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The Florida Senate

CS/HB 281 — Public Records/Voters and Voter Registration

by State Affairs Committee and Rep. Stevenson (SB 342 by Senator Lee)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Ethics and Elections Committee (EE)

The bill amends s. 97.0585(1), F.S., which contains several public records exemptions for voter registration information.

Current law holds confidential and exempt all declinations to register to vote, information relating to the location a person registered to vote, and the person’s social security number, driver’s license number, and Florida identification number. The bill continues the confidential and exempt status of this information if the information was obtained for the purpose of voter registration.

The bill makes confidential and exempt from public inspection and copying requirements information related to a voter registration applicant’s or voter’s prior felony conviction and whether such person has had his or her voting rights restored by the Board of Executive Clemency or pursuant to Art. VI, s. 4, State Constitution.

The bill also makes all information concerning 16 and 17-year-olds who preregister to vote confidential and exempt from public inspection and copying requirements until they reach the age of 18.

The bill provides that the exemptions are subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act and stand repealed on October 2, 2024, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. It also provides statements of public necessity as required by the State Constitution.

Because the bill creates new public records exemptions, it required a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting in each house of the Legislature for final passage.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect on July 1, 2019.

Vote: Senate 38-0; House 106-2