WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, Jan. 10, a bipartisan group of 14 county elections supervisors in Florida submitted a report objecting to a proposal to enact identification requirements for mail-in voting in the state. Senate Bill 524, enacted last year, instructed the Florida Department of State to develop a plan to require voters voting by mail to include an ID with their ballot. In their report, the supervisors describe the proposal as “unnecessary and lacking adequate feasibility for implementation” and recommend the state “cease any further implementation” of ID requirements for mail-in voting.
Offering acceptable forms of ID, S.B. 524 proposed using Florida driver license numbers, Florida identification card numbers or social security numbers to identify voters on their mail-in ballots. The elections supervisors’ report, which included a survey to all 67 county supervisors, identified several potential issues with requiring ID numbers on ballots. Ensuring the privacy of ID numbers would “create additional costs and logistical challenges” and make the process of validating mail-in ballots more time consuming. The process involved in verifying ID numbers and offering voters time to fix errors in their ID numbers would cascade “into delays of tabulating votes and reporting results” that could jeopardize trust in elections. The supervisors also raise concerns about identity theft and note that Florida voters are already required to submit an ID number when they apply for a mail-in ballot in the first place.
The supervisors end the report by recommending the state Legislature cease implementation of ID requirements. If the Legislature chooses to proceed with the proposal laid out in S.B. 524, the supervisors recommend “not adopting the provisions prior to the 2024 presidential election cycle.” Additionally, they stress the importance of a comprehensive voter education campaign to alert voters, candidates and political parties to any changes.