2020 Election - Local

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.

Tiger Bay Clubs across Florida hosted a virtual forum Friday on Amendment 3, which seeks to make Florida's primary system a "Top-Two Open Primary."

It would essentially allow Florida's 3.6 million voters registered with no party affiliation to vote during primary elections, which are currently closed.

All candidates would appear on the same primary ballot for state legislature, governor, and cabinet elections. The two candidates with the highest number of votes would then advance to the general election, even if they're from the same party.

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are entering the final stretch of the campaign in a fierce battle for Latino voters who could sway the results in Florida and determine who wins the White House.

But in this ultimate battleground state where nearly 10 million voters participate in elections often decided by a mere percentage point, other communities could suddenly become critical.

Retirees have long flocked to Florida’s warm climate and older voters have long been the country’s most reliable voting bloc. In the 2016 general election, 71% of Americans aged 65 and older turned out to vote. Tom Tengen of Lakewood Ranch is one of them. The Ohio native moved here four years ago and says he's voted in every election for the past 60 years.

"The first time I voted was for Eisenhower and I was probably 21 or there about in that time frame,” he said.

But this year, Tengen says he doesn't feel safe voting in person because of the coronavirus.

State law-enforcement officials have moved from a “review” phase into an “information gathering process” as they look into former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg helping Florida felons pay outstanding legal costs so they could register to vote.

“In a preliminary inquiry --- where we are now --- we start to obtain documents and conduct research,” Gretl Plessinger, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman, said in an email Thursday.

WILFREDO LEE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Saying “this court cannot remedy what the state broke,” a federal judge on Friday reluctantly refused to give Floridians more time to register to vote after a state online system crashed in the hours before Monday’s deadline to sign up for the November presidential election.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

The Camden County Board of Elections is getting an infusion of funds to try to ensure voters’ safety during the coronavirus epidemic.

JULIO CORTEZ / Associated Press March 17, 2020 file photo

A federal judge on Thursday hammered lawyers for Florida elections officials over a meltdown of the state’s online voter-registration system in the hours leading up to a Monday deadline, suggesting Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration did not take adequate steps to address the problems that prevented thousands of people from accessing the website.

CYD HOSKINSON / WJCT NEWS

Sixty-nine percent of likely Duval County voters plan to vote in favor of levying a half-cent sales tax for Duval County Public Schools, according to a poll released Thursday morning by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab.

Disability advocates want poll workers to ask everyone if they wish to use an accessible voting machine. The idea is to decrease stigma around disabilities and make the voting process more inclusive. Traditionally, if a person needed an accessible machine, they would have to ask for it.

Judge To Hear Arguments Thursday On Extending Fla. Voter Registration Deadline

Oct 7, 2020
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

A federal judge has fast-tracked a lawsuit seeking to extend the period of time for Floridians to register to vote in the November presidential election, after the state’s online system repeatedly crashed in the hours leading up to a registration deadline Monday.

PBS NewsHour and WJCT News

Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris are in Salt Lake City for their only debate of the 2020 campaign, tonight, Oct. 7, at 9 p.m.

What first was an ask to the state legislature has now turned into a question to voters on this November’s ballot. Each voter will get to decide whether to raise the state's minimum wage. The Florida Chamber of Commerce is joining the chorus of business-backed groups opposing a $15 per hour minimum wage amendment. Chamber CEO Mark Wilson is telling businesses to talk to their customers and friends.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS

Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the voter registration deadline until 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 6. Meanwhile, a coalition of voting rights organizations has filed a lawsuit, arguing the extension is not enough time.

Associated Press

Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump in a new poll released Tuesday of likely Florida voters conducted by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab.

Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

The American Civil Liberties Union and Duval County voter advocates are calling for early voting sites to be placed at the University of North Florida and Edward Waters College. 

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS

The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming general election is Monday, October 5.

Picture of the Orange Park Town Hall
Ebyabe / Wikimedia Commons

The Orange Park Town Council is deadlocked on who should fill the fifth and final council seat following the May departure of former Orange Park Mayor Connie Thomas. 

Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

Note: The final day to register to vote in the Nov. 3 General Election is Monday, Oct. 5.

While some Duval County voters may have watched Tuesday night’s presidential debate to help them decide how to vote, more than 3,000 voters in the county have already cast their ballots.

Voting for the 2020 election is underway, and all year, we've been amplifying the voices of voters across the crucial I-4 Corridor. Over the next several weeks, you will be hearing from voters about the state of our democracy.

GOP Chairman, Incoming Speaker Voice Opposition For Minimum Wage Hike

Sep 29, 2020

Two state Republican leaders added their voices Monday in opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment that would gradually boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Florida.

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Joe Gruters, a state senator from Sarasota, and incoming House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, described the ballot initiative as “a Trojan horse,” “a trapdoor,” and “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” that will bring to Florida “failed policies” from liberal cities where streets are “covered in poverty, riots, crime.”

Florida voters will decide in November whether to expand a constitutional amendment giving property tax breaks to older veterans wounded in combat. The ballot initiative known as Amendment 6 would allow spouses of those veterans to keep the exemption if their loved ones die.

The existing amendment gives Homestead Property Tax discounts to veterans age 65 and older who were disabled during combat and honorably discharged, but it unintentionally left their families behind.

President Donald Trump is pictured campaigning in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Sept. 8, 2020.
Evan Vucci / Associated Press

The Lincoln Project is made up of a group of Republicans actively working to “defeat Donald Trump and Trumpism.”

Confusion over mail-in ballots. Early voting. Rumors swirl on social media about how our votes could be tampered with.

Just what can we expect in the upcoming election? We talk with elections experts about what Floridians should expect to see given the close presidential races in the past.

Voting used to be simple: On Election Day, you went to your voting precinct.

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Then stay tuned to the news to see who wins.

That is so 20th century.

huge crowd of people primarily wearing red while Trump is in the center talking to them. Very large plane in the background, starting to turn into nighttime
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Thousands of supporters gathered outside of a hangar at Cecil Airport in Jacksonville to hear President Donald Trump speak Thursday night.

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