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The Florida Senate

2016 Florida Statutes

Maintenance of good order at polls; authorities; persons allowed in polling rooms and early voting areas; unlawful solicitation of voters.
F.S. 102.031
102.031 Maintenance of good order at polls; authorities; persons allowed in polling rooms and early voting areas; unlawful solicitation of voters.
(1) Each election board shall possess full authority to maintain order at the polls and enforce obedience to its lawful commands during an election and the canvass of the votes.
(2) The sheriff shall deputize a deputy sheriff for each polling place and each early voting site who shall be present during the time the polls or early voting sites are open and until the election is completed, who shall be subject to all lawful commands of the clerk or inspectors, and who shall maintain good order. The deputy may summon assistance from among bystanders to aid him or her when necessary to maintain peace and order at the polls or early voting sites.
(3)(a) No person may enter any polling room or polling place where the polling place is also a polling room, or any early voting area during voting hours except the following:
1. Official poll watchers;
2. Inspectors;
3. Election clerks;
4. The supervisor of elections or his or her deputy;
5. Persons there to vote, persons in the care of a voter, or persons caring for such voter;
6. Law enforcement officers or emergency service personnel there with permission of the clerk or a majority of the inspectors; or
7. A person, whether or not a registered voter, who is assisting with or participating in a simulated election for minors, as approved by the supervisor of elections.
(b) The restriction in this subsection does not apply where the polling room is in an area commonly traversed by the public in order to gain access to businesses or homes or in an area traditionally utilized as a public area for discussion.
(4)(a) No person, political committee, or other group or organization may solicit voters inside the polling place or within 100 feet of the entrance to any polling place, a polling room where the polling place is also a polling room, an early voting site, or an office of the supervisor of elections where vote-by-mail ballots are requested and printed on demand for the convenience of electors who appear in person to request them. Before the opening of the polling place or early voting site, the clerk or supervisor shall designate the no-solicitation zone and mark the boundaries.
(b) For the purpose of this subsection, the terms “solicit” or “solicitation” shall include, but not be limited to, seeking or attempting to seek any vote, fact, opinion, or contribution; distributing or attempting to distribute any political or campaign material, leaflet, or handout; conducting a poll except as specified in this paragraph; seeking or attempting to seek a signature on any petition; and selling or attempting to sell any item. The terms “solicit” or “solicitation” may not be construed to prohibit exit polling.
(c) Each supervisor of elections shall inform the clerk of the area within which soliciting is unlawful, based on the particular characteristics of that polling place. The supervisor or the clerk may take any reasonable action necessary to ensure order at the polling places, including, but not limited to, having disruptive and unruly persons removed by law enforcement officers from the polling room or place or from the 100-foot zone surrounding the polling place.
(d) Except as provided in paragraph (a), the supervisor may not designate a no-solicitation zone or otherwise restrict access to any person, political committee, committee of continuous existence, candidate, or other group or organization for the purposes of soliciting voters. This paragraph applies to any public or private property used as a polling place or early voting site.
(5) No photography is permitted in the polling room or early voting area.
History.s. 58, ch. 4328, 1895; GS 237; RGS 282; CGL 338; s. 6, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 59-212; s. 25, ch. 77-175; s. 2, ch. 85-205; s. 4, ch. 87-184; s. 15, ch. 87-363; s. 29, ch. 89-338; s. 2, ch. 92-134; s. 598, ch. 95-147; s. 5, ch. 2000-249; s. 54, ch. 2005-277; s. 25, ch. 2008-95; s. 18, ch. 2013-37; s. 18, ch. 2013-57; s. 33, ch. 2016-37.
Note.Former s. 99.38.