2018 Election

Duval County vote-by-mail ballot.
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Florida’s military and overseas citizens vote-by-mail ballots are being accepted at Supervisors of Elections Offices across the state through Friday, but it’s unlikely they’ll change the outcome of any contested races currently under recount.

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.
Shawn P. Eklund / U.S. Navy

Senator Bill Nelson’s campaign and the Democratic Executive Committee of Florida have filed a lawsuit against the state’s Secretary of State, Ken Detzner, challenging the rejection of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots based on voter signatures.

Weston Funcheon (left) and Jake Capistran (right) of NextGen Florida tabling at UNF on Monday.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Republicans, Democrats and their allies are making their final pitches to potential voters, with the polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

With less than a week to go before the midterm elections, President Donald Trump is planning a campaign stop in Estero tonight.

This week on Florida Matters we discuss the key races in the upcoming general election and the power wielded by voters in the Interstate 4 corridor.

Political experts say more than half of Florida's registered voters are made up of the youngest generations – millennials and Generations X and Z – and they could potentially seriously influence next week’s midterm election.

But historically, this group is less likely to actually cast a vote.

mail-in ballot evelope
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Andrew Gillum continues to lead in the latest governor’s race poll from the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida.

The poll of likely voters, released Tuesday, shows 49 percent of respondents plan to vote for Gillum, the Democratic nominee, while 43 percent plan to vote for the Republican candidate, Ron DeSantis. Seven percent of voters said they are undecided.        

Ballot tabulator at the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Early voting has been underway in Duval County for more than a week now, and the numbers show that voters are more interested this year than in past midterm elections, but many are unfamiliar with the process.

News Service of Florida

Hundreds of supporters --- including a Chihuahua festooned in red, white and blue --- gathered in the parking lot of a popular wing joint this weekend in the Democratic stronghold of Broward County to cheer on Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis in one of the country’s most closely watched races.

Jeff Roberson and Paul Sancya / Associated Press

In the closing days of Florida’s high-stakes races for governor and U.S. senator, President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama will try to rally the Republican and Democratic faithful in the state.

One of the statewide amendments voters will be facing in November includes four different questions. It would mandate a state department of veteran affairs, and a state anti-terrorism office. It would also change the calendar of state legislative sessions. And lastly, it would make fundamental changes to the way counties are run. It’s that last question that has county leaders in Miami-Dade, Broward and Volusia up in arms.

After preaching to hundreds inside The Bethel Church last Sunday, Pastor Carlos Malone joined many members of his congregation making their way to the ice cream truck parked outside. The colorful vehicle often stops outside the Baptist church in Richmond Heights. 

Malone is 61-years-old, but doesn’t look it -- his eyes are jovial and excited. He said this church is one of the leading churches in the surrounding community and has touched many who go onto make a difference in South Florida. 

With a little more than a week to go until Election Day, some Clay County voters are complaining to Elections Supervisor Chris Chambless about text messages they’re receiving.

Combining Vaping, Drilling Bans Draws Criticism

Oct 26, 2018
TBEC Review / Wikimedia Commons

A move to expand the state’s 16-year ban on smoking in indoor workplaces to include electronic cigarettes and vaping is drawing opposition.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence rallied in support of Florida’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis at a campaign in Jacksonville Thursday.

Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press, Pool photo

Things got ugly fast at Wednesday night’s gubernatorial debate between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum.

Via Republican Party of Duval County

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Jacksonville Thursday afternoon for a Republican rally at the Prime Osborn Convention Center in downtown Jacksonville where he will be joining GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis, Gillum Divisions On Display At Final Gubernatorial Debate

Oct 25, 2018
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press, Pool photo

The first question in Wednesday’s second and final debate between Florida gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis focused on the divisive nature of the country’s political discourse.

Clay School Board Incumbent Sues To Kick Challenger Off Ballot

Oct 24, 2018
Candidates' Facebook pages

A Clay County School Board member embroiled amid a contentious run-off for re-election filed suit Tuesday seeking a court order to disqualify her opponent — alleging she doesn’t live in the district up for election on November 6.

Mail-in ballots sent to Duval County voters in the U.S. have to be in the Supervisor of Elections office by the time polls close at 7 P.M. on Election Day — which this year is Tuesday, November 6.

A new Quinnipiac Poll shows Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum with a six point lead over his Republican counterpart, former U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis, in the increasingly tight race to become Florida’s next governor.

More Than A Million Florida Votes Already Cast Before Election Day

Oct 23, 2018

Votes cast in the Nov. 6 general election surged Tuesday above 1 million. 

Fla. Supreme Court Direction May Hinge On Governor's Race

Oct 23, 2018
Via News Service of Florida

The future of the Florida Supreme Court is intertwined with the outcome of this fall’s race for governor.

DeSantis campaign

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis picked up an endorsement from Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams Thursday morning at the Fallen Officers Memorial Wall in downtown Jacksonville.

Via News Service of Florida

Likening the November election to “reclaiming America’s soul, for real,” former Vice President Joe Biden held a crowd of supporters spellbound Monday as he shared a stage with Florida’s top two Democratic candidates as early voting started in many parts of the state.

Florida's Attorney General candidates will meet in their only debate Tuesday night in St. Petersburg and Democrat Sean Shaw is looking forward to facing Republican opponent Ashley Moody.

As voters across Florida gear up for early voting for the November elections, and as some ballots have already been shipped out to overseas voters, one question is being repeated over dinner tables and text message chains: “How should I vote on this amendment that is asking me three different questions at the same time?”

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson (left) and Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott (right).

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson with a six point lead over his Republican challenger, Florida Governor Rick Scott, but a prominent University of North Florida pollster says that result is skewed because the poll’s sample of likely voters has too many self identified independents and non-party affiliated voters.

Wikimedia Commons

The words on the November ballot appear simple enough: “Voter Control of Gambling in Florida.”

More than 930,000 Floridians had already cast their ballot by either mail or at early voting locations as of 10:00 a.m. Monday.