I wanted to start by explaining that the reason you are able to keep your state of residence, despite your transfers state to state, while in the military, is due to the SCRA
(service members civil relief act)
This federal law protects residency. But it only operates while on active duty.
So up until the time you retired? No problem keeping FL as your state of residence. At all. That is why, for example, you could keep your FL drivers license and vote from FL, despite your living around the world
But once you retired? The SCRA no longer applies.
SO it is not automatic (as it was prior to leaving active duty)...you basically have to look to state law for residency requirements.
Now...all states have their own requirements for residency. Florida does not have rules for residency in general; residency in Florida is program specific. That is, it is attached to a specific purpose or
need, such as taxes, in-state tuition, etc. So you have to look to the FL rules for elections.
This law is not clear...that is, it does not clearly state requirements for residency for voting, other than to be a resident (silly...I know).
The applicable statute relating to qualifications to register to vote is s. 97.041, Florida Statutes, which in pertinent part currently reads as follows:
"(1) Any person at least 18 years of age who is a citizen of the United States and a permanent
resident of Florida and of the county where he wishes to register is eligible to register with the
supervisor when the registration books are open. Upon registration, such person shall be a
qualified elector of that county." (e.s.)
The year requirement was later modified so that the only residency requirement for voter registration eligibility is to be a "permanent resident." and 18 years of age or greater s. 97.041(1), F.S.
So that begs the question what is a "permanent resident"
There is actually quite a bit of case law on this I found...but the botXXXXX XXXXXne?
A person's residency for voting purposes is where he or she intends to maintain permanent domicile at
that time to the exclusion of any other location. Failure to have maintained residency in that
jurisdiction may be grounds to challenge the elector at the polling place
So if you continue to vote in FL (and no other state) you can continue to declare residence SO LONG AS YOU INTEND TO RETURN AND LIVE THERE FULL TIME AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE