Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 130236
   Clerk's Official Copy   

File Number: 130236 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-124-13 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: EARLY VOTING APPLICATION RENEWAL Introduced: 2/4/2013
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 2/5/2013
Agenda Date: 2/5/2013 Agenda Item Number: 15F1
Notes: SEE ADDITIONAL ITEMS R#1075-12 & R#1090-12) Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO PASS LEGISLATION DURING THE 2013 SESSION TO RESTORE EARLY VOTING TO THE FULL 14 DAYS THAT WAS IN PLACE BEFORE THE PASSAGE OF HB 1355 INCLUDING THE SUNDAY BEFORE ELECTION DAY; FURTHER URGING THE LEGISLATURE TO PROVIDE COUNTIES GREATER FLEXIBILITY RELATED TO THE HOURS FOR EARLY VOTING; IDENTIFYING THIS ISSUE AS A CRITICAL COUNTY PRIORITY FOR THE 2013 SESSION (SEE ADDITIONAL ITEMS R#1075-12 & R#1090-12)
Indexes: VOTING
Sponsors: Dennis C. Moss, Prime Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, 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 15F1 Adopted P
REPORT: Application for renewal and necessary signatures were received to enable the Board of County Commissioners to take action at today's (2/5) meeting to urge the Florida Legislature to amend State Election Law to restore early voting to 14 days. The Board adopted the foregoing resolution to accomplish such action, thereby modifying R-1075-12 (Legislative File No. 122472) and R-1090-12 (Legislative File No. 122469) to support 14 rather than 9 days of early voting. At today's (2/5) meeting, the Board also adopted agenda item 11A24 (Legislative File No. 130164) as amended, to support 14 days early voting .

County Attorney 2/4/2013 Assigned Jess M. McCarty 2/4/2013

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO PASS LEGISLATION DURING THE 2013 SESSION TO RESTORE EARLY VOTING TO THE FULL 14 DAYS THAT WAS IN PLACE BEFORE THE PASSAGE OF HB 1355 INCLUDING THE SUNDAY BEFORE ELECTION DAY; FURTHER URGING THE LEGISLATURE TO PROVIDE COUNTIES GREATER FLEXIBILITY RELATED TO THE HOURS FOR EARLY VOTING; IDENTIFYING THIS ISSUE AS A CRITICAL COUNTY PRIORITY FOR THE 2013 SESSION

BODY

WHEREAS, in-person early voting (hereinafter “early voting”) is intended to make it easier for people to carry out their constitutional right to vote; and
WHEREAS, during the 2011 regular session, the Florida Legislature reduced the number of days for early voting when it enacted HB 1355, Chapter 2011-40, Laws of Florida (hereinafter HB 1355); and
WHEREAS, HB 1355 was an omnibus elections bill that made approximately 80 changes to Florida’s election procedures; and
WHEREAS, one of the changes made in HB 1355 was to revise early voting and the days, hours and times that Florida counties could offer early voting; and
WHEREAS, prior to the passage of HB 1355, Florida law provided early voting for up to a 14-day period, beginning on the 15th day before an election and ending on the second before the election, and required each county to offer early voting for eight (8) hours per day on weekdays and eight (8) hours in the aggregate each weekend, yielding a total of 96 hours of early voting; and
WHEREAS, HB 1355 amended the days, hours and weekend times that early voting may be offered in Florida in a number of ways:
* The early voting period now begins on the 10th day before an election and ends on the 3rd day before the election, for a total of only eight (8) days instead of 14 days, and eliminating early voting on the Sunday before election day;

* The requirement that early voting take place for eight (8) hours each day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. also was removed, and instead, local Supervisors of Elections could offer as few as six (6) hours each day and no more than 12 hours each day;

* HB 1355 also mandates some additional weekend hours of early voting, with the new early voting period running from the Saturday two (2) weekends before the election to the Saturday immediately before Election Day, meaning that the early voting period under HB 1355 now requires three (3) weekend days of early voting: two Saturdays and one Sunday, but significantly, HB 1355 prohibited early voting on the Sunday before election day; and

WHEREAS, it has been reported that, compared with the 2008 election, early voting declined statewide in Florida in 2012, with 2.4 million Floridians voting early in 2012 compared with 2.6 million in 2008, a reduction of approximately nine percent (9%); and
WHEREAS, Governor Rick Scott recently announced his support for returning early voting to 14 days along with greater local flexibility in the hours for early voting; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor’s Elections Advisory Group on Friday, February 1, 2013 revised its position to support 14 days of early voting; and
WHEREAS, the Florida Legislature should restore early voting to the 14 days allowed prior to the passage of HB 1355 and allow for greater local flexibility in the hours for early voting,
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 to pass legislation during the 2013 session to restore early voting to the full 14 days in place before the passage of HB 1355 including the Sunday before Election Day.
Section 2. Further urges the Florida Legislature to provide counties greater flexibility related to the hours for early voting.
Section 3. Identifies these issues as a critical priority of Miami-Dade County for the 2013 session of the Florida Legislature.
Section 4. Directs the Clerk of this Board to send a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation and the Florida Secretary of State.
Section 5. Directs the County's state lobbyists to advocate for the passage of the legislation and action 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 this item as a critical County priority.



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