Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 063376
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File Number: 063376 File Type: Ordinance Status: Before the Board
Version: 0 Reference: Control: County Commission
File Name: INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM AND RECALL PETITIONS Introduced: 11/27/2006
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 3/6/2007 Agenda Item Number: 7C
Notes: SEE 070586 FOR FINAL VERSON AS ADOPTED Title: ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 12-23 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA RELATING TO INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM AND RECALL PETITIONS; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: INITIATIVE PETITION
  REFERENDUM
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Prime Sponsor
  Natacha Seijas, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 3/6/2007 7C Amended
REPORT: See Report Under Agenda Item 7C Amended, Legislative File No. 070586.

Governmental Operations and Environment Committee 2/13/2007 3C Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: The foregoing proposed ordinance was read into the record by Assistant County Attorney Joni Armstrong-Coffey. Chairwoman Seijas opened the public hearing on the foregoing proposed ordinance. Hearing no person wishing to speak on this matter, the public hearing was closed. Commissioner Diaz stated he promised to bring this ordinance back after working out all of the issues with staff. He noted the intent of the foregoing ordinance was to ensure that persons gathering petitions were responsible individuals and registered voters; and to ensure that the petitions were tri-lingual. Commissioner Gimenez questioned the language in Florida Statue 104.185 and whether individual(s) initiating a petition must be 18 years of age or older and whether individual(s) gathering signatures could be prohibited from being paid for collecting signatures. Assistant County Attorney Oren Rosenthal responded to Commissioner Gimenez’ questions, noting that Florida Statue104.185 dealt with someone knowingly signing more than one petition, signing another person’s name, or signing a fictitious name, which carried penalties for first degree misdemeanor. Mr. Rosenthal further noted some case law exists that provides it is illegal to prohibit individual(s) from receiving pay for circulating petitions. Commissioner Martinez noted he supported the requirement that the petitioner be a registered elector because the criminal penalty related to this ordinance may not apply to juveniles. He also noted he felt this ordinance only dealt with the adult criminal system.

County Attorney 1/29/2007 Assigned Governmental Operations and Environment Committee 2/13/2007

Board of County Commissioners 12/5/2006 Scheduled for a public hearing Community Outreach, Safety & Healthcare Admin Cmte 1/17/2007

Board of County Commissioners 12/5/2006 4F Adopted on first reading 1/17/2007 P
REPORT: The foregoing proposed ordinance was scheduled for a public hearing before the Community Outreach, Safety & Healthcare Administration Committee on January 17, 2007 at 2:00 p.m.

County Attorney 11/27/2006 Referred Community Outreach, Safety & Healthcare Admin Cmte 1/17/2007

County Attorney 11/27/2006 Assigned Murray A. Greenberg 11/27/2006

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 12-23 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA RELATING TO INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM AND RECALL PETITIONS; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
WHEREAS, Article 7 of the Miami Dade County Home Rule Charter provides procedures for initiative, referendum, and recall; and
WHEREAS, although the Florida courts have held these provisions to be self-executing, the courts have also stated that the legislative acts pertaining to these provisions shall be allowed when necessary to ensure ballot integrity; and
WHEREAS, this Board desires to eliminate the potential for any voter fraud in the gathering of signatures on petitions for initiative, referendum, and recall by making certain that all petitions are capable of being understood by English, Spanish, and Creole speaking electors; and
WHEREAS, the Supervisor of Elections has access to Florida's voter registration records which provide a name, address and sample signature for each elector in Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, this Board recognizes that by requiring all petition circulators to be registered electors of Miami-Dade County, the integrity of the initiative process is enhanced by providing greater accountability for circulators who will become identifiable through voter registration records should there be a question as to the validity of the signatures collected,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Section 12-23 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:1
Sec 12-23. Initiative, referendum and recall petitions-Verification of signatures; disqualification of noncomplying petitions.

>>(1) No person may circulate a petition or solicit signatures unless he or she is a registered elector in Miami-Dade County.<<

[[(1)]] >>(2)<< Form of Petition. All petitions for initiative, referendum, and recall submitted pursuant to Article 7 of the Miami-Dade County Home Rule Charter shall be in a format determined by the Supervisor of Elections; providing, however, each petition shall contain the following information:

A. A statement in each petition circulator's own handwriting, setting forth his or her own name, both in printed and signature form.

B. The residence address of the circulator.

C. Dates between which all the signatures on each individual petition were obtained.

D. A sworn statement that the circulator personally circulated the petition, witnessed each signature as it was being written and that to the best information and belief of the circulator, each signature is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be.

E. A sworn statement signed by the circulator certifying to the truthfulness and the correctness of the certificate set forth in Section (1)(D) hereof; stating that it is being given under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Florida; and setting forth the date and the place of execution of the certification.

>>F. Any individual who knowingly signs more than one petition or who attempts to sign another person's name, or a fictitious name shall be deemed to have violated F.S. 104.185, and in addition shall be guilty of a misdemeanor in the second degree.

G. The title and text in English, Spanish, and Creole of the ordinance or the Charter provision sought to be enacted or repealed.<<

[[(2)]]>>(3)<< Disqualification of Forms. Within fifteen (15) days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, of the date of filing a petition of initiative or referendum, the Supervisor of Elections, or in the case of recall, the Clerk of the Circuit Court, shall disqualify the following petition forms:

A. Those that do not include >>in English, Spanish, and Creole,<< the title and text of the ordinance or the Charter provision sought to be enacted or repealed.

B. Those that do not comply with any one or more of the provisions relating to the circulator set forth in Section (1) hereof.

C. Those where the notary failed to comply with the provisions of F.S. 117.05, requiring the notary to certify that to the best of his or her knowledge he or she knows the circulator or has seen documentary evidence to substantiate the authenticity of the circulator.

D. Those where the notary is the same person as the circulator.

E. Those where the signatures of the circulator or notary are dated earlier than the dates on which the electors signed the petition.

[[(3)]] >>(4)<
A. Those signatures that are not accompanied by a residence address or precinct number of the voter.

B. Those signatures that are illegible.

C. Those signatures not dated.

D. Those signatures representing persons who were not registered voters in Miami-Dade County on the date they signed the petition.

E. The second and any additional signatures of an otherwise eligible voter.

F. Those signatures that appear different to the extent that it cannot be determined that the person signing the petition and the person who is registered to vote are one and the same.

Section 2. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 3. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word "ordinance" may be changed to "section," "article," or other appropriate word.
Section 4. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.
1 Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted. Words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< constitute the amendment proposed. Remaining provisions are now in effect and remain unchanged.



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