2020 Election - Local

Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden took to the internet with his first "virtual" rally late Thursday, billed as being from Tampa. But this new way of campaigning in the age of coronavirus could use a bit of tweaking.

Biden Calls For 'Swift' Investigation Into Brunswick Area Killing In Virtual Roundtable

May 7, 2020
Joe Biden
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday linked the killing of a young black man in South Georgia to a “rising pandemic of hate” he said requires new focus on mending racial inequities.

In 2018 Florida voters agreed that felons should have their right to vote back once they’ve completed their sentence. In 2019 the state created a law that tied repayment of legal financial obligations to that right. The law was challenged in court where plaintiffs have argued it created a poll tax. Closing arguments in the case were made Wednesday and the judge in the case appeared to agree with their plaintiffs.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle decided more than six months ago that Florida cannot deny the right to vote to felons who have served their time behind bars and are genuinely unable to pay “legal financial obligations” as required by a controversial state law passed last year.

MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has announced the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee will hold a virtual roundtable with African American leaders in Jacksonville on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Governor Ron DeSantis has suspended a second North Florida public official from office over fraud. Liberty County Supervisor of Elections Gina McDowell has been removed from office over accusations of fraud and misconduct.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, McDowell is accused of using more than $40,000 in office money for personal expenses not associated with official business. She tried to conceal the transactions by misrepresenting how the money was spent in public records. The scheme occurred over several years.

Jax Council President Wilson Calls For Special Election To Fill His District 4 Seat

Apr 29, 2020
City Council President Scott Wilson
JACKSONVILLE CITY COUNCIL

City Council President Scott Wilson filed legislation calling for a special election to fill his District 4 seat as he prepares to run for Duval County Clerk of Circuit and County Courts in 2020.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

The vast majority of people convicted of felonies in Florida can’t afford to pay court-ordered fees, fines, costs and restitution, public defenders testified Tuesday during a high stakes voting-rights trial.

Updated 9:08 p.m. ET, Apr. 27, 2020

The trial over whether a state law can require felons to pay back fines and fees before voting started Monday morning. Brennan Center for Justice attorney Sean Morales-Doyle says Florida’s law makes it harder for felons to vote.

DeSantis Okay With Postponing Local Elections Until Aug. 18 Primary

Apr 8, 2020
CHRIS O'MEARA / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday he’s “fine” if local governments or county supervisors of elections request moving upcoming local elections to the Aug. 18 statewide primary date.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

A Duval County poll worker has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Bob Self / The Florida Times-Union

Democrat Donna Deegan now has enough signatures to officially qualify for the upcoming ballot for the primary election August 18.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, center, stops to talk with CNN anchor Dana Bash, left, as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, waves after they participated in a Democratic presidential primary debate on March 15.
Evan Vucci / Associated Press

Former Vice President Joe Biden started Wednesday with even more momentum, with big Democratic presidential primary wins across the First Coast, as well as the entire state of Florida, along with Illinois and Arizona.

The Voices Of Florida's Early Voters

Mar 17, 2020

Students in the Political News Reporting class at the University of South Florida were sent into the field to ask early voters in the Tampa Bay area, what issues are driving you to vote?

The Duval County Supervisor of Elections building in downtown Jacksonville.
Ray Hollister / WJCT

Primary Election Day in Florida will go ahead as scheduled Tuesday despite the coronavirus threat.

Steve Cannon / Associated Press

Floridians should still expect to vote in the Presidential Primary on Tuesday, March 17.

Excitement over Florida's presidential primary is waning, thanks to earlier voting contests in other states and the growing concerns over coronavirus.

PATRICK SEMANSKY / Associated Press

Joe Biden is leading 66% to 22% in the race for the Florida Democratic presidential primary against Bernie Sanders in a poll of registered Florida voters released Thursday by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab.

While much of the nation's attention has focused on the Democratic candidates for president, there is also a Republican primary in Florida next week. During a recent luncheon hosted by Women For Trump Florida in Manatee County, even though some expressed concern about the president's past dealings with women, they say their focus is strictly on the future.

Over the years, college-age voters have been accused by some of being apathetic when it comes to politics. Two groups of University of South Florida students are trying to flip that narrative.

Early voting is already underway in parts of Florida. The race for the Democratic nomination has changed drastically since voters in parts of the state began the process of selecting a candidate. A week ago, seven Democrats were running for their party’s presidential nomination.
 
 
Today, there are three: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Senator Bernie Sanders, and former Vice President Joe Biden. And polls reflect a race for the lead between Sanders and Biden in Florida.

CYD HOSKINSON / WJCT NEWS

With early voting underway in Jacksonville, Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan told WJCT News Thursday a plan is in place to help protect workers and voters against the coronavirus.

When it comes to determining who won a Presidential debate, methods include questionnaires, phone polling, and dial testing, where people turn a knob to register their feelings on certain questions.

But what if what logic was removed from the process and what someone felt could be measured as well?

Biometric technology that does just that was on demonstration recently in a University of South Florida classroom.

Sarasota is known for its sunny skies and beautiful beaches, but two years ago, a terrible outbreak of red tide left Bruce Andersen a virtual prisoner of his waterfront condo.

Rob Harwick (left) and Chris Strickland. A photo of Tom Reynolds was unavailable at the time of this story's publishing.
PHOTOS VIA REYNOLDS & HARDWICK CAMPAIGNS

A new poll from the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab and 103.9 FM WSOS finds 75% of registered St. Johns County voters haven’t decided who they will cast their ballot for to replace Sheriff David Shoar, who will be retiring at the end of his term.

CYD HOSKINSON / WJCT NEWS

Early voting for Florida’s presidential primary is now underway in Jacksonville.

John Locher / Associated Press

A new poll finds no clear front-runner between President Donald Trump and certain potential Democratic nominees in the November 2020 general elections in Florida.

Florida Democrats and Republicans are united in opposing a constitutional amendment proposal opening the state’s primary elections to all voters regardless of party. The Florida Supreme Court got an earful Tuesday as it weighs whether the amendment can go before voters.

Heather Schatz / WJCT News

Donna Deegan announced her candidacy to run as a Democrat against incumbent Jacksonville area Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL4), Thursday morning on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross.

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