We posted here that Governor Ron DeSantis has proposed measures to provide transparency and security measures to safeguard our elections in Florida.
Some of DeSantis proposals are already included in SB90:
- Addressing mail ballot drop boxes
- Measures to prevent ballot harvesting
- No mass mailing of ballots
- Mail ballot requests must be made each election year
- Signature on mail ballots must match the most recent signature on file.
Now Committee Bill PCB PIE 21-05 has been filed to implement other measures DeSantis proposed. These safeguard measures will ensure transparency in our elections process and reporting:
- Political parties and candidates cannot be shut out of observing the signature validation process
- Supervisor of Elections must post over-vote ballots on their website before the canvassing board meets
- Prohibits the use of private funds for election related expenses, voter education or registration programs (e.g. Zuckerberg grants)
- Requires real time reporting of voter turn out data by precinct level
- Supervisor of Elections must report how many ballots requested, how many received and how many left to be counted
- Mail ballot drop boxes manned by sworn election officials or law enforcement can only be used during the early voting hours of operation and must have video surveillance.
- $25,000 penalty to the Supervisor of Election (SOE) if any mail ballot drop box is accessible for ballot receipt when early voting is not underway
- DMV must notify the SOE of voter address or name changes and SOE must take action accordingly
- Requirement that phone calls to SOE to change party affiliation must also include the last 4 of Social Security Number or Drivers License number
- SOE must notify political parties of signature deficiency
- 22 month retention requirement for all election materials, including ballots
- Duplication of damaged mail ballot must be performed in an open and accessible room, duplicate ballots must be on a different color paper
- Images of original and duplicate mail ballot must be made available to political parties and candidates, objections must be turned over to canvassing board, ballot serial # recorded in minutes and majority of canvassing board decide the objection
- Telephone requests for mail ballots must include the last 4 of Social Security number or Drivers License number
- SOE may not send a mail ballot unless requested by a voter
- Requires mail ballot return envelope to contain voter name, address and encoded mark for SOE to sort envelope or image of envelope by precinct
- SOE must record a digital image of signature on voter's certificate or cure affidavit, candidates and political parties must be allowed access to view through password protected website, specified images must be available 48 hours before opening and separating ballot from envelope, in 5 day period preceding election day, 24 hours before separating and on election day, 2 hours before separating, voters also may access these images at a secure workstation at an SOE office with the same time periods
- Video surveillance of mail ballot drop boxes must be retained and made available within 24 hours of a request
- Requires names of canvassing board to be published before any mail ballots are distributed
- Except for someone who can be authorized, anyone caught requesting or in possession of another's mail ballot is subject to first degree misdemeanor
- Anyone who misuses a voter signature obtained from voter record commits a second degree felony
Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer handed $2.5 million, the vast majority of the $2.9 million he received, to a PR firm Vistra Communications. How did Vistra spend all that money in about 30-40 days? Good question.