§ 100.011 Opening and closing of polls, all elections; expenses.
Overview of Statute
(1) The polls shall be open at the voting places at 7:00 a.m., on the day of the election, and shall be kept open until 7:00 p.m., of the same day, and the time shall be regulated by the customary time in standard use in the county seat of the locality. The inspectors shall make public proclamation of the opening and closing of the polls. During the election and canvass of the votes, the ballot box shall not be concealed. Any elector who is in line at the time of the official closing of the polls shall be allowed to cast a vote in the election.
(2) The time of opening and closing of the polls shall be observed in all elections held in this state, including municipal and school elections.
(3) The expenses of holding all elections for county and state offices necessarily incurred shall be paid out of the treasury of the county or state, as the case may be, in the same manner and by the same officers as in general elections.
(4)(a) The provisions of any special law to the contrary notwithstanding, the expenses of holding a special district or community development district election, or the district’s proportionate share of regular election costs, as the case may be, shall be paid out of the district’s treasury and in the same manner as in general elections. This subsection applies to any district, whether created by or pursuant to special or general law, which is a special district as defined in s. 200.001(8)(c) or a community development district as defined in s. 190.003(6).
(b) The provisions of any special law to the contrary notwithstanding, the supervisor of elections may impose an interest penalty on any amount due and owing to him or her from a special district or community development district if payment is not made within 30 days from receipt of the bill or within 10 working days of the required time authorized by interlocal agreement. The rate of such interest shall be the rate established pursuant to s. 55.03.
(c) The provisions of any special law to the contrary notwithstanding, all independent and dependent special district elections, with the exception of community development district elections, shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of ss. 189.04 and 189.041.
s. 23, ch. 3879, 1889; RS 177; s. 27, ch. 4328, 1895; GS 209; s. 8, ch. 6469, 1913; RGS 253, 306; CGL 309, 362; ss. 1, 2, ch. 20409, 1941; ss. 1, 2, ch. 22739, 1945; s. 4, ch. 25384, 1949; s. 4, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 12, ch. 77-175; s. 6, ch. 87-363; s. 53, ch. 89-169; s. 543, ch. 95-147; s. 4, ch. 96-327; s. 18, ch. 2005-277; s. 56, ch. 2014-22.
Counties in the Florida panhandle are in the central time zone while most Florida counties are in the eastern time zone. Florida’s polling places open at 7am which means that Panhandle counties open one hour after most Florida counties.
Gulf County is the only county in Florida split between two time zones. The northern part of the county is in the central time zone while the southern part of the county is in the eastern time zone. Polls in the entire county open and close according to the time zone in Port St. Joe, which is the county seat and is in the eastern time zone. Therefore, in the northern part of the county the polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.
Polls may close at 7pm provided that there are no voters in line waiting to vote. As long as a voter is in line at 7pm the polls may not close. However, voters joining the line after 7pm will not be allowed to vote even if there are voters in line at that time.
Florida includes two time zones (Eastern, Central). Because the Florida Panhandle is in the central time zone polling places open one hour later, and close one hour later, than most of Florida.
1. Definition for Supervisor
The supervisor of elections. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(36).
2. Definition for Election Costs
Election costs include, but are not limited to, expenditures for all paper supplies such as envelopes, instructions to voters, affidavits, reports, ballot cards, ballot booklets for absentee voters, postage, notices to voters; advertisements for registration book closings, testing of voting equipment, sample ballots, and polling places; forms used to qualify candidates; polling site rental and equipment delivery and pickup; data processing time and supplies; election records retention; and labor costs, including those costs uniquely associated with absentee ballot preparation, poll workers, and election night canvass. Fla Stat. § 97.021(14).
3. Definition for General Election
An election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in the even-numbered years, for the purpose of filling national, state, county, and district offices and for voting on constitutional amendments not otherwise provided for by law. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(16).
4. Definition for Ballot
As used in the Electronic Voting Systems Act, ballot means the card, tape, or other vehicle upon which the elector’s choices are recorded. Fla. Stat. § 101.5603(2).
5. Definition for Elector
“Elector” is synonymous with the word “voter” or “qualified elector or voter,” except where the word is used to describe presidential electors. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(15).
6. Definition for Election
Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).
Case Name: City of Laurel Hill v. Sanders
Citation: 392 So.2d 33
Case Summary: City of Laurel Hill v. Sanders held that the city's charter, which had adopted provisions of general Florida law regarding municipal elections, sufficiently referenced the Florida Code such that compliance with the city's charter was required.
Case Name: Baker v. State ex rel. Caldwell
Citation: 122 So.2d 816
Case Summary: Baker v. State ex rel. Caldwell held that when a candidate withdrew from the party nomination to a county judgeship, a vacancy was created such that the governor should hold a special primary to fill the vacancy. Where there is no special primary, and instead a second regular primary is held, candidates and officials are estopped from challenging the validity of the primary.
Case Name: Florida v. U.S.
Citation: 885 F. Supp. 2d 299
Federal District Court: D.D.C.
Case URL: https://perma.cc/TS63-HLXB
Case Summary: Not preclearing Florida's early voting changes under § 5 of the Voting Rights Act, because the State failed to satisfy its burden of proving that those changes would not have a retrogressive effect on minority voters. The changes required only a minimum number of early voting hours, and that number represented about half of the hours required under the prior law.
Regulations & Guidance
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 29, Election boards-Powers and duties
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 135, Generally
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 136, Regulation of conduct of elections
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 137, Expenses of elections
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 138, Ballot boxes
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 143, Accessibility-Opening and closing
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 156, Provisional ballots-Special circumstances