2020 Election - Local

Before COVID-19 and before the death of George Floyd, Monique Sampson said she thought Joe Biden and President Trump were "different wings on the same bird."

A Tallahassee research organization called Wednesday for “universal” mail-in voting in Florida, a day after President Donald Trump backed the state’s current system for casting ballots by mail.

The non-profit group Integrity Florida released an analysis of changes made after the troubled 2018 elections and suggested the coronavirus pandemic will require going to a universal process in which ballots would be mailed to all voters, with some in-person voting statewide or at the county level.

Voters will have a chance to weigh in this year on who should serve in Florida’s 5th Congressional District seat. The district stretches along the north border of the state from Duval to Gadsden County. Democratic Congressman Al Lawson who has held the position since 2017 is facing two challengers in the primary.

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.

Florida State University researchers are trying to learn how different county jails enable eligible inmates to vote. Early results show great variation across the state.

FSU Graduate Student Elaine Webb, who is compiling the data, said the national jail inmate population is huge.

"There are over 700,000 people nationwide being detained in jails," she noted.

The Regency Square Branch Library (pictured) is one of the early voting locations in Jacksonville.
CYD HOSKINSON / WJCT NEWS

Early voting is now underway for the August 18 Florida Primary Election in Duval, Flagler and Nassau counties, along with many other counties across Florida.

News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday backed the efforts of the state’s elections chief and county elections supervisors after President Donald Trump suggested the possibility of postponing the November general election because of his aversion to “mail-in” ballots.

As Florida’s primary election draws near, voting rights advocates urge people to cast their ballots before election day.

All Voting is Local encourages people to vote early, whether by mail or in-person. The group’s Florida director, Brad Ashwell, says Florida should learn from the challenges other states saw during this year’s primaries:

“We’ve seen long lines. We’ve seen lots of problems. In Georgia, they had almost every problem you can imagine and we don’t want to see that relived in Florida.”

NBA’s LeBron James To Help Florida Felons Pay Legal Debts

Jul 27, 2020

Former Miami Heat superstar LeBron James might have taken his basketball skills to the West Coast, but he continues to have an eye on Florida.

His “More Than A Vote” initiative on Friday committed $100,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to help ensure felons are able to regain the right to vote.

Jacksonville's Downtown Northbank skyline is pictured along with TIAA Bank Field, Daily's Place, VyStar Veteran's Memorial Arena and 121 Financial Field. The venues had been scheduled to host portions of the RNC.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

There is near-universal agreement among politicians and officials that President Donald Trump’s decision to call off Jacksonville’s portion of the Republican National Convention was the right thing to do.

CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOMMY HAZOURI'S FACEBOOK PAGE

UPDATE: President Trump has cancelled Jacksonville's portion of the Republican National Convention.

Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri, a Democrat, is raising a lot of concerns about the Republican National Convention bill that’s been sent to City Council.

A woman drops off her St. Johns County absentee ballot.
St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections

The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce will once again host its “Politics in St. Johns” event this year, but due to crowd restrictions imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the event will be held online instead of in-person.

The Neptune Beach side of the Beaches Town Center is pictured in this file photo.
The Florida Times-Union

Incumbent Neptune Beach City Councilor Kerry Chin is seeking reelection to Seat 3 in the August 18 primary.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

Planning continues for the Republican National Convention next month in Jacksonville, the host committee announced late Monday after Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, a Republican, warned the city isn’t ready for even a scaled-down event.

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.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams
News4Jax

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams is expressing major concerns regarding the Republican National Convention coming to Jacksonville. 

The Regency Square Branch Library (pictured) is scheduled to be an early voting location for the August 18 Florida primary.
CYD HOSKINSON / WJCT NEWS

If you haven't registered to vote for Florida’s August 18 primary, this is your last chance.

Florida Democrats held their annual convention Saturday – this time virtually, in yet another concession to the pandemic.

This year’s Leadership Blue 2020 has added urgency, as the state is considered a must win for Donald Trump to get a second term in the White House. 

The U.S. Supreme Court handed a major victory to Gov. Ron DeSantis, refusing to allow hundreds of thousands of Floridians with felony convictions to participate in upcoming elections.

Jacksonville's Downtown Northbank skyline is pictured along with TIAA Bank Field, Daily's Place, VyStar Veteran's Memorial Arena and 121 Financial Field.
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

The 2020 Jacksonville Republican National Convention Host Committee is announcing capacity restrictions for it’s four day August event. 

Outside of a voting precinct, where a large sign with an American flag reads "vote here."
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Primary day in Florida is just over one month away on August 18, and vote-by-mail ballots are already starting to arrive in voters’ mailboxes. 

Governor Ron DeSantis speaking at a podium, behind him is a large JaxPort logo, along with the American flag
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says holding the Republican National Convention in an outdoor Jacksonville venue would be a safe option. 

Flooding on Ken Knight Drive during Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Cherisse Lamb

A Florida House candidate from Northwest Jacksonville is calling on local environmental activists to highlight issues in her community.

Felons Voting Arguments Slated In August

Jul 9, 2020

A federal appeals court has scheduled oral arguments in a Florida voting-rights case that could open the door for hundreds of thousands of felons to cast ballots in this year’s elections.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is slated to hear the case on Aug. 18, the same day as Florida's primary elections, according to an order posted on the court’s website this week.

CYD HOSKINSON / WJCT NEWS

The last day to register to vote for Florida’s August 18 primary is July 20.

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

President Donald Trump pointed Tuesday to being “very flexible” when asked if increasing coronavirus cases could affect his desire for a big nominating convention next month in Jacksonville.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Florida will remain under a state of emergency because of COVID-19 for at least two more months, including during the part of the Republican National Convention that will be in Jacksonville in late August.

Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri
Tommy Hazouri's Facebook page

City Council President Tommy Hazouri said Tuesday it concerns him greatly that Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration may come to the City Council with a “hurry up offense” for part of the Republican National Convention being held in Jacksonville.

Green Cove Springs Candidate For Congress Taunts UF For Its 'Gator Bait' Ban

Jul 2, 2020
Fresh Take Florida

A leading Republican congressional candidate is taunting the University of Florida for its decision to ban its "Gator Bait" cheer over what the school said were racist origins of the phrase.

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.

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