Board of County Commissioners approve resolution urging the Florida Legislature to adopt recommendations made the Grand Jury report to prevent absentee ballot fraud
Today, the Board of County Commissioners approved Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa’s resolution urging the Florida Legislature to adopt during the 2013 Session the State Legislative recommendations made by the Grand Jury report to prevent absentee ballot fraud. The resolution additionally calls for the amendment of state elections law to allow supervisors of elections to contact an elector if he or she returns a ballot without a signature on the envelope or if it does not match the signature registered on file.
The Grand Jury’s final report, which includes 23 recommendations to the Florida Legislature and the Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections, was filed on December 19, 2012. Ten of these recommendations were for changes to Florida Statutes, consisting of the following:
1) Reinstate the requirement that the signing of absentee ballots by electors require the signature of an attesting witness 18 years of age or older
2) Impose a requirement that the signature of the attesting witness also would be used to attest that the witness observed the elector mark or vote the absentee ballot
3) Require a person to sign a declaration who provides assistance to an elector who needs assistance when voting an absentee ballot
4) Require an elector to sign a declaration who is requesting assistance with an absentee ballot from a person other than a family member
5) Expand eligible early voting sites and provide Supervisors of Elections discretion in determining which early voting sites to use
6) Provide 120 hours of early voting and restore early voting to 14 days rather than the current eight days
7) Eliminate the permanent absentee voter list and require that voters request an absentee ballot for each election
8) Adopt statewide language currently in the Miami-Dade County Code to make it illegal for anyone to be in possession of more than two absentee ballots at one time
9) Make it a third degree felony to be in possession of more than two absentee ballots at one time;
10) Further limit the public records exemption related to absentee ballot information so as to make such information available only to a political party or official thereof, a candidate, a registered political committee or committee of continuous existence (CCE)
The sixth recommendation listed above is not consistent with previously-adopted Board policy (resolution No. R-1090-12) on December 18, 2012, supporting the state legislative recommendations of the Mayor’s Elections Advisory Group, which included extending the availability of early voting from eight to nine days.
For more information on this resolution, please contact Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa’s office at 305-375-3634.