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House elections bill tightens filing fee requirements, poll closing hours

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HB 1325, filed by Palm Coast Republican Rep. Paul Renner, would modify a number of regulations currently in place relative to Florida elections.

One change would affect the payment of a filing fee, requiring a money order or cashier’s check drawn from funds contained within the campaign account.

Stricken from statute: language allowing candidates to pay the filing fee by cashier’s check if their original check bounced.

Another change would involve extending the time available to vote.

“[U]nless there is a specific showing or finding of fact that extraordinary circumstances exist to justify the extension,” that option would not be available to local supervisors of elections.

The Renner bill also tightens requirements on poll watchers, stipulating that no elected official can serve as a poll watcher.

Additionally, the legislation offers a fix for questionable vote by mail ballots, requiring the supervisor of elections to immediately notify the voter in case of a missing or non-matching signature. The voter can then resolve the anomaly with a “cure affidavit.”

A.G. Gancarski has written a weekly column for Jacksonville’s Folio Weekly since 2003. His writings on politics, culture, and sport have appeared in the Washington Times, the Daily Caller, and the American Conservative. His radio and TV appearances include frequent contributions to WJCT-FM (Jacksonville’s Public Radio station); additionally, he has been a guest on Huff Post Live and the Savage Nation radio show. Gancarski can be reached at

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