Ending a legal battle that started before the 2018 elections, a Tallahassee federal judge has approved a settlement in which 31 counties agree to take steps to provide Spanish-language ballots and other voting materials.

Approved by Tallahassee Federal Judge Mark Walker, the settlement calls for the counties to provide – en Español – ballots, vote-by-mail apps, translations of elections websites, and voter assistance hotlines.

Three of those counties are, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa and Escambia, the latter where David Stafford is Elections Supervisor.

mail-in ballot evelope
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

It will be a lot harder to put proposed constitutional amendments on the 2022 ballot in Florida.

Florida Democrats Say Voter Registration Is Key For 2020

Oct 14, 2019
Florida Democrats / Via Twitter

If Florida Democrats could sum up the state party’s early 2020 strategy in three words, they would be registration, registration, registration.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

An election reform push in Duval County is aimed at improving low voter turnout in municipal elections.

Photos via Reynolds and Hardwick campaigns / Graphic by WJCT's Bill Bortzfield

Now that St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar has confirmed will not seek a fourth term in office, attention is turning to who will replace him.

Primary Elections Proposal Goes To Fla. Supreme Court

Jul 30, 2019
Florida Supreme Court exterior
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

A proposed constitutional amendment that would revamp Florida’s primary-elections process has been formally sent to the state Supreme Court for review of the ballot wording.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Voters throughout the state will have access to Spanish-language ballots in time for next year’s presidential election, under regulations Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration is advancing.

DeSantis Orders Elections Security Review

May 22, 2019
News Service of Florida

Describing it as a “top priority,” Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday directed Secretary of State Laurel Lee to immediately start a review of the security of state and county elections systems after disclosures about Russian hacking during the 2016 campaign.

Photo by Ryan Ketterman / Visit Jacksonville

On the Friday Media Roundtable, journalists analyzed the results of Tuesday’s city elections along with The Jacksonville Landing’s expected date with a wrecking ball and other news making headlines this week.

Florida House Freshmen Are Already Preparing For 2020 Campaigns

Dec 5, 2018
Florida House of Representatives / Via Wikimedia Commons

Four more newcomers to the Florida House have opened campaign accounts as an initial step toward running for re-election in 2020, according to the state Division of Elections website.

Fred Lewis questions lawyers on Tuesday, Oct. 2
Florida Supreme Court via Facebook

With some justices appearing torn between legal precedents and the circumstances of the case, the state Supreme Court on Tuesday weighed whether Gov. Rick Scott should be able to appoint a replacement for a Northeast Florida judge who is stepping down at the end of the year.

Donald Trump is raising the alarm that this November’s election may be rigged against him.

Petronas / Wikimedia Commons

Early voting for the Aug. 30 primary election begins next week.

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Incumbent Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio faces 14 opponents in his bid for reelection.

One of them is a former entertainment lawyer named Steven Machat, a fellow Miami man who’s running as an independent.


Early voting got underway Tuesday in Kingsland, Georgia, where voters are electing a mayor and three city council members as well as deciding two referendums that would affect future elections.

The first referendum asks voters to decide how many votes a candidate needs to win. Under the current plurality system, the candidate with the most votes wins.

But a proposed switch to a simple majority would mean a winning candidate would need 50 percent of the votes cast plus one more. Without a majority, the top-2 vote-getters would face each other in a runoff.

Peter Haden / WJCT News

 A group of young professionals in Jacksonville is trying to get more young people to the ballot box.

Jacksonville banker Kemal Gasper says young voters in Duval County are largely written off.

“Jacksonville is a young city,” Gasper says. “Our median age is 35 years old. However, only 19.7 percent showed up in the last general election. Young voters are perceived as lazy, and that our opinion does not matter.”

NicoleKlauss / Flickr

Republican primaries will be held tomorrow in Northeast Florida for three spots in the state legislature.

Florida political juggernaut John Thrasher stepped down from his senate seat after 30 years to become the president of Florida State University last year.

Florida Division of Elections

  Lawyers for the Legislature told the Florida Supreme Court in a brief filed late Friday that part of a state ban on political gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution.

The filing is the latest chapter in a long-running battle over whether lawmakers rigged congressional districts during the 2012 redistricting process to benefit Republicans. Voting-rights organizations argue that the maps were influenced by politics, contrary to an amendment to the Florida Constitution approved by voters in 2010.

Florida House/City of Jacksonville

Tomorrow, December 16, is primary election day for Democrats in Jacksonville’s House District 13. The heavily Democratic district includes much of the city’s urban core and the areas of Brooklyn, Springfield, San Marco Square, St. Nicholas, Arlington and Jacksonville University.

The race is between District 7 Jacksonville City Council member Johnny Gaffney and former state Rep. Reggie Fullwood, who was originally disqualified over clerical errors on his paperwork.

Clay County Schools

A contentious measure on how the Clay County School Superintendent is chosen cleared a final hurdle Thursday on its way to the ballot.

Rhema Thompson

The Duval County District 4 School Board race was expected to be a close one, but it quickly became clear Tuesday that voters wanted to keep incumbent Paula Wright in office.

With 53 percent of the votes from the 32 precincts of District 4, Paula Wright will keep her seat as School Board Member.

After months of aggressive campaigning, countless community appearances and posters, it only took about 30 minutes after polls closed for the primary celebrations to begin.

Peter Haden / WJCT

UPDATE 10:12

From reporter Rhema Thompson:

With 53 percent of the vote, Paula Wright will remain in office as District 4 School Board Member for another four years. She beat challenger Darryl Willie by about 740 votes.

District 4 seat oversees much of the so-called “transformation region” of Duval County, home to some of the district’s lowest performing schools and the focus of several privately funded efforts to turn them around.


2bgr8 / deviantART/Wikimedia Commons

The polls open up for Primary Elections Tuesday, and this cycle has brought a wealth of school board candidates. It's also brought a wealth of contributions.

While school board campaigns don't typically rake in the big bucks of other local and state races, the bid for a Duval County School Board seat has yielded a few heavily-backed contenders, and with that, questions about who is financing campaigns.

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

Two candidates vying for the School Board seat in one Duval County’s most challenged districts made their pitch to a lively crowd Tuesday night.

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown

Lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Thursday for a rare August special session, hoping to quickly redraw congressional districts before returning to the campaign trail in an election year.

As a sign of how quickly the process was moving, the chairmen of the House and Senate committees working to revise the map released a joint proposal Thursday, hoping to hold committee votes on Friday and gain approval from the full Legislature early next week.

Rhema Thompson

Scott Shine would like to find ways to keep more great teachers in Duval County Public Schools. Sam Hall wants to develop a revenue stream to replace depleting funds in the district’s budget. Shannon Russell wants to emphasize more learning and less testing.

“I can’t teach a student if they’re not there and one of the biggest reasons is testing,” she said.

The Fuller Warren Bridge, Matt Shirk and Tim Tebow are in the headlines today.

Corrine Brown
U.S. House of Representatives

TALLAHASSEE (The News Service of Florida) — As Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown tells it, the reason for her district's winding path from Jacksonville to Orlando is a matter of history.

Quality Education for All, One Spark and marriage equality are in the headlines today.

The order that state lawmakers redraw two Florida congressional districts ruled invalid because they were created to favor Republicans is wreaking havoc on the upcoming elections.