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2004 Florida Statutes
Statewide voter registration database; operation and maintenance.
98.0977 Statewide voter registration database; operation and maintenance.--
(1) The department shall operate and maintain the statewide, on-line voter registration database and associated website until such time as the statewide voter registration system required to be developed pursuant to the Help America Vote Act of 2002 is operational. The database shall contain voter registration information from each of the 67 supervisors of elections in this state and shall be accessible through an Internet website. The system shall provide functionality for ensuring that the database is updated on a daily basis to determine if a registered voter is ineligible to vote for any of the following reasons, including, but not limited to:
(a) The voter is deceased;
(b) The voter has been convicted of a felony and has not had his or her civil rights restored; or
(c) The voter has been adjudicated mentally incompetent and his or her mental capacity with respect to voting has not been restored.
The database shall also allow for duplicate voter registrations to be identified.
(2) The Department of State shall not contract with any private entity for the operation of the statewide voter registration database.
(3)(a) In administering the database, each supervisor of elections shall compare registration information provided by a voter with information held by the Department of Law Enforcement, the Board of Executive Clemency, the Office of Vital Statistics, and other relevant sources.
(b) The supervisor of elections shall remove from the voter registration rolls the name of any person who is listed in the database as deceased.
(c) Information in the database indicating that a person registered to vote in a given county has subsequently registered to vote in another jurisdiction shall be considered as a written request from that voter to have his or her name removed from the voter registration rolls of that county, and the supervisor of elections of that county shall remove that voter's name from the county's voter registration rolls.
(d) When the supervisor of elections finds information through the database that suggests that a voter has been convicted of a felony and has not had his or her civil rights restored or has been adjudicated mentally incompetent and his or her mental capacity with respect to voting has not been restored, the supervisor of elections shall notify the voter by certified United States mail. The notification shall contain a statement as to the reason for the voter's potential ineligibility to be registered to vote and shall request information from the voter on forms provided by the supervisor of elections. As an alternative, the voter may attend a hearing at a time and place specified in the notice. If there is evidence that the notice was not received, notice must be given once by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. The notice must plainly state that the voter is potentially ineligible to be registered to vote and must state a time and place for the person to appear before the supervisor of elections to show cause why his or her name should not be removed from the voter registration rolls. After reviewing the information provided by the voter, if the supervisor of elections determines that the voter is not eligible to vote under the laws of this state, the supervisor of elections shall notify the voter by certified United States mail that he or she has been found ineligible to be registered to vote in this state, shall state the reason for the ineligibility, and shall inform the voter that he or she has been removed from the voter registration rolls. The supervisor of elections shall remove from the voter registration rolls the name of any voter who fails either to respond within 30 days to the notice sent by certified mail or to attend the hearing.
(e) Upon hearing all evidence in a hearing, the supervisor of elections must determine whether there is sufficient evidence to strike the person's name from the registration books. If the supervisor determines that there is sufficient evidence, he or she must strike the name.
(f) Appeal may be taken to the circuit court in and for the county where the person was registered. Notice of appeal must be filed within the time and in the manner provided by the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure and acts as supersedeas. Trial in the circuit court is de novo and governed by the rules of that court. Unless the person can show that his or her name was erroneously or illegally stricken from the registration books or that he or she is indigent, the person must bear the costs of the trial in the circuit court. Otherwise, the cost of the appeal must be paid by the board of county commissioners.
(4) To the maximum extent feasible, state and local government entities shall facilitate provision of information and access to data to the department in order to compare information in the statewide voter registration database with available information in other computer databases, including, but not limited to, databases that contain reliable criminal records and records of deceased persons. State and local governmental agencies that provide such data shall do so without charge if the direct cost incurred by those agencies is not significant.
(5) The duties of the supervisors of elections under this section shall be considered part of their regular registration list maintenance duties under this chapter, and any supervisor of elections who willfully refuses or willfully neglects to perform his or her duties under this section shall be in violation of s. 104.051(2).
History.--s. 70, ch. 2001-40; s. 3, ch. 2002-17; s. 6, ch. 2002-189; s. 9, ch. 2003-415.