 2, 2026, unless reviewed and saved from repeal
48 through reenactment by the Legislature.
49 (2) A person’s information made confidential and exempt
50 under paragraph (1)(f) shall only be made available to or
51 reproduced for:
52 (a) The individual whose information was made confidential
53 and exempt.
54 (b) A canvassing board or an election official in his or
55 her official capacity.
56 (c) A political party or an official thereof, a candidate
57 who has filed qualification papers, an elected official, or a
58 registered political committee, for political purposes only.
59 (3) (2) The signature of a voter registration applicant or a
60 voter is exempt from the copying requirements of s. 119.07(1)
61 and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
62 (4) (3) This section applies to information held by an
63 agency before, on, or after the effective date of this
65 Section 2. (1) The Legislature finds it a public necessity
66 that the address of legal residence, date of birth, telephone
67 number, and e-mail address of a voter registration applicant or
68 voter held by an agency, and obtained for the purpose of voter
69 registration, be confidential and exempt from public records
70 requirements and used only for purposes of voter registration.
71 (2) Information such as a voter registration applicant’s or
72 a voter’s address of legal residence, date of birth, telephone
73 number, and e-mail address are personal and sensitive and could
74 be misused by a dishonest person if placed in the public domain
75 with the applicant’s or the voter’s name. By matching a name and
76 address of legal residence, date of birth, telephone number, or
77 e-mail address, a dishonest person could commit identity theft,
78 which could result in financial harm to a voter registration
79 applicant or a voter. The potential for harm that results from
80 unfettered access to a voter registration applicant’s or a
81 voter’s address of legal residence, date of birth, telephone
82 number, and e-mail address, accompanied by the person’s name,
83 exceeds any public benefit that may be derived from disclosure
84 of such information. In addition, such information may be used
85 for consumer scams, unwanted solicitations, or other forms of
86 invasive contacts.
87 (3) The Legislature also finds that e-mail addresses are
88 personal information that could be misused and could result in
89 voter fraud if released. A voter may request a vote-by-mail
90 ballot using an e-mail address. Unrestricted access to such e
91 mail addresses may enable others to determine which voters are
92 intending to vote by vote-by-mail ballot and result in the
93 confiscation and misuse of a mailed vote-by-mail ballot by a
94 person other than the requesting voter. In addition, collection
95 of the e-mail address of a voter registration applicant or a
96 voter would give supervisors of elections the opportunity to
97 employ the cost-saving measure of electronically transmitting
98 sample ballots. If a voter registration applicant or a voter
99 knows that his or her e-mail address is subject to public
100 disclosure, he or she may be less willing to provide the e-mail
101 address to the supervisor of elections. Accordingly, the
102 effective and efficient administration of a government program
103 would be significantly impaired.
104 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.