TBT and The Orlando Sentinel are reporting that the Florida Senate passed an amended version of the House election law proposal. The Senate’s action included passing an amendment that would allow the Secretary of State to “place a supervisor of elections in noncompliant status pursuant to s. 98.025,” apparently angering some Supervisors of Elections in attendance. The new 98.025 would read:
98.025 Supervisors of elections; noncompliant status.—
49 (1) The Secretary of State may place a supervisor of
50 elections in noncompliant status whenever that supervisor does
51 not perform one or more of the following:
52 (a) Timely file any report required by the Florida Election
54 (b) Ensure that ballots are distributed, collected,
55 counted, and reported in accordance with applicable law.
56 (c) Safeguard and account for voted ballots.
57 (d) Follow any statute that imposes a duty or
58 responsibility on a supervisor of elections.
59 (e) Follow rules adopted by the Department of State
60 concerning the implementation of any provision of the Florida
61 Election Code.
62 (2) The Secretary of State shall submit the written
63 decision to place or remove a supervisor of elections in
64 noncompliant status to the affected supervisor and provide a
65 copy of the decision to the Governor and the chair of the board
66 of county commissioners in the supervisor’s county.
67 (3) While a supervisor of elections is in noncompliant
68 status, the supervisor is not entitled to receive the special
69 qualification salary available pursuant to s. 145.09. When
70 removed from noncompliant status, if otherwise eligible to
71 receive the special qualification salary, the supervisor is
72 entitled to a pro rata share of the special qualification salary
73 based on the remaining period of the year.
74 (4) The Secretary of State may remove a supervisor from
75 noncompliant status after 1 year of being placed in such status,
76 provided that:
77 (a) The supervisor has complied with any of the duties
78 identified in subsection (1) while in a noncompliant status.
79 (b) The supervisor has completed during each year while in
80 noncompliant status a course of continuing education pursuant to
81 s. 145.09 as prescribed by the Division of Elections; and
82 (c) The supervisor has taken and received while in
83 noncompliant status a grade of 90 percent or greater on a
84 uniform statewide open-book examination testing the supervisor’s
85 knowledge of the Florida Election Code. The Florida State
86 Association of Supervisors of Elections shall annually develop
87 the examination, but the examination shall be approved and
88 administered by the Division of Elections.
89 (5) If a supervisor has been in noncompliant status for 3
90 consecutive years, the Secretary of State shall provide written
91 notice of such event to the Governor for consideration of
92 exercising the Governor’s authority to suspend the supervisor
93 pursuant to s. 7, Art. IV of the State Constitution.
94 (6) The decision of the Secretary of State to place a
95 supervisor of elections in noncompliant status or remove a
96 supervisor of elections from noncompliant status is exempt from
97 the provisions of chapter 120.
98 (7) This section is in addition to, and not exclusive of,
99 the authority of the Governor to suspend and remove a supervisor
100 of elections pursuant to s. 7, Art. IV of the State