§ 101.6103 Mail ballot election procedure.
Overview of Statute
(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (7), the supervisor of elections shall mail all official ballots with a secrecy envelope, a return mailing envelope, and instructions sufficient to describe the voting process to each elector entitled to vote in the election not sooner than the 20th day before the election and not later than the 10th day before the date of the election. All such ballots shall be mailed by first-class mail. Ballots shall be addressed to each elector at the address appearing in the registration records and placed in an envelope which is prominently marked “Do Not Forward.”
(3) The return mailing envelope shall contain a statement in substantially the following form:
I, (Print Name) , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am a qualified voter in this election and that I have not and will not vote more than one ballot in this election.
I understand that failure to sign this certificate and give my residence address will invalidate my ballot.
(5) A ballot shall be counted only if:
(a) It is returned in the return mailing envelope;
(b) The elector’s signature has been verified as provided in this subsection; and
(c) It is received by the supervisor of elections not later than 7 p.m. on the day of the election.
The supervisor of elections shall verify the signature of each elector on the return mailing envelope with the signature on the elector’s registration records. Such verification may commence at any time prior to the canvass of votes. The supervisor of elections shall safely keep the ballot unopened in his or her office until the county canvassing board canvasses the vote. If the supervisor of elections determines that an elector to whom a replacement ballot has been issued under subsection (4) has voted more than once, the canvassing board shall determine which ballot, if any, is to be counted.
(8) A ballot that otherwise satisfies the requirements of subsection (5) shall be counted even if the elector dies after mailing the ballot but before election day, as long as, prior to the death of the voter, the ballot was:
(a) Postmarked by the United States Postal Service;
(b) Date-stamped with a verifiable tracking number by common carrier; or
(c) Already in the possession of the supervisor of elections.
s. 1, ch. 87-364; s. 585, ch. 95-147; s. 42, ch. 2005-277; s. 29, ch. 2007-30.
1. Definition for Supervisor
The supervisor of elections. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(36).
2. Definition for Absent Elector
Any registered and qualified voter who casts an absentee ballot. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(1).
3. Definition for Secrecy Envelope
As used in the Electronic Voting Systems Act, secrecy envelope means an opaque device, used for enclosing a marked ballot, which conceals the voter’s choices. Fla. Stat. § 101.5603(6).
4. Definition for Issue
A proposition that is required by the State Constitution, by law or resolution of the Legislature, or by the charter, ordinance, or resolution of a political subdivision of this state to be submitted to the electors for their approval or rejection at an election, or a proposition for which a petition is circulated in order to have such proposition placed on the ballot at an election. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(13).
5. 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).
6. 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).
7. 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: Goldsmith v. McDonald
Citation: 32 So.3d 713
Case Summary: Goldsmith v. McDonald held that it is the responsibility of the absentee voter to ensure that his or her ballot is properly received by the established deadline.
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 171, Conduct of election
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 172, Replacement ballot
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 173, Canvassing
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 174, Verification of signature
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 180, Powers and duties of canvassing commission and boards, generally
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 225, Offenses of officials connected with elections
0050 Surveys 8; Marking and Counting of Ballots