Florida Senate - 2021                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for CS for SB 90
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Rules (Farmer) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 175 - 321
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 3. Paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection (2) of
    6  section 101.68, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
    7         101.68 Canvassing of vote-by-mail ballot.—
    8         (2)(a) The county canvassing board may begin the canvassing
    9  of vote-by-mail ballots upon the completion of the public
   10  testing of automatic tabulating equipment pursuant to s.
   11  101.5612(2) at 7 a.m. on the 22nd day before the election, but
   12  must begin such canvassing by no not later than noon on the day
   13  following the election. In addition, for any county using
   14  electronic tabulating equipment, the processing of vote-by-mail
   15  ballots through such tabulating equipment may begin at 7 a.m. on
   16  the 22nd day before the election. However, notwithstanding any
   17  such authorization to begin canvassing or otherwise processing
   18  vote-by-mail ballots early, no result shall be released until
   19  after the closing of the polls in that county on election day.
   20  Any supervisor, deputy supervisor, canvassing board member,
   21  election board member, or election employee who releases the
   22  results of a canvassing or processing of vote-by-mail ballots
   23  prior to the closing of the polls in that county on election day
   24  commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
   25  s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
   26         (c)1. The canvassing board must, if the supervisor has not
   27  already done so, compare the signature of the elector on the
   28  voter’s certificate or on the vote-by-mail ballot cure affidavit
   29  as provided in subsection (4) with the most recent signature of
   30  the elector in the registration books or the precinct register
   31  to see that the elector is duly registered in the county and to
   32  determine the legality of that vote-by-mail ballot. A vote-by
   33  mail ballot may only be counted if:
   34         a. The signature on the voter’s certificate or the cure
   35  affidavit matches the elector’s signature in the registration
   36  books or precinct register; however, in the case of a cure
   37  affidavit, the supporting identification listed in subsection
   38  (4) must also confirm the identity of the elector; or
   39         b. The cure affidavit contains a signature that does not
   40  match the elector’s signature in the registration books or
   41  precinct register, but the elector has submitted a current and
   42  valid Tier 1 identification pursuant to subsection (4) which
   43  confirms the identity of the elector.
   45  For purposes of this subparagraph, any canvassing board finding
   46  that an elector’s signatures do not match must be by majority
   47  vote and beyond a reasonable doubt.
   48         2. The ballot of an elector who casts a vote-by-mail ballot
   49  shall be counted even if the elector dies on or before election
   50  day, as long as, before the death of the voter, the ballot was
   51  postmarked by the United States Postal Service, date-stamped
   52  with a verifiable tracking number by a common carrier, or
   53  already in the possession of the supervisor.
   54         3. A vote-by-mail ballot is not considered illegal if the
   55  signature of the elector does not cross the seal of the mailing
   56  envelope.
   57         4. If any elector or candidate present believes that a
   58  vote-by-mail ballot is illegal due to a defect apparent on the
   59  voter’s certificate or the cure affidavit, he or she may, at any
   60  time before the ballot is removed from the envelope, file with
   61  the canvassing board a protest against the canvass of that
   62  ballot, specifying the precinct, the ballot, and the reason he
   63  or she believes the ballot to be illegal. A challenge based upon
   64  a defect in the voter’s certificate or cure affidavit may not be
   65  accepted after the ballot has been removed from the mailing
   66  envelope.
   67         5. If the canvassing board determines that a ballot is
   68  illegal, a member of the board must, without opening the
   69  envelope, mark across the face of the envelope: “rejected as
   70  illegal.” The cure affidavit, if applicable, the envelope, and
   71  the ballot therein shall be preserved in the manner that
   72  official ballots are preserved.
   74  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   75  And the title is amended as follows:
   76         Delete lines 20 - 30
   77  and insert:
   78         return and secrecy envelopes; amending s. 101.68,
   79         F.S.; authorizing the canvassing of vote-by-mail
   80         ballots upon the completion of the public preelection
   81         testing of automatic tabulating equipment; requiring
   82         the canvassing board to use the most recent signature
   83         of an elector when verifying a signature on a vote-by
   84         mail ballot or a cure affidavit; amending s.