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As Election Day Nears, Thoughts From A First-Time Voter And An Update On Early Voting

Early Voting Sign
Mary Shedden
/
WUSF Public Media
Millions of Floridians have already voted by mail, or at early voting sites. So, what will election day look like?

He talks about his first time voting, what issues matter to him and how he thinks politicians can get on the same page.

A week from now, voting in the 2020 election will come to an end.

Due to the pandemic-related surge in early voting and mail-in ballots, it’s been more like election season.

Election coverage has a familiar ring to it. Polls, the horse race, campaign gossip, attack ads. Who’s up, who’s down. Who has momentum. What’s the narrative? But this year, WUSF tried something different. We wanted to put the voters at the center of our election stories.

To do that, we teamed up with our colleagues at WMFE in Orlando and a national project called America Amplified. Here, we meet a voter we connected with earlier this year.

Dwayne-ron Sharpe is a student at St. Petersburg College and he grew up in Jamaica. He recently became an American citizen, so this is his first election.

In the second half of the show, host Bradley George talks with WUSF political reporter Steve Newborn to learn about how early voting is going.

RELATED: Pinellas Lagging Behind Other Counties In Early Voting

"The number of people voting early in Pinellas County is way down, even though most counties broke records the first day of early voting. The latest statistics we have here are 57,000 people voted early in Pinellas. Now that compares to Hillsborough, 154,000 people have voted early," Newborn said.

"If you compare it to Pasco just to the north, which has half as many people as Pinellas, 70,000 people have voted earlier already in Pasco.

It's not that there's a lack of interest in Pinellas. The county broke all previous election records by mailing out its most vote-by-mail ballots ever. Nearly 285,000 people have voted by mail so far in Pinellas - that's more than even Hillsborough, which has a larger population.

You can listen to the rest of the conversation above.

Dinorah Prevost is the producer of Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show.
Bradley George comes to WUSF from Atlanta, where he was a reporter, host, and editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting. While in Atlanta, he reported for NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and The Takeaway. His work has been recognized by PRNDI, the Georgia Associated Press, and the Atlanta Press Club. Prior to his time in Georgia, Bradley worked at public radio stations in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.