Bureau of Voter Registration Services
The Bureau of Voter Registration Services was established by the Division of Elections in 2005 to implement the requirements of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) for the State of Florida. The Help America Vote Act mandated a statewide voter registration database and statewide voter registration access. Statewide voter registration access means that a legally qualified voter should be able to submit an application to register to vote or change an existing voter registration in any county in the state, regardless of whether or not that county is his or her county of legal residence.
The Bureau of Voter Registration Services has two primary functions: (1) to act as the state’s 68th county with regard to the intake and process of voter registration; and (2) to coordinate and manage statewide voter registration processes and issues. Its policies, processes and procedures are designed not to intrude on the constitutional powers vested in the Supervisors of Elections.
The Bureau of Voter Registration Services is divided into four sections with a total of 18 full-time positions to manage and implement its business functions:
- Office of the Bureau Chief;
- Voter Services Section;
- Compliance and Regulation Section; and
- National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) Section.
Office of the Bureau ChiefBack
The Office of the Bureau Chief manages and coordinates all administrative, programmatic and operational activities of the Bureau of Voter Registration Services which is responsible for administering the Florida Voter Registration System.
Voter Services SectionBack
The main business function of the Voter Services Section is to process voter registrations received by the state. Other registrations are received by the counties. This section also stores images of the voter registration applications and enters the images and keyed data into the Florida Voter Registration System.
Compliance and Regulation SectionBack
This section is charged with a wide variety of duties, including monitoring the state’s responses to workflow items and assessing compliance of records and county activities with state requirements. This section evaluates matches of records of potential felons, persons declared mentally incompetent and deceased persons (between electronically stored voter registrations and various databases) to determine if the matches are reliable and credible. All information regarding voter registration applications, and information received by other agencies which may impact a voter’s status, is forwarded to the appropriate Supervisor of Election for communication with the voter or applicant and to make a final decision as to whether a voter or applicant is, or is not, eligible to vote.
National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) SectionBack
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 mandated that states provide broader access to voter registration through agencies such as those which issue driver’s licenses, libraries, etc. The Bureau of Voter Registration Services has incorporated a National Voter Registration Act Coordinator to support the statewide National Voter Registration Act activities which include:
- coordinating the National Voter Registration Act and the Florida Voter Registration Act;
- generating monthly reports;
- assuring that voter registration applications, preference forms and other publications are available and distributed to the required agencies set up as mandatory voter registration sites;
- developing, updating, contracting and distributing the Florida voter registration application in English and Spanish;
- providing training and assistance to agencies, Supervisors of Elections and universities, including website information.
The business functions of the Bureau of Voter Registration Services are supported by a variety of automated systems. These include:
- systems within the Bureau of Voter Registration Services that directly support its business functions and also provide support to the counties;
- systems located at other state agencies that are used to assess the credibility and reliability of potential felons, mentally incompetent and death matches (these include databases at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Department of Corrections, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Office of Executive Clemency, the Department of Health and the Courts Comprehensive Case System); and
- systems used by the Supervisors of Elections to enter voter registrations to the statewide Florida Voter Registration System database.