2020 Election - Local

Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

Rapper Common will be the star attraction at a Jacksonville “Vote To Live: Party at the Polls” rally Saturday.

Amendment One may seem like a trivial ballot question. It changes one word of the Florida constitution, from "every" citizen can vote, to "only" citizens can vote.

Micah Kubic, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida, says that should ring some alarm bells.

"I learned a long time ago from my grandmother that when something looks that innocent and innocuous, it usually isn't. And that is certainly the case here where this amendment could have sweeping implications," Kubic tells WGCU.

Florida Couple Shares Experience Of Voting From Overseas

9 hours ago

Voting in America remains a right, even for citizens who don’t live in the country any more. A pair of young voters from Florida says it’s not as hard to do as it seems.

Maia Doughtie is from St. Petersburg, but is registered to vote in Washington state; her boyfriend, Dustin Holmes, is from Nassau County, near Jacksonville. They both now live in Vietnam, where they’ve cast ballots in elections back home a few times.

Bowden Endorses President Trump For Second Term

9 hours ago

Florida State University’s legendary football coach, Bobby Bowden, is once again backing President Donald Trump’s re-election bid. Bowden initially endorsed Trump four years ago, even appearing alongside him at a rally in Tallahassee.

The Trump administration’s top U.S. intelligence chief blamed Iran late Wednesday for sending threatening emails to Democratic voters in Florida this week that were made to appear to come from the violent, far-right group Proud Boys. The emails directed voters to cast ballots for President Donald Trump or “we will come after you.”

Democratic voters in Florida reported receiving threatening emails Tuesday purportedly from the violent, far-right group Proud Boys directing them to vote for President Donald Trump or “we will come after you.”

The head of the Proud Boys in Florida said in an interview that his group was not responsible for the email threats.

As early voting began in Leon County, long lines at polling sites followed. Many of those participating say they decided against voting by mail because of negative news they’d heard.

Near the entrance of the Northeast Branch Library Tuesday, a large flag in support of President Trump waves. Holding that flag is Georgia Smith, a retiree, who says she plans to be there throughout the election. While she doesn’t work directly for the President’s campaign, she says she is working for him.

"Trump is working so hard for us; I’m working hard for him just because," said Smith.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Duval County will be adding another vote-by-mail drop box. This one will be at TIAA Bank Field.

Associated Press

A Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL) at the University of North Florida poll of likely Florida voters released Tuesday gives Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden a razor-thin lead with 48% saying they intend to Biden and 47% saying they intend to vote for President Donald Trump.

Here Are Seven Takeaways From Florida's Voter Registration Numbers

Oct 20, 2020

Florida elections officials last week released voter-registration numbers for the Nov. 3 general election. Here are seven takeaways as Florida is again a key state in the battle for the White House:

Heather Schatz / WJCT News

Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris visited Jacksonville Monday, making a quick stop at an early voting location before heading to a drive-in rally at the University of North Florida, where she talked about the importance of a victory in Florida. 

Voters line up to cast their ballots Monday morning at the Southeast Regional Branch of the Jacksonville Public Library.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

More than 19,000 early votes had already been cast in Duval County by 3 p.m. Monday – and that’s on top of the more than 77,000 who have already voted by mail.

Elections security advocates often push against casting ballots over the internet. But disability rights advocates say it is more accessible than current options. So what are the pros and cons of digital voting?

The focus has been on Florida this week in the presidential race, drawing ever closer to Election Day – and it promises to be a fight to the finish in the perennial battleground state.

President Donald Trump, in his bid to win reelection, has seemingly been hyper-focused on the Sunshine State. At the top of the week, he held his first rally since being diagnosed with COVID-19 in Sandford, 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.

Vote here sign
Jay Phagan / Wikimedia Commons

Early voting begins on Monday across much of Florida and here on the First Coast.

TALLAHASSEE --- Republicans have narrowed the Democratic advantage in registered voters in Florida, as more than 14.4 million residents are eligible to cast ballots in the Nov. 3 elections, according to numbers posted Thursday by state elections officials.

In all, 14,441,869 Floridians were registered before a “book closing” deadline last week for the general election, including 5,303,254 Democrats and 5,169,012 Republicans. Another 3,753,286 Floridians are registered without ties to any political party.

Florida U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), along with other Hispanic members of congress, are asking the FBI to investigate what she says is a disinformation campaign targeting Hispanics.

Members of the Economic Club of Florida had an online visit from President Donald Trump during the meeting of Wednesday, Oct. 14. They joined five other Economic Clubs across the country, which heard the president and also got to ask questions.

Economic Club of Florida Chair Cindy O'Connell asked her club's question for President Trump:

"How important is funding for infrastructure projects, like airports, bridges, roads around the country to national security? And how do these figure into your next term?"

District 5 Republican callenger Gary Adler (left) and Incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Al Lawson.
Adler campaign and U.S. House of Representatives

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL5) and his Republican challenger, Jacksonville businessman Gary Adler, faced off in a virtual forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Jacksonville/First Coast Wednesday night. WJCT Public Media produced the event.

Congressman John Rutherford  (R-FL4) and Democratic challenger Donna Deegan
News4Jax

Northeast Florida Republican Congressman John Rutherford  (R-FL4) and Democratic challenger Donna Deegan squared off in their only debate last night. 

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

A Facebook post has been spreading across the country and the First Coast, which Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan called “all poppycock!” in an email to WJCT News.

Left to right: Donna Deegan, John Rutherford, Gary Adler, Al Lawson
WJCT News & News4Jax

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL5) and Republican challenger Gary Adler will take part in a virtual candidate forum at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14, while incumbent U.S. Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL4) will be debating Democratic challenger Donna Deegan two hours later, at 8 p.m. 

Florida's Hispanics Could Decide The Election

Oct 14, 2020

"I have my heritage and my vote. I have my business and my vote. I have my communities and my vote. As Hispanics, as Latinos, our voice is often neglected. It's dismissed. It's ignored. By voting, it's one of the only ways, the only tools we have that we could insure that our voice is heard."

This is the soundtrack to one of 18 "get-out-the-vote" videos produced by a non-partisan coalition called Respeta Mi Gente (Respect My People).

The coalition is made up of more than 20 civic groups groups in Central Florida dedicated to getting out the Puerto Rican vote.

A vote here sign
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Clay County’s Supervisor of Elections is encouraging people to vote by mail or vote early in person ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Lynne Sladky / Associated Press file photo

Voting yes on Amendment 2 to boost Florida’s minimum wage will either give 2.5 million workers a pay raise - or - result in 158,000 jobs disappearing over the next few years, according to counter arguments by advocates and critics.

Early voting opened Monday in Georgia for the 2020 general election — but the first day was marred by technical issues and lines that in some locations stretched more than five hours long, particularly in the Atlanta metro area.

Updated at 9:05 p.m. ET

President Trump was back on the campaign trail on Monday, telling a packed outdoor rally in Florida that he feels "powerful" after his bout with the coronavirus.

Trump spoke for about an hour to an enthusiastic crowd, at an event that his campaign billed as the start of a breakneck stretch of travel leading up to the Nov. 3 election.

Trump stuck to much of his usual stump speech, but he did touch on the illness that led to him being hospitalized just over a week ago. He said he's feeling good now.

=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.

If Your Ballot Envelope Comes Sealed

Oct 12, 2020

Voting by mail is generally pretty straightforward. You request a ballot, fill in your choices, sign the envelope provided, then mail it back.

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