Florida Senate - 2018                              CS for SB 964
       By the Committee on Community Affairs; and Senator Baxley
       578-02924-18                                           2018964c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to voting systems; amending s. 97.021,
    3         F.S.; defining the term “automatic tabulating
    4         equipment” for purposes of the Florida Election Code;
    5         revising the definition of the term “marksense
    6         ballots” for purposes of the Florida Election Code;
    7         amending s. 101.151, F.S.; providing applicability of
    8         specified ballot requirements to a voter interface
    9         device; amending ss. 101.5603 and 101.56075, F.S.;
   10         conforming provisions to changes made by the act;
   11         amending s. 101.5614, F.S.; revising procedures
   12         governing the canvassing of returns to specify usage
   13         of a voting system’s automatic tabulating equipment;
   14         amending s. 102.141, F.S.; providing that ballots
   15         processed through automatic tabulating equipment in a
   16         recount do not need to be reprocessed in certain
   17         circumstances; amending s. 102.166, F.S.; specifying
   18         the manner by which a manual recount may be conducted;
   19         revising requirements for hardware or software used in
   20         a manual recount; authorizing overvotes and undervotes
   21         to be identified and sorted physically or digitally in
   22         a manual recount; revising minimum requirements for
   23         Department of State rules to require procedures
   24         regarding the certification and use of automatic
   25         tabulating equipment for manual recounts; providing an
   26         effective date.
   28  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   30         Section 1. Present subsections (6) through (45) of section
   31  97.021, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (7)
   32  through (46), respectively, a new subsection (5) is added to
   33  that section, and paragraph (a) of present subsection (5) of
   34  that section is amended, to read:
   35         97.021 Definitions.—For the purposes of this code, except
   36  where the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term:
   37         (5) “Automatic tabulating equipment” means an apparatus
   38  that automatically examines, counts, and records votes.
   39         (6)(5) “Ballot” or “official ballot” when used in reference
   40  to:
   41         (a) “Marksense ballots” means that printed sheet of paper,
   42  used in conjunction with an electronic or electromechanical vote
   43  tabulation voting system, containing the names of candidates, or
   44  a statement of proposed constitutional amendments or other
   45  questions or propositions submitted to the electorate at any
   46  election, or the selections made by the elector of candidates or
   47  other questions or propositions at an election, on which sheet
   48  of paper an elector casts his or her vote either directly on a
   49  sheet of paper or indirectly through the use of a voter
   50  interface device used to designate the elector’s ballot
   51  selections on the sheet of paper.
   52         Section 2. Subsection (10) is added to section 101.151,
   53  Florida Statutes, to read:
   54         101.151 Specifications for ballots.—
   55         (10) With respect to any voting system that uses a voter
   56  interface device to designate the elector’s ballot selections on
   57  a sheet of paper, the provisions of this section, s. 101.161,
   58  and ss. 101.2512-101.254 that prescribe the ballot layout apply
   59  only to the display of candidates and issues on the voter
   60  interface device.
   61         Section 3. Subsection (5) of section 101.5603, Florida
   62  Statutes, is amended to read:
   63         101.5603 Definitions relating to Electronic Voting Systems
   64  Act.—As used in this act, the term:
   65         (5) “Marking device” means any approved device for marking
   66  a ballot with ink or other substance, including through a voter
   67  interface device, which will enable the ballot to be tabulated
   68  by means of automatic tabulating equipment.
   69         Section 4. Subsection (1) of section 101.56075, Florida
   70  Statutes, is amended to read:
   71         101.56075 Voting methods.—
   72         (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), all voting shall
   73  be by marksense ballot using utilizing a marking device for the
   74  purpose of designating ballot selections.
   75         Section 5. Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) and subsections
   76  (7) and (8) of section 101.5614, Florida Statutes, are amended
   77  to read:
   78         101.5614 Canvass of returns.—
   79         (5)(a) If any vote-by-mail ballot is physically damaged so
   80  that it cannot properly be counted by the voting system’s
   81  automatic tabulating equipment, a true duplicate copy shall be
   82  made of the damaged ballot in the presence of witnesses and
   83  substituted for the damaged ballot. Likewise, a duplicate ballot
   84  shall be made of a vote-by-mail ballot containing an overvoted
   85  race or a marked vote-by-mail ballot in which every race is
   86  undervoted which shall include all valid votes as determined by
   87  the canvassing board based on rules adopted by the division
   88  pursuant to s. 102.166(4). All duplicate ballots shall be
   89  clearly labeled “duplicate,” bear a serial number which shall be
   90  recorded on the defective ballot, and be counted in lieu of the
   91  defective ballot. After a ballot has been duplicated, the
   92  defective ballot shall be placed in an envelope provided for
   93  that purpose, and the duplicate ballot shall be tallied with the
   94  other ballots for that precinct.
   95         (7) Vote-by-mail ballots may be counted by the voting
   96  system’s automatic tabulating equipment if they have been marked
   97  in a manner which will enable them to be properly counted by
   98  such equipment.
   99         (8) The return printed by the voting system’s automatic
  100  tabulating equipment, to which has been added the return of
  101  write-in, vote-by-mail, and manually counted votes and votes
  102  from provisional ballots, shall constitute the official return
  103  of the election upon certification by the canvassing board. Upon
  104  completion of the count, the returns shall be open to the
  105  public. A copy of the returns may be posted at the central
  106  counting place or at the office of the supervisor of elections
  107  in lieu of the posting of returns at individual precincts.
  108         Section 6. Paragraph (a) of subsection (7) of section
  109  102.141, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  110         102.141 County canvassing board; duties.—
  111         (7) If the unofficial returns reflect that a candidate for
  112  any office was defeated or eliminated by one-half of a percent
  113  or less of the votes cast for such office, that a candidate for
  114  retention to a judicial office was retained or not retained by
  115  one-half of a percent or less of the votes cast on the question
  116  of retention, or that a measure appearing on the ballot was
  117  approved or rejected by one-half of a percent or less of the
  118  votes cast on such measure, a recount shall be ordered of the
  119  votes cast with respect to such office or measure. The Secretary
  120  of State is responsible for ordering recounts in federal, state,
  121  and multicounty races. The county canvassing board or the local
  122  board responsible for certifying the election is responsible for
  123  ordering recounts in all other races. A recount need not be
  124  ordered with respect to the returns for any office, however, if
  125  the candidate or candidates defeated or eliminated from
  126  contention for such office by one-half of a percent or less of
  127  the votes cast for such office request in writing that a recount
  128  not be made.
  129         (a) Each canvassing board responsible for conducting a
  130  recount shall put each marksense ballot through automatic
  131  tabulating equipment and determine whether the returns correctly
  132  reflect the votes cast. If any marksense ballot is physically
  133  damaged so that it cannot be properly counted by the automatic
  134  tabulating equipment during the recount, a true duplicate shall
  135  be made of the damaged ballot pursuant to the procedures in s.
  136  101.5614(5). Immediately before the start of the recount, a test
  137  of the tabulating equipment shall be conducted as provided in s.
  138  101.5612. If the test indicates no error, the recount tabulation
  139  of the ballots cast shall be presumed correct and such votes
  140  shall be canvassed accordingly. If an error is detected, the
  141  cause therefor shall be ascertained and corrected and the
  142  recount repeated, as necessary. The canvassing board shall
  143  immediately report the error, along with the cause of the error
  144  and the corrective measures being taken, to the Department of
  145  State. No later than 11 days after the election, the canvassing
  146  board shall file a separate incident report with the Department
  147  of State, detailing the resolution of the matter and identifying
  148  any measures that will avoid a future recurrence of the error.
  149  If the automatic tabulating equipment used in a recount is not
  150  part of the voting system and the ballots have already been
  151  processed through such equipment, the canvassing board is not
  152  required to put each ballot through any automatic tabulating
  153  equipment again.
  154         Section 7. Subsections (1) and (2) and paragraph (d) of
  155  subsection (5) of section 102.166, Florida Statutes, are amended
  156  to read:
  157         102.166 Manual recounts of overvotes and undervotes.—
  158         (1) If the second set of unofficial returns pursuant to s.
  159  102.141 indicates that a candidate for any office was defeated
  160  or eliminated by one-quarter of a percent or less of the votes
  161  cast for such office, that a candidate for retention to a
  162  judicial office was retained or not retained by one-quarter of a
  163  percent or less of the votes cast on the question of retention,
  164  or that a measure appearing on the ballot was approved or
  165  rejected by one-quarter of a percent or less of the votes cast
  166  on such measure, a manual recount of the overvotes and
  167  undervotes cast in the entire geographic jurisdiction of such
  168  office or ballot measure shall be ordered unless:
  169         (a) The candidate or candidates defeated or eliminated from
  170  contention by one-quarter of 1 percent or fewer of the votes
  171  cast for such office request in writing that a recount not be
  172  made; or
  173         (b) The number of overvotes and undervotes is fewer than
  174  the number of votes needed to change the outcome of the
  175  election.
  177  The Secretary of State is responsible for ordering a manual
  178  recount for federal, state, and multicounty races. The county
  179  canvassing board or local board responsible for certifying the
  180  election is responsible for ordering a manual recount for all
  181  other races. A manual recount consists of a recount of marksense
  182  ballots or of digital images of those ballots by a person.
  183         (2)(a) Any hardware or software used to identify and sort
  184  overvotes and undervotes for a given race or ballot measure must
  185  be certified by the Department of State as part of the voting
  186  system pursuant to s. 101.015. Any such hardware or software
  187  must be capable of simultaneously counting votes.
  188         (b) Overvotes and undervotes shall be identified and sorted
  189  while recounting ballots pursuant to s. 102.141, if the hardware
  190  or software for this purpose has been certified or the
  191  department’s rules so provide. Overvotes and undervotes may be
  192  identified and sorted physically or digitally.
  193         (5) Procedures for a manual recount are as follows:
  194         (d) The Department of State shall adopt detailed rules
  195  prescribing additional recount procedures for each certified
  196  voting system which shall be uniform to the extent practicable.
  197  The rules shall address, at a minimum, the following areas:
  198         1. Security of ballots during the recount process;
  199         2. Time and place of recounts;
  200         3. Public observance of recounts;
  201         4. Objections to ballot determinations;
  202         5. Record of recount proceedings; and
  203         6. Procedures relating to candidate and petitioner
  204  representatives; and
  205         7. Procedures relating to the certification and the use of
  206  automatic tabulating equipment that is not part of a voting
  207  system.
  208         Section 8. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2019.