Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 130164
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File Number: 130164 File Type: Resolution Status: Amended
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: ADOPTED 2013 STATE LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE Introduced: 1/25/2013
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 2/5/2013 Agenda Item Number: 11A24
Notes: SEE 130241 FOR FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT DURING THE 2013 SESSION THE STATE LEGISLATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE GRAND JURY REPORT ON ABSENTEE BALLOT FRAUD TO THE EXTENT NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE BOARD’S PREVIOUSLY ADOPTED 2013 STATE LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE; FURTHER URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO AMEND STATE ELECTIONS LAW TO ALLOW SUPERVISORS OF ELECTIONS TO CONTACT AN ELECTOR IF THE ELECTOR RETURNS AN ABSENTEE BALLOT WITHOUT A SIGNATURE ON THE ENVELOPE OR IF THE SIGNATURE DOES NOT MATCH THE REGISTERED SIGNATURE ON FILE
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
Sponsors: Rebeca Sosa, Prime Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, 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 2/5/2013 11A24 Amended
REPORT: SEE LEGISLATIVE FILE NO. 130241 FOR AMENDED VERSION

County Attorney 1/25/2013 Assigned Jess M. McCarty 1/29/2013

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT DURING THE 2013 SESSION THE STATE LEGISLATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE GRAND JURY REPORT ON ABSENTEE BALLOT FRAUD TO THE EXTENT NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE BOARD’S PREVIOUSLY ADOPTED 2013 STATE LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE; FURTHER URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO AMEND STATE ELECTIONS LAW TO ALLOW SUPERVISORS OF ELECTIONS TO CONTACT AN ELECTOR IF THE ELECTOR RETURNS AN ABSENTEE BALLOT WITHOUT A SIGNATURE ON THE ENVELOPE OR IF THE SIGNATURE DOES NOT MATCH THE REGISTERED SIGNATURE ON FILE

BODY
WHEREAS, following allegations of absentee ballot fraud in the August 14, 2012 primary election, the Miami-Dade State Attorney empanelled a Grand Jury to review absentee ballot fraud and make recommendations; and
WHEREAS, the Grand Jury filed its final report on December 19, 2012; and
WHEREAS, the Grand Jury report made a total of 23 recommendations to the Florida Legislature and the Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections; and
WHEREAS, of these 23 recommendations, ten were recommendations to the Florida Legislature 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); and

WHEREAS, the sixth state legislative recommendation of the Grand Jury set forth above related to early voting is to provide 120 hours of early voting and restore early voting to 14 days rather than the current eight days is not consistent with previously-adopted Board policy on this issue,
WHEREAS, this Board adopted 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, so as to include the last Sunday before Election Day; and
WHEREAS, this Board supports all of the recommendations of the Grand Jury except for the sixth recommendation related to early voting days; and
WHEREAS, the Grand Jury also made 13 recommendations to the Miami-Dade County Elections Department and the Supervisor of Elections; and
WHEREAS, one such recommendation was for the Miami-Dade County Elections Department to adopt procedures to contact an elector if the elector returns an absentee ballot without a signature on the envelope or if the signature does not match the registered signature on file; and
WHEREAS, this recommendation would require a change to state law before the Miami-Dade County Elections Department could adopt this procedure; and
WHEREAS, this Board urges the Florida Legislature to enact such legislation amending state elections law so as to allow the Miami-Dade County Elections Department to contact an elector if the elector returns an absentee ballot without a signature on the envelope or if the signature does not match the registered signature on file; and
WHEREAS, this Board commends the Grand Jury on their service to the community and their important work on the issue of absentee ballot fraud and ensuring the integrity of our elections process,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature during the 2013 session to enact the state legislative recommendations of the Final Report of the Grand Jury on Absentee Ballot Fraud filed December 19, 2012, except for the sixth recommendation related to early voting days, which is not consistent with the Board’s previously-adopted 2013 state legislative policy.
Section 2. Further urges the Florida Legislature to amend state elections law to allow the Supervisors of Elections to contact an elector if the elector returns an absentee ballot without a signature on the envelope or if the signature does not match the registered signature on file.
Section 3. Directs the Clerk of the Board to send a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, the Miami-Dade County State Attorney, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation, the Florida Secretary of State and the Members of the Miami-Dade County Grand Jury for the Spring 2012 term.
Section 4. Directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the passage of the legislation set forth in Sections 1 and 2 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2013 State Legislative Package to include these items.



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