Public Inspection of Ballots

The Florida Public Records Law (F.S. 119.07(5) ) and Election Code (F.S.101.572) treat ballots as public records subject to public inspection and examination upon request.  Any member of the public is entitled to inspect any or all of the ballots, however, only an employee of the supervisor of elections can touch the original ballot.  The law contemplates that a ballot inspection might occur before the deadline for filing an election contest suit (10 days following certification).  If an inspection is requested before the contest deadline, the supervisor must make a reasonable effort to notify all candidates of the inspection and allow them to attend the inspection.

Ballots do not reveal the identity of the voter, so a citizen’s vote remains secret as required by law. (F.S. 101.041).

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Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

About Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

Tom Shults is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and represents clients in election and sunshine law issues, complex business and commercial disputes and probate and trust suits. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1983 and has maintained an active trial practice in state and federal courts for over 35 years. Tom represents candidates, political parties and political action committees in election disputes and election law litigation. He successfully represented the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections in Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections et al. v. Browning et al. , where the Florida Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of Sarasota County’s charter election law amendments. Tom has served on the Professional Ethics Committee of The Florida Bar and is the past Chairman of the Code and Rules of Evidence Committee of The Florida Bar. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Community Service Award of the Sarasota County Bar Association for his work with the Sarasota Mental Health Community Centers. In 2013 he was nominated for circuit court judge by the 12th Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee. Tom has served on the faculty of the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques at Emory University School of Law and on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Program for Practicing Lawyers at Nova Southeastern University School of Law. Tom grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida and is a graduate of St. Petersburg High School (1973), Florida State University (B.S. 1977) and Washburn University School of Law (J.D. cum laude 1982). He is veteran of the United States Army.
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  1. Pingback: Concerns Over Limited Ballot Audits in Florida | Florida Election Law Issues

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