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Frequently Asked Questions: Election Laws

Where can I find Florida statutes that pertain to elections?

Florida Statutes, chapters 99-107 are known as The Election Code and can be viewed on the Division of Elections Web site.

What is the Help America Vote Act?

After the 2000 Presidential election, Congress introduced voting legislation to address some of the public concerns, such as punch-card ballots. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 was enacted to provide funding to states replacing punch-card voting systems. It also created centralized statewide databases of registered voters and established the Election Assistance Commission, which assists in federal elections. HAVA also sets minimum election administration standards for federal, state and local government elections. It also provides funding to assist with voter education and poll worker training programs.

Federal HAVA (Public law 107-252)

HAVA Complaint Form (pdf,12KB)

Anyone who believes that a violation of Title III of HAVA has occurred, is occurring or is about to occur relating to voting system standards, provisional ballot voting, registration under the statewide voter registration system or registration by mail may submit a HAVA Complaint Form.

What is the National Voter Registration Act?

The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993, requires that prospective voters be given the option of registering to vote or updating their voter information when they visit Tax Collector offices, public libraries, military recruiting offices, or agencies that provide services to disabled citizens. NVRA is also called the “Motor Voter Act” because of its connection to motor vehicle departments.

What is the Voting Rights Act?

The Voting Rights Act, adopted initially in 1965 and extended in 1970, 1975, 1982 and 2006, codifies and effectuates the 15th Amendment's permanent guarantee that, throughout the nation, no person shall be denied the right to vote on account of race or color. In addition, the Act contains several special provisions that set even more stringent requirements in certain jurisdictions throughout the country. For example, the Act struck down literacy requirements for voting used in several southern states.

In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Shelby County v. Holder, striking down Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional. This section contained the formula for determining whether a jurisdiction is subject to preclearance under Section 5 of the Act. Section 5 cannot be enforced unless/until Congress creates a new formula.

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 requires equal opportunity for people with disabilities – in the areas of employment; state and local government services; businesses that are public accommodations or commercial facilities; and in transportation. The ADA also requires businesses to provide telephone relay services for people who use TTYs (teletypewriters, also known as TDDs or telecommunications devices for deaf persons).

The ADA also set design standards for accessibility at polling places for voters with disabilities, including the accessibility of parking areas, sidewalks/walkways, building entrances, hallways, and voting areas.