HB 1471

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to the petition process; providing a
3popular name; amending s. 99.097, F.S.; providing for
4certain petitions to be verified by a certain method;
5requiring certain provisions to be satisfied before a
6signature on a petition may be counted; prohibiting
7compensation to any paid petition circulator in certain
8circumstances; providing the procedure to contest and
9resolve the alleged improper verification of certain
10signatures; amending s. 100.371, F.S.; revising
11requirements for placement of constitutional amendments
12proposed by initiative on the ballot for the general
13election; revising and providing rulemaking authority;
14providing limitations on the contents of a petition form;
15establishing compliance criteria for petition forms;
16providing an elector's right to mail or deliver the form
17to an address provided for that purpose; providing notices
18that must be contained in each petition form; revising the
19duties of supervisors of elections; revising requirements
20relating to the Financial Impact Estimating Conference and
21financial impact statements; creating s. 100.372, F.S.;
22providing for the regulation of initiative petition
23circulators; providing definitions; providing
24qualification requirements; providing requirements for the
25practice of paid petition circulation; amending ss.
26101.161, and 101.62, F.S.; correcting cross references;
27amending s. 104.012, F.S.; providing criminal penalties
28for specified offenses involving voter registration
29applications; amending s. 104.185, F.S.; revising and
30providing violations involving petitions and providing
31penalties therefor; amending s. 104.42, F.S.; revising
32provisions relating to unlawful registrations, petitions,
33and voting and the investigation of such matters;
34requiring documentation and reporting thereof to the
35Florida Elections Commission within a specified time
36period; providing for the validity of certain petition
37signatures gathered before the effective date of the act;
38requiring previously approved petition forms to be
39resubmitted for approval in accordance with the
40requirements of the act; providing severability; providing
41an effective date.
43Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
45     Section 1.  This act may be cited as the "Petition Fraud
46and Voter Protection Act."
47     Section 2.  Subsections (1), (3), and (4) of section
4899.097, Florida Statutes, are amended, and subsection (6) is
49added to said section, to read:
50     99.097  Verification of signatures on petitions.--
51     (1)  As determined by each supervisor, based upon local
52conditions, the verification of signatures checking of names on
53petitions may be based on the most inexpensive and
54administratively feasible of either of the following methods of
56     (a)  A name-by-name, signature-by-signature check of the
57number of valid authorized signatures on the petitions; or
58     (b)  A check of a random sample, as provided by the
59Department of State, of names and signatures on the petitions.
60The sample must be such that a determination can be made as to
61whether or not the required number of valid signatures has have
62been obtained with a reliability of at least 99.5 percent. Rules
63and guidelines for this method of petition verification shall be
64promulgated by the Department of State, which may include a
65requirement that petitions bear an additional number of names
66and signatures, not to exceed 15 percent of the names and
67signatures otherwise required. If the petitions do not meet such
68criteria, then the use of the verification method described in
69this paragraph shall not be available to supervisors.
71Notwithstanding any other provision of law, petitions to secure
72ballot placement for an issue must be verified by the method
73provided in paragraph (a).
74     (3)(a)  A signature name on a petition, in a which name
75that is not in substantially the same form as a name on the
76voter registration books, shall be counted as a valid signature
77if, after comparing the signature on the petition with the
78signature of the alleged signer as shown on the registration
79books, the supervisor determines that the person signing the
80petition and the person who registered to vote are one and the
81same. In any situation in which this code requires the form of
82the petition to be prescribed by the division, no signature
83shall be counted toward the number of signatures required unless
84it is on a petition form prescribed by the division. A signature
85on a petition may not be counted toward the number of valid
86signatures required for ballot placement unless all relevant
87provisions of this code have been satisfied.
88     (b)  If a voter signs a petition and lists an address other
89than the legal residence where the voter is registered, the
90supervisor shall treat the signature as if the voter had listed
91the address where the voter is registered.
92     (4)(a)  The supervisor shall be paid in advance the sum of
9310 cents for each signature checked or the actual cost of
94checking such signature, whichever is less, by the candidate or,
95in the case of a petition to have an issue placed on the ballot,
96by the person or organization submitting the petition. However,
97if a candidate, person, or organization seeking to have an issue
98placed upon the ballot cannot pay such charges without imposing
99an undue burden on personal resources or upon the resources
100otherwise available to such candidate, person, or organization,
101such candidate, person, or organization shall, upon written
102certification of such inability given under oath to the
103supervisor, be entitled to have the signatures verified at no
104charge. In the event a candidate, person, or organization
105submitting a petition to have an issue placed upon the ballot is
106entitled to have the signatures verified at no charge, the
107supervisor of elections of each county in which the signatures
108are verified at no charge shall submit the total number of such
109signatures checked in the county to the Chief Financial Officer
110no later than December 1 of the general election year, and the
111Chief Financial Officer shall cause such supervisor of elections
112to be reimbursed from the General Revenue Fund in an amount
113equal to 10 cents for each signature name checked or the actual
114cost of checking such signatures, whichever is less. In no event
115shall such reimbursement of costs be deemed or applied as extra
116compensation for the supervisor. Petitions shall be retained by
117the supervisors for a period of 1 year following the election
118for which the petitions were circulated.
119     (b)  A person or organization submitting a petition to
120secure ballot placement for an issue which has filed a
121certification of undue burden may not provide compensation to
122any paid petition circulator, as defined in s. 100.372, unless
123the person or organization first pays all supervisors for each
124signature checked or reimburses the General Revenue Fund for
125such costs. If a person or organization subject to this
126paragraph provides compensation to a paid petition circulator
127before the date the person or organization pays all supervisors
128for each signature checked or reimburses the General Revenue
129Fund for such costs, no signature on a petition circulated by
130the petition circulator before that date may be counted toward
131the number of valid signatures required for ballot placement.
132     (6)(a)  The alleged improper verification of a signature on
133a petition to secure ballot placement for an issue pursuant to
134this code may be contested in the circuit court by a political
135committee or by an elector. The contestant shall file a
136complaint setting forth the basis of the contest, together with
137the fees prescribed in chapter 28, with the clerk of the circuit
138court in the county in which the petition is certified or in
139Leon County if the complaint is directed to petitions certified
140in more than one county.
141     (b)  If the contestant demonstrates by a preponderance of
142the evidence that one or more petitions were improperly
143verified, the signatures appearing on such petitions may not be
144counted toward the number of valid signatures required for
145ballot placement. If an action brought under this subsection is
146resolved after the Secretary of State has issued a certificate
147of ballot position for the issue, but the contestant
148demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that the person
149or organization submitting the petition had obtained
150verification of an insufficient number of valid and verified
151signatures to qualify for ballot placement, the issue shall be
152removed from the ballot or, if such action is impractical, any
153votes cast for or against the issue may not be counted and shall
154be invalidated.
155     (c)  An action under this subsection must be commenced not
156later than 90 days after the Secretary of State issues a
157certificate of ballot position for the issue.
158     Section 3.  Section 100.371, Florida Statutes, as amended
159by section 9 of chapter 2002-281, Laws of Florida, is amended to
161     100.371  Initiatives; procedure for placement on ballot.--
162     (1)  Constitutional amendments proposed by initiative shall
163be placed on the ballot for the general election provided that
164an initiative petition is filed with the Secretary of State by
165February 1 of the year in which the general election is to be
166held occurring in excess of 90 days from the certification of
167ballot position by the Secretary of State.
168     (2)  Such Certification of ballot position shall be issued
169when the Secretary of State has received verification
170certificates from the supervisors of elections indicating that
171the requisite number and distribution of valid petitions bearing
172the signatures of electors have been submitted to and verified
173by the supervisors. Every signature shall be dated by the
174elector when made. Signatures are and shall be valid for a
175period of 4 years following such date, provided all other
176requirements of law are satisfied complied with.
177     (3)  The sponsor of an initiative amendment shall, prior to
178obtaining any signatures, register as a political committee
179pursuant to s. 106.03 and submit the text of the proposed
180amendment to the Secretary of State, with the form on which the
181signatures will be affixed, and shall obtain the approval of the
182Secretary of State of such form. The division Secretary of State
183shall adopt rules pursuant to s. 120.54 prescribing the style
184and requirements of such form. Upon filing with the Secretary of
185State, the text of the proposed amendment and all forms filed in
186connection with this section must, upon request, be made
187available in alternative formats. The contents of a petition
188form shall be limited to those items required by statute or
189rule. A petition form shall be deemed a political advertisement
190as defined in s. 106.011 and, as such, must comply with all
191relevant requirements of chapter 106.
192     (4)  The supervisor of elections shall record the date each
193petition form was received by the supervisor and the date the
194signature on the form was verified as valid. The supervisor
195shall verify that the signature on a petition form is valid only
196if the form complies with all of the following:
197     (a)  The form must contain the original signature of the
198purported elector;
199     (b)  The purported elector must accurately record on the
200form the date on which he or she signed the form;
201     (c)  The form must accurately set forth the purported
202elector's name, street address, county, voter registration
203number or date of birth, and any other information required by
204the division by rule;
205     (d)  The purported elector must be, at the time he or she
206signs the form, a duly qualified and registered elector
207authorized to vote in the county for which his or her signature
208is submitted;
209     (e)  The date the elector signed the form, as recorded by
210the elector, must be no more than 45 days from the date the form
211was received by the supervisor of elections;
212     (f)  The elector must accurately record on the form whether
213the elector was presented with the petition form for his or her
214signature by a petition circulator, as defined in s. 100.372(1);
216     (g)  If the elector was presented with the petition form
217for his or her signature by a petition circulator, the petition
218form must comply with the requirements of s. 100.372.
219     (5)  An elector has the right to submit his or her signed
220form to the sponsor of the initiative amendment, by mail or
221otherwise, at an address listed on the form for this purpose.
222     (6)  Each form must contain the following three notices at
223the top of the form in bold type and in a 16-point or larger
224font, immediately following the title "Constitutional Amendment
225Petition Form":
227RIGHT TO MAIL-IN - You have the right to take this
228petition home and study the issue before signing. If
229you choose to sign the petition, you may return it to
230the sponsors of the amendment at the following
231address: ___________________________________.
233PAID PETITION CIRCULATOR ? The person presenting this
234petition for your signature may be receiving
235compensation to do so. You have the right to ask for
236this information and the person's rate of compensation
237before you sign the petition.
239NATURE OF AMENDMENT ? The merits of the proposed
240change to the Florida Constitution appearing below
241have not been officially reviewed by any court or
242agency of state government.
244     (7)(4)  The sponsor shall submit signed and dated forms to
245the appropriate supervisor of elections for verification as to
246the number of registered electors whose valid signatures appear
247thereon. The supervisor shall promptly verify the signatures
248upon payment of the fee required by s. 99.097. Upon completion
249of verification, the supervisor shall execute a certificate
250indicating the total number of signatures checked, the number of
251signatures verified as valid and as being of registered
252electors, and the distribution of such signatures by
253congressional district. This certificate shall be immediately
254transmitted to the Secretary of State. The supervisor shall
255retain the signed signature forms for at least 1 year following
256the election in which the issue appeared on the ballot or until
257the Division of Elections notifies the supervisors of elections
258that the committee which circulated the petition is no longer
259seeking to obtain ballot position.
260     (8)(5)  The Secretary of State shall determine from the
261verification certificates received from supervisors of elections
262the total number of verified valid signatures and the
263distribution of such signatures by congressional districts. Upon
264a determination that the requisite number and distribution of
265valid signatures have been obtained, the secretary shall issue a
266certificate of ballot position for that proposed amendment and
267shall assign a designating number pursuant to s. 101.161. A
268petition shall be deemed to be filed with the Secretary of State
269upon the date of the receipt by the secretary of a certificate
270or certificates from supervisors of elections indicating the
271petition has been signed by the constitutionally required number
272of electors.
273     (9)(6)(a)  Within 45 days after receipt of a proposed
274revision or amendment to the State Constitution by initiative
275petition from the Secretary of State or, within 30 days after
276such receipt if receipt occurs 120 days or less before the
277election at which the question of ratifying the amendment will
278be presented, the Financial Impact Estimating Conference shall
279complete an analysis and financial impact statement to be placed
280on the ballot of the estimated increase or decrease in any
281revenues or costs to state or local governments resulting from
282the proposed initiative. The Financial Impact Estimating
283Conference shall submit the financial impact statement to the
284Attorney General and Secretary of State.
285     (b)1.  The Financial Impact Estimating Conference shall
286provide an opportunity for any proponents or opponents of the
287initiative to submit information and may solicit information or
288analysis from any other entities or agencies, including the
289Office of Economic and Demographic Research. All meetings of the
290Financial Impact Estimating Conference shall be open to the
291public as provided in chapter 286.
292     2.  The Financial Impact Estimating Conference is
293established to review, analyze, and estimate the financial
294impact of amendments to or revisions of the State Constitution
295proposed by initiative. The Financial Impact Estimating
296Conference shall consist of four principals: one person from the
297Executive Office of the Governor; the coordinator of the Office
298of Economic and Demographic Research, or his or her designee;
299one person from the professional staff of the Senate; and one
300person from the professional staff of the House of
301Representatives. Each principal shall have appropriate fiscal
302expertise in the subject matter of the initiative. A Financial
303Impact Estimating Conference may be appointed for each
305     3.  Principals of the Financial Impact Estimating
306Conference shall reach a consensus or majority concurrence on a
307clear and unambiguous financial impact statement, no more than
30875 words in length, and immediately submit the statement to the
309Attorney General. Nothing in this subsection prohibits the
310Financial Impact Estimating Conference from setting forth a
311range of potential impacts in the financial impact statement.
312Any financial impact statement that a court finds not to be in
313accordance with this section shall be remanded solely to the
314Financial Impact Estimating Conference for redrafting. The
315Financial Impact Estimating Conference shall redraft the
316financial impact statement within 15 days.
317     4.  If the members of the Financial Impact Estimating
318Conference are unable to agree on the statement required by this
319subsection, or if the Supreme Court has rejected the initial
320submission by the Financial Impact Estimating Conference and no
321redraft has been approved by the Supreme Court by April 1 of the
322year in which the general election is to be held 5 p.m. on the
32375th day before the election, the following statement shall
324appear on the ballot pursuant to s. 101.161(1): "The financial
325impact of this measure, if any, cannot be reasonably determined
326at this time."
327     (c)  The financial impact statement must be separately
328contained and be set forth after the ballot summary as required
329in s. 101.161(1).
330     (d)1.  Any financial impact statement that the Supreme
331Court finds not to be in accordance with this subsection shall
332be remanded solely to the Financial Impact Estimating Conference
333for redrafting, provided the court's advisory opinion is
334rendered by April 1 of the year in which the general election is
335to be held at least 75 days before the election at which the
336question of ratifying the amendment will be presented. The
337Financial Impact Estimating Conference shall prepare and adopt a
338revised financial impact statement no later than 5 p.m. on the
33915th day after the date of the court's opinion.
340     2.  If, by 5 p.m. on April 1 of the year in which the
341general election is to be held the 75th day before the election,
342the Supreme Court has not issued an advisory opinion on the
343initial financial impact statement prepared by the Financial
344Impact Estimating Conference for an initiative amendment that
345otherwise meets the legal requirements for ballot placement, the
346financial impact statement shall be deemed approved for
347placement on the ballot.
348     3.  In addition to the financial impact statement required
349by this subsection, the Financial Impact Estimating Conference
350shall draft an initiative financial information statement. The
351initiative financial information statement should describe in
352greater detail than the financial impact statement any projected
353increase or decrease in revenues or costs that the state or
354local governments would likely experience if the ballot measure
355were approved. If appropriate, the initiative financial
356information statement may include both estimated dollar amounts
357and a description placing the estimated dollar amounts into
358context. The initiative financial information statement must
359include both a summary of not more than 500 words and additional
360detailed information that includes the assumptions that were
361made to develop the financial impacts, workpapers, and any other
362information deemed relevant by the Financial Impact Estimating
364     4.  The Department of State shall have printed, and shall
365furnish to each supervisor of elections, a copy of the summary
366from the initiative financial information statements. The
367supervisors shall have the summary from the initiative financial
368information statements available at each polling place and at
369the main office of the supervisor of elections upon request.
370     5.  The Secretary of State and the Office of Economic and
371Demographic Research shall make available on the Internet each
372initiative financial information statement in its entirety. In
373addition, each supervisor of elections whose office has a
374website shall post the summary from each initiative financial
375information statement on the website. Each supervisor shall
376include the Internet addresses for the information statements on
377the Secretary of State's and the Office of Economic and
378Demographic Research's websites in the publication or mailing
379required by s. 101.20.
380     (10)(7)  The Department of State may adopt rules in
381accordance with s. 120.54 to carry out this section the
382provisions of subsections (1)-(6).
383     Section 4.  Section 100.372, Florida Statutes, is created
384to read:
385     100.372  Regulation of initiative petition circulators.--
386     (1)  For purposes of this section, a:
387     (a)  "Petition circulator" is any person who, in the
388context of a direct face-to-face conversation, presents to
389another person for his or her possible signature a petition form
390regarding ballot placement for an initiative.
391     (b)  "Paid petition circulator" is a petition circulator
392who receives any compensation as either a direct or indirect
393consequence of the activities described in paragraph (a).
394     (2)  A petition circulator must be, at the time the
395petition circulator presents to any person for his or her
396possible signature a petition form regarding ballot placement
397for an initiative, at least 18 years of age and eligible to
398register to vote in this state pursuant to s. 97.041.
399     (3)  A paid petition circulator shall, when engaged in the
400activities described in paragraph (1)(a), wear a prominent
401badge, in a form and manner prescribed by rule by the division,
402identifying him or her as a "PAID PETITION CIRCULATOR."
403     (4)  In addition to any other practice or action
404permissible under law, an owner, lessee, or other person
405lawfully exercising control over private property may:
406     (a)  Prohibit petition circulators from operating on the
407property and prohibit persons from engaging in other activities
408supporting or opposing an initiative; or
409     (b)  Permit such conduct on the property subject to time,
410place, and manner restrictions that are reasonable and uniformly
412     (5)  Prior to being presented to a possible elector for
413signature, a petition form regarding ballot placement for an
414initiative must set forth the following information in a format
415and manner prescribed by rule by the division:
416     (a)  The name of any organization or entity with which the
417petition circulator is affiliated and on behalf of which the
418petition circulator is presenting forms to electors for possible
420     (b)  The name of the sponsor of the initiative if different
421from the entity with which the petition circulator is
423     (c)  A statement directing those seeking information about
424initiative sponsors and their contributors to the Internet
425address of the appropriate division website; and
426     (d)  A statement disclosing whether the petition circulator
427is a paid petition circulator, and, if so, the amount or rate of
428compensation and the name and address of the person or entity
429paying the compensation to the paid petition circulator.
430     (6)(a)  A paid petition circulator shall attach to each
431signed petition form or group of petition forms obtained by the
432paid petition circulator a signed, notarized, and dated
433affidavit executed by the paid petition circulator in a form
434prescribed by rule by the division. If the affidavit pertains to
435a group of forms, the forms shall be consecutively numbered on
436their face by the paid petition circulator and the affidavit
437shall refer to the forms by number.
438     (b)  The affidavit shall include the paid petition
439circulator's printed name; the street address at which he or she
440resides, including county; the petition circulator's date of
441birth; the petition circulator's Florida voter registration
442number and county of registration, if applicable, or an
443identification number from a valid government-issued photo
444identification card along with information identifying the
445issuer; and the date he or she signed the affidavit.
446     (c)  The affidavit shall attest that the paid petition
447circulator has read and understands the laws governing the
448circulation of petition forms regarding ballot placement for an
449initiative; that he or she was 18 years of age and eligible to
450register to vote at the time the attached form or forms were
451circulated and signed by the listed electors; that he or she
452circulated the attached form or forms; that each signature
453thereon was affixed in the circulator's presence; that to the
454best of the circulator's knowledge and belief each signature
455thereon is the signature of the person whose name it purports to
456be; that to the best of the circulator's knowledge and belief
457each of the persons signing the form or forms was, at the time
458of signing, a registered elector; that the circulator has not
459provided or received, and will not in the future provide or
460receive, compensation that is based, directly or indirectly,
461upon the number of signatures obtained on petitions; and that he
462or she has not paid or will not in the future pay, and that he
463or she believes that no other person has paid or will pay,
464directly or indirectly, any money or other thing of value to any
465signer for the purpose of inducing or causing such signer to
466affix his or her signature to the form.
467     (d)  A signature on a petition form regarding ballot
468placement for an initiative to which an affidavit required by
469this subsection is not attached is invalid, may not be verified
470by the supervisor of elections, and may not be counted toward
471the number of valid signatures required for ballot placement.
472     (7)  Each paid petition circulator shall provide to the
473sponsor of the initiative amendment for which he or she is
474circulating petitions a copy of a valid and current government-
475issued photo identification card that accurately indicates the
476address at which the paid petition circulator resides. The
477sponsor of the initiative shall maintain the copies of these
478identification cards in its files and shall make them available
479for inspection by the division, a supervisor of elections, or
480any law enforcement agency. If a sponsor fails to maintain such
481a copy with respect to a particular paid petition circulator,
482all petitions obtained by that paid petition circulator prior to
483the date the sponsor produces the required copy of the
484identification card are invalid, may not be verified by the
485supervisor of elections, and may not be counted toward the
486number of valid signatures required for ballot placement.
487     (8)  A signature on a petition form regarding ballot
488placement for an initiative which does not fully comply with the
489applicable provisions of this chapter, or which was obtained in
490violation of the applicable provisions of this code, is invalid,
491may not be verified by the supervisor of elections, and may not
492be counted toward the number of valid signatures required for
493ballot placement.
494     Section 5.  Subsection (1) of section 101.161, Florida
495Statutes, is amended to read:
496     (1)  Whenever a constitutional amendment or other public
497measure is submitted to the vote of the people, the substance of
498such amendment or other public measure shall be printed in clear
499and unambiguous language on the ballot after the list of
500candidates, followed by the word "yes" and also by the word
501"no," and shall be styled in such a manner that a "yes" vote
502will indicate approval of the proposal and a "no" vote will
503indicate rejection. The wording of the substance of the
504amendment or other public measure and the ballot title to appear
505on the ballot shall be embodied in the joint resolution,
506constitutional revision commission proposal, constitutional
507convention proposal, taxation and budget reform commission
508proposal, or enabling resolution or ordinance. Except for
509amendments and ballot language proposed by joint resolution, the
510substance of the amendment or other public measure shall be an
511explanatory statement, not exceeding 75 words in length, of the
512chief purpose of the measure. In addition, for every amendment
513proposed by initiative, the ballot shall include, following the
514ballot summary, a separate financial impact statement concerning
515the measure prepared by the Financial Impact Estimating
516Conference in accordance with s. 100.371(9)(6). The ballot title
517shall consist of a caption, not exceeding 15 words in length, by
518which the measure is commonly referred to or spoken of.
519     Section 6.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (4) of section
520101.62, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
521     101.62  Request for absentee ballots.--
522     (4)(a)  To each absent qualified elector overseas who has
523requested an absentee ballot, the supervisor of elections shall,
524not fewer than 35 days before the first primary election, mail
525an absentee ballot. Not fewer than 45 days before the second
526primary and general election, the supervisor of elections shall
527mail an advance absentee ballot to those persons requesting
528ballots for such elections. The advance absentee ballot for the
529second primary shall be the same as the first primary absentee
530ballot as to the names of candidates, except that for any
531offices where there are only two candidates, those offices and
532all political party executive committee offices shall be
533omitted. Except as provided in ss. 99.063(4) and 100.371(9)(6),
534the advance absentee ballot for the general election shall be as
535specified in s. 101.151, except that in the case of candidates
536of political parties where nominations were not made in the
537first primary, the names of the candidates placing first and
538second in the first primary election shall be printed on the
539advance absentee ballot. The advance absentee ballot or advance
540absentee ballot information booklet shall be of a different
541color for each election and also a different color from the
542absentee ballots for the first primary, second primary, and
543general election. The supervisor shall mail an advance absentee
544ballot for the second primary and general election to each
545qualified absent elector for whom a request is received until
546the absentee ballots are printed. The supervisor shall enclose
547with the advance second primary absentee ballot and advance
548general election absentee ballot an explanation stating that the
549absentee ballot for the election will be mailed as soon as it is
550printed; and, if both the advance absentee ballot and the
551absentee ballot for the election are returned in time to be
552counted, only the absentee ballot will be counted. The
553Department of State may prescribe by rule the requirements for
554preparing and mailing absentee ballots to absent qualified
555electors overseas.
556     Section 7.  Subsection (5) is added to section 104.012,
557Florida Statutes, to read:
558     104.012  Consideration for registration; interference with
559registration; soliciting registrations for compensation;
560alteration of registration application; failing to submit
561registration application.--
562     (5)  Any person who obtains an executed voter registration
563application from another person and who willfully fails to
564submit this application to the appropriate supervisor of
565elections within 10 days commits a felony of the third degree,
566punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
567     Section 8.  Section 104.185, Florida Statutes, is amended
568to read:
569     104.185  Violations involving petitions; knowingly signing
570more than once; signing another person's name or a fictitious
572     (1)  A person who knowingly signs a petition or petitions
573to secure ballot position for a candidate, a minor political
574party, or an issue more than one time commits a misdemeanor of
575the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.
576775.083 and, upon any subsequent conviction, commits a felony of
577the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.
578775.083, or s. 775.084.
579     (2)  A person who signs another person's name or a
580fictitious name to any petition to secure ballot position for a
581candidate, a minor political party, or an issue commits a
582misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
583775.082 or s. 775.083 and, upon any subsequent conviction,
584commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
585s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
586     (3)  A person who willfully swears or affirms falsely to
587any oath or affirmation, or willfully procures another person to
588swear or affirm falsely to an oath or affirmation, in connection
589with or arising out of the petitioning process commits a
590misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
591775.082 or s. 775.083 and, upon any subsequent conviction,
592commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
593s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
594     (4)  A person who willfully submits any false information
595on a petition commits a misdemeanor of the first degree,
596punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 and, upon any
597subsequent conviction, commits a felony of the third degree,
598punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
599     (5)  A person who directly or indirectly gives or promises
600anything of value to any other person to induce that other
601person to sign a petition commits a misdemeanor of the first
602degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 and,
603upon any subsequent conviction, commits a felony of the third
604degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.
606     (6)  A person who, by bribery, menace, threat, or other
607corruption, directly or indirectly influences, deceives, or
608deters, or attempts to influence, deceive, or deter, any person
609in the free exercise of that person's right to sign a petition,
610upon the first conviction commits a misdemeanor of the first
611degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 and,
612upon any subsequent conviction, commits a felony of the third
613degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.
615     (7)  A person may not provide or receive compensation that
616is based, directly or indirectly, upon the number of signatures
617obtained on petitions. A person who violates this subsection
618commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as
619provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 and, upon any subsequent
620conviction, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as
621provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
622     (8)  A person who alters the petition signed by any other
623person without the other person's knowledge and consent commits
624a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
625775.082 or s. 775.083 and, upon any subsequent conviction,
626commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
627s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
628     (9)  A person perpetrating, or attempting to perpetrate or
629aid in the perpetration of, any fraud in connection with
630obtaining the signature of electors on petitions commits a
631misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
632775.082 or s. 775.083 and, upon any subsequent conviction,
633commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
634s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
635     (10)  In addition to any other penalty provided for by law,
636if a paid petition circulator, as defined in s. 100.372(1),
637violates any provision of this section, the Florida Elections
638Commission may, pursuant to s. 106.265, impose a civil penalty
639in the form of a fine not to exceed $1,000 per violation on any
640person or entity on behalf of which the petition circulator was
641acting at the time of the violation.
642     Section 9.  Section 104.42, Florida Statutes, is amended to
644     104.42  Unlawful registrations, petitions, Fraudulent
645registration and illegal voting; investigation.--
646     (1)  The supervisor of elections is authorized to
647investigate unlawful fraudulent registrations, petitions, and
648illegal voting and to report his or her findings to the local
649state attorney, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and
650the Florida Elections Commission.
651     (2)  The board of county commissioners in any county may
652appropriate funds to the supervisor of elections for the purpose
653of investigating unlawful fraudulent registrations, petitions,
654and illegal voting.
655     (3)  The supervisor of elections shall document and report
656suspected unlawful registrations, petitions, and voting to the
657Florida Elections Commission within 10 days of acquiring
658reasonable suspicion about the lawfulness of the registrations,
659petitions, and voting.
660     Section 10.  Any signature gathered on an authorized form
661for an initiative petition that has been submitted for
662verification prior to the effective date of this act may be
663verified and counted if otherwise valid. However, any petition
664form that is submitted for verification on or after the
665effective date of this act shall be verified and counted only if
666it complies with all the provisions of this act. Any initiative
667petition form approved by the Secretary of State prior to the
668effective date of this act is hereby invalidated, and a new
669petition form must be resubmitted to the Secretary of State for
670approval in accordance with the requirements of this act prior
671to obtaining elector signatures.
672     Section 11.  If any provision of this act or its
673application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the
674invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of
675the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision
676or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
677declared severable.
678     Section 12.  This act shall take effect August 1, 2005.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.