Election Security Concerns; Suicide Prevention Efforts; Single-Use Plastics; Rad Times

Sep 15, 2020

 


Florida has spent tens of millions of dollars to increase voting security since the 2016 election. Every county in the state has been audited. Five full-time cyber specialists have been hired. And nonpartisan groups are preparing responses to a variety of scenarios should Election Day chaos ensue.

All this amidst the upcoming publication of Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward’s new book Rage, in which he says that Washington and St. Lucie Counties here in Florida were hacked by Russian malware in 2016. The book is reigniting concerns over election security in Florida.

 

An increase of vote-by-mail requests due to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused additional concern for many Florida voters. So far, just over 2.6 million ballots have been requested statewide. These ballots will be mailed out on September 24.

 

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We spoke with Ion Sancho, retired Supervisor of Elections from Leon County, who said that there could be a delay in results due to the United States Postal Service's slowdowns. He also discussed vote-by-mail tips to ensure all votes are counted, addressed security concerns, and plans if either President Donald Trump or Candidate Joe Biden refuses to concede.

 

Suicide Prevention Efforts

 

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. New data from the CDC finds that a quarter of young adults between the ages of 18-24 reported considering suicide in the past month because of the pandemic.

 

RELATED: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

 

The CDC also reported a surge of anxiety and substance abuse, with more than 40% of those surveyed saying they have experienced a mental or behavioral health condition connected to the COVID-19.

 

Behavioral health experts at Jacksonville-based LSF Health Systems recently received a federal grant to work with patients from emergency rooms and domestic violence shelters to lower suicide rates in Northeast Florida.

 

We spoke to Dr. Christine Cauffield, CEO of LSF Health Systems in Jacksonville, about her team's efforts.

 

Single-Use Plastics

 

Greenpeace claims the plastic industry has exploited the fears surrounding the pandemic to scare people into buying more single-use plastics. In its recent report to highlight reuse and refill solutions worldwide, the organization notes that contactless refill systems can continue to be safely used by ensuring strong sanitation.

 

David Pinsky, Senior Plastics Campaigner for Greenpeace USA and author of the report "Reusables are Doable," joined us to discuss practical solutions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Rad Times

 

The folks behind Jax is Rad are “shining a light on artists, musicians and local musicians who help make our city rad,” via their new bi-monthly publication, RAD TIMES.

 

Jax is Rad owner Ansley Randall talked with us about the inspiration for the publication, publishing details, and what we can look for in the next issue.

 

Katherine Hobbs can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.