Election legislation roundup: Florida Senate
Wed, Mar 15, 2023 9:00 AM
By Mercedes Yanora | Ballotpedia via The Center Square, The Center Square
As of March 5, Ballotpedia has tracked seven election-related bills in the Florida state Senate since the beginning of the year. Of the seven, Ballotpedia tracked four from February 27 to March 5. Republicans sponsored three, while Democrats sponsored one. The four bills are:
FL S0004: Statewide Prosecutor, Sen. Jonathan Martin, R-Fort Myers.
Provides that the Department of Legal Affairs in the Office of Statewide Prosecution will investigate any crime involving voting in federal, state, referendum, initiative, and issue elections, as well as any petition activities for said elections.Provides that the Department of Legal Affairs in the Office of Statewide Prosecution will investigate any crime involving voter registration.Provides that the Department of Legal Affairs in the Office of Statewide Prosecution will investigate any attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit related crimes.Empowers the office to act in specified circumstances.Requires information and indictments to contain general allegations stating where the crimes are alleged to have occurred.
FL S1206: Elections, state Sen. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando.
Changes the Secretary of State from an appointed to elected position, for four years terms and elected at the same time as the general election for governor, lieutenant governor, and other cabinet offices.Requires applications for voter registration to require an individual to pick a party or choose “no party affiliation.”Allows individuals to register to vote at early voting or election day polling locations and vote after registering.Requires supervisor of elections to mark voters as inactive if they did not vote in at least one of the last two general elections. Voters will be notified and have 30 days to return the form to stay active. Inactive voters can be marked as active again by requesting vote-by-mail ballots or voting.Prohibits polling locations from being in gated communities unless every resident in the precinct lives in that community.Allows individuals to provide food and water, and other items, to voters if it is outside of the no-solicitation zone.Requires candidate names be listed randomly on the ballot.
FL S0698: Local Tax Referenda Requirements, state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill
FL S1248: Political Parties, Ingoglia.
During the week of from February 27 to March 5, Ballotpedia tracked 37 Senate election-related bills nationally. As of March 5, Ballotpedia has tracked 632 Senate bills nationally. Ballotpedia tracked the most Senate bills this year in the New York State Senate with 117, while Ballotpedia tracked the fewest Senate bills in Louisiana, Massachusetts, and West Virginia with zero. Republicans sponsored 289 of these bills, while Democrats sponsored 261. Third party sponsorship and bills with no sponsors accounted for 59 bills, while bipartisan legislators sponsored 23.
As of March 5, Ballotpedia has tracked 342 Senate bills in Democratic trifectas and 222 Senate bills in Republican trifectas. A trifecta is when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. Ballotpedia has tracked 68 Senate bills in states where neither party holds trifecta control.
The Florida Senate is scheduled to be in session from March 7 to May 5 this year. In 2022, Ballotpedia tracked 16 Senate bills related to election administration. Four of these bills passed both chambers and three were enacted into law. Florida is a Republican trifecta.