Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 130325
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File Number: 130325 File Type: Ordinance Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: 13-22 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: ABSENTEE BALLOTS DROP-OFF & PICK UP SUNDAY AND MONDAY Introduced: 2/19/2013
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 3/5/2013
Agenda Date: 3/5/2013 Agenda Item Number: 7B
Notes: Title: ORDINANCE REQUIRING SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY TO ALLOW REGISTERED ELECTORS TO PICK UP AND RETURN ABSENTEE BALLOTS ON THE SUNDAY AND MONDAY PRIOR TO ANY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION; CREATING SECTION 12-14.1 OF THE CODE; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE (SEE ORIGINAL UNDER FILE NO. 122465)
Indexes: ABSENTEE BALLOT
Sponsors: Barbara J. Jordan, Prime Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, 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 3/5/2013 7B Adopted P
REPORT: County Attorney Robert Cuevas read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Commissioner Jordan provided an overview of this proposed ordinance. She said that this item codified the Elections Department’s practice, noting modifications or concerns expressed by the Elections Department were addressed. In response to Commissioner Moss’ inquiry whether a bill was being considered by the Florida Legislature to prohibit same day voting at the Elections Department, Chairwoman Sosa referred to an email from Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty regarding this issue. Commissioner Jordan noted she was not aware of this proposed bill. Commissioner Moss recommended that a resolution be prepared urging the Legislature to address this issue. Assistant County Attorney Oren Rosenthal advised that the bill under consideration related to in-person absentee voting the Sunday or Monday before Election Day. He noted if there was an overlap, the County Attorney’s office would work with Commissioner Moss to prepare a resolution regarding those issues. Commissioner Jordan asked to be shown as a co-sponsor to the resolution requested by Commissioner Moss. Chairwoman Sosa inquired whether the foregoing proposed ordinance could delay the vote count if the signatures and absentee ballots had to be verified; and if so, would this involve a cost. Ms. Penelope Townsley, Supervisor of Elections, Elections Department, said the concerns that would have delayed the ballot count were addressed, and this item would not involve additional cost or operational impact. Hearing no further questions or comments, the County Commission members adopted the foregoing proposed ordinance, as presented.

County Attorney 2/19/2013 Assigned Oren Rosenthal

Economic Development & Port Miami Committee 2/14/2013 1F1 Amended Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation with committee amendment(s) P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty read the foregoing ordinance into the record. Assistant County Attorney Oren Rosenthal noted that Commissioner Jordan had requested the following amendment to the foregoing proposed ordinance: On handwritten page 4, line five within the paragraph under Sec. 12-14.1, after the words Presidential election to add the language “for any day during which early voting is not offered by the supervisor of elections” and to delete the last sentence which reads “the Board of County Commissioners made by resolution or motion to direct the supervisor of elections to provide additional locations or hours as maybe needed to provide voting opportunities to county electors”. Chair Bell opened the public hearing; seeing no one come forward to speak, the public hearing was closed. Ms. Penelope Townsley, Elections Supervisor, Miami-Dade County Elections Department expressed appreciation to Commissioner Jordan for considering the amendments and noted she welcomed the opportunity to provide this absentee ballot service to the voters. Ms. Townsley noted this was a manual process but challenging and would be better managed/controlled if it was centralized within the elections headquarters. Assistant County Attorney Rosenthal explained that this ordinance would allow the Elections Supervisor to designate which locations to pick up/accept ballots at her own discretion. Responding to Commissioner Zapata’s inquiry regarding whether time limits would be set Ms. Townsley responded that traditionally this service had been offered in four hour periods which could extend to 12 hours or more. Commissioner Zapata noted that he was supportive of the foregoing ordinance and pointed out that changing the hours maybe confusing to citizens and the hours needed to be consistent. Ms. Townsley noted the hours would be consistent and maintained within the four hour time period blocks. Chair Bell inquired whether this ordinance would add to the work of having to scan extra ballots and slow the counting process down or will it help the process. Ms. Townsley, responded to Chair Bell’s inquiry, noted that this was an effort to centralize the process and designate the service to be provided at election headquarters or a branch office is to prevent the delay of reporting results. Hearing no further questions or comments, the committee proceeded to vote as amended.

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE REQUIRING SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY TO ALLOW REGISTERED ELECTORS TO PICK UP AND RETURN ABSENTEE BALLOTS ON THE SUNDAY AND MONDAY PRIOR TO ANY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION; CREATING SECTION 12-14.1 OF THE CODE; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMIDADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Section 12-14.1 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby created to read as follows in its entirety:
Sec. 12-14.1. Availability of Absentee Ballots for Presidential Elections.

To the extent otherwise permitted by and consistent with the requirements Florida law, the Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections shall afford registered electors the opportunity to pick up and return absentee ballots on the Sunday and Monday immediately preceding the Election Day of a Presidential Election>> for any day during which Early Voting is not offered by the Supervisor of Elections<<1. The Supervisor of Elections shall designate locations in Miami-Dade County for electors to pick up or return absentee ballots and shall establish the hours available for such purpose. [[The Board of County Commissioners may, by resolution or motion, direct the Supervisor of Elections to provide additional locations or hours as may be needed to provide voting opportunities to County electors.]]

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.

1Committee amendments are indicated as follows: Words double stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] are deleted, words double underlined and/or >>double arrowed<< are added.





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