2020 Election - Local

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

A Naples man is accused of altering the voter registration record of Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

As election night draws near, rallies raising support for President Donald Trump have become increasingly frequent across the state, including in Bay County - a GOP stronghold.

In Panama City Beach, three of the president’s family members have held campaign events over the last several weeks. On Tuesday afternoon, his daughter-in-law Lara Trump held a rally. Donald Trump Jr. visited town earlier this month, and Eric Trump spoke at an event in September.

outside of the bulding, where it reads Duval Supervisor of Elections in big letters, partially covered up by a palm tree, and someone walking up the stairs into the building
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

The Duval Canvassing Board is reversing course, and beginning Tuesday will allow a live stream of its  meetings as the board looks through questionable ballots.

Early voters come and go Monday at the Regency Branch of the Jacksonville Public Library.

A coalition of African Methodist Episcopal churches in Jacksonville is offering free rides to the polls for people on the north and west sides of the city.

President Trump's Friday return to America’s largest retirement community, The Villages, signals one of the most important keys to his hopes for another Florida victory. But there are growing signs of an anti-Trump resistance, as many seniors on both sides are very fired up about this election.

“We just got here last Friday from Eugene, Oregon. We drove cross-country!” said retired teacher Jerry Ragan and his wife Patty, speaking in unison. They moved to The Villages just last week and are among the newest residents of what's called "Florida's friendliest hometown.


Vice President Mike Pence will campaign Saturday in Lakeland and Tallahassee, a day after President Donald Trump also rallies voters in the state. 

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

Oct 22, 2020

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

Oct 22, 2020

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.

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

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.

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.