Dara Kam - News Service of Florida

Dara Kam is the Senior Reporter of The News Service Of Florida.

News Service of Florida

Florida Republican lawmakers are pushing ahead with sweeping election changes largely focused on making it more difficult for people to vote by mail, an effort mirrored in GOP-led state houses throughout the country.

RICK BOWMER / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Despite impassioned pleas from LGBT advocates, a Florida House panel on Wednesday approved a controversial proposal that would ban transgender girls and women from competing in women’s high school and college sports.

Voters line up to cast their ballots during early voting on Oct. 19, 2020 for the 2020 presidential election at the Southeast Regional Branch of the Jacksonville Public Library.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

Four months ago, Gov. Ron DeSantis bragged that other states should emulate voting procedures in Florida, where former President Donald Trump’s solid Election Day victory over President Joe Biden was done and dusted long before midnight.

A van drives by a guard tower at Florida State Prison in Raiford, Fla. in this file photo.
Phil Sears / Associated Press file photo

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch has been making the rounds in Tallahassee to pitch lawmakers on a plan to spend more than $26 million to shorten prison guards’ regular daily work shifts.

State Rep. Jason Fischer, R-Jacksonville
News Service of Florida

A years-long effort to block local governments from regulating vacation rentals is on the move again, as House and Senate leaders revive a proposal to prevent cities and counties from inspecting and licensing properties offered on platforms such as Airbnb.

 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pictured in this 2019 file photo.
Nick Wass / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis has put a bullseye on tech giants he contends censor conservatives’ speech, but the social media apps and platforms he’s targeting are blockbusters for the state’s financial portfolio.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office exterior
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

Ending a legal battle that started before the 2018 elections, a federal judge on Monday approved a settlement in which 31 counties agreed to take steps to provide Spanish-language ballots and other materials to voters.

Associated Press

As supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to block congressional certification of the 2020 election on Wednesday, Republican leaders in Florida released legislation aimed at cracking down on violent protests.

video screenshot
Rebekah Jones via Twitter

A fired Florida Department of Health data analyst who contends Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has manipulated COVID-19 statistics filed a lawsuit Sunday alleging state law-enforcement agents violated her rights when they searched her home and hauled away computer equipment.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran
News Service of Florida

Florida students will be able to continue to learn remotely through the second half of the school year as the state grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said Wednesday.

WILFREDO LEE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Forget purple state. And don't even think about blue state.

Florida Republicans dominated Tuesday's elections from the top of the ballot on down, leaving Democrats searching for answers after more than two decades of GOP control of the state.

Associated Press

In a tumultuous race that could help determine the fate of the White House, President Donald Trump beat Democrat Joe Biden in the battle Tuesday for Florida’s 29 electoral votes.

COVID-19 testing photo
Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

Reversing historical trends during economic downturns, state college enrollment has dropped dramatically as the coronavirus pandemic continues to plague Florida.

Voting booth
File photo

Florida elections officials this week told local supervisors of elections that convicted felons with outstanding court-ordered debts will be included in lists of flagged voters who should potentially be removed from the rolls.

=In this November 2018 file photo, Duval County Supervisor of Elections staff are pictured doing a manual recount.
BRENDAN RIVERS / WJCT NEWS

With an unprecedented number of voters opting to cast ballots by mail in Florida and throughout the nation, elections officials are urging patience in what some experts say should be viewed as “election season” rather than Election Day.

WILFREDO LEE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Saying “this court cannot remedy what the state broke,” a federal judge on Friday reluctantly refused to give Floridians more time to register to vote after a state online system crashed in the hours before Monday’s deadline to sign up for the November presidential election.

JULIO CORTEZ / Associated Press March 17, 2020 file photo

A federal judge on Thursday hammered lawyers for Florida elections officials over a meltdown of the state’s online voter-registration system in the hours leading up to a Monday deadline, suggesting Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration did not take adequate steps to address the problems that prevented thousands of people from accessing the website.

News Service of Florida

Desmond Meade graduated from law school, made it onto Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people and was at the forefront of a successful crusade to restore voting rights to convicted felons in Florida.

Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

In a rebuke to Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Supreme Court on Friday unanimously rejected his selection of a circuit judge to serve on the Supreme Court and gave the governor until noon Monday to appoint another candidate from a list of nominees offered early this year.

News Service of Florida

Just one week after health officials signed off on guidelines for edible pot products, Florida’s largest medical marijuana operator on Wednesday began selling THC-infused candies in Tallahassee.

Photo of beer taps
News Service of Florida

Hot dogs, cold sandwiches and Hot Pockets admittedly aren’t fancy fare.

File photo of students returning to school during the coronavirus pandemic.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Accusing the state of ignoring the Florida Constitution, a Leon County circuit judge on Monday sided with teachers unions that challenged a state order mandating that schools resume in-person instruction this month amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michelle Corum/WJCT News

As children return to classrooms throughout Florida, local school officials, teachers and doctors are picking apart a state mandate requiring schools to resume in-person instruction this month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

TALLAHASSEE --- With some students set to return to classrooms on Monday, state officials and Florida’s largest teachers union are locked in a legal battle over an order requiring schools to reopen this month amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Florida Education Association last month filed a lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and other defendants, alleging that a July 6 order issued by Corcoran violates the state Constitution, which guarantees Floridians the right to “safe” and “secure” public education.

TALLAHASSEE --- After condemning mail-in voting for months, President Donald Trump is now encouraging Floridians to cast their ballots by mail, assuring in a social media post Tuesday that the state’s election system “is Safe and Secure.”

Miami-Dade County Department of Elections employee Elizabeth Prieto gathers vote-by-mail ballots for the August 18 primary election as the canvassing board meets to verify ballot signatures at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, Thursday, July 30.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Floridians are flooding elections supervisors with requests for mail-in ballots as they seek a safer way to cast ballots amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but some experts warn that absentee voting is not a panacea.

Two federal judges who formerly served on the Florida Supreme Court have refused to step aside from a voting-rights case that could determine whether hundreds of thousands of convicted felons are eligible to cast ballots in the November presidential election.

Seth Wenig / Associated Press

With both sides claiming victory, a federal judge on Monday signed off on a settlement reached by the state and left-leaning groups over Florida’s vote-by-mail procedures.

In a win for Gov. Ron DeSantis, a federal appeals court on Wednesday agreed to the state’s request for a rare full-court initial review of a voting rights ruling that could open the door for hundreds of thousands of Florida felons to participate in this year’s elections.

TALLAHASSEE --- Face shields, temperature checks and disposable pens are just some of the safeguards Florida officials plan to employ to combat COVID-19, as they brace for elections in August and November.

Collectively, Florida’s 67 county supervisors of elections have decades of experience responding to disasters. They’ve combatted hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires and even the historic Bush v. Gore meltdown in 2000.

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