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2018 election

News Service of Florida and Steve Newborn

Part of a new elections law that requires “sufficient nonpermitted parking” at early voting sites will create an unconstitutional burden on young voters attending colleges or universities, plaintiffs in a long-running dispute over campus early voting argued in documents filed Monday.

The parking requirement was tucked into a sweeping elections package during the waning days of the legislative session in early May. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the package (SB 7066), and the new law went into effect on July 1.

Leading up to Nov. 6, 2018, anyone with a stake in American democracy was holding their breath.

After a Russian effort leading up to 2016 to sow chaos and polarization, and to degrade confidence in American institutions, what sort of widespread cyberattack awaited the voting system in the first national election since?

None, it seems.

When we set out to try to look back on the year that was in politics, we started with a list that grew ... and grew ... and grew. After a couple of days, the list was just shy of 100 news events. That's about one notable story every three days.

Elections Officials: Tweaks Needed, But No Major Overhaul

Dec 4, 2018
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

As Florida's elections supervisors meet for the first time since the Nov. 6 election, they say that despite some recent problems, the majority of the counties handled things smoothly.

Republican State Senator Rob Bradley is leading the charge to keep future constitutional amendments in Florida single-issue. Bradley filed a bill last week, after most “bundled” amendments passed during the Midterm elections.

Why Are So Many Election Ballots Confusing?

Nov 25, 2018

Whitney Quesenbery knows a well-designed ballot when she sees it: lower-case letters, left-aligned text, a clean sans-serif font.

Quesenbery has been assessing ballot design for nearly two decades. Los Angeles County's is one of the best she has seen.

"Look at those instructions," she says, admiring the ballot's simple wording and standout color. "They're beautiful."

In year of Democratic hopes, GOP comes out on top in Florida

Nov 19, 2018
Wendy Whitt

This was the year Florida's Democrats spoke ambitiously of ending their 20-year journey in political exile in this battleground state. Instead, election results after a tense and bruising recount showed Republicans coming out on top for governor and even picking up a U.S. Senate seat.

CREDIT RANDY COLAS / UNSPLASH

The 2018 mid-term election is barely settled but longtime political watchers are already reading the tea-leaves for 2020. Noted Republican and Democratic  political strategists say the legal battles of this year are only a prelude for upcoming elections, with no sign of political divides healing anytime soon. 

Florida’s Senate President-elect Bill Galvano hosted members of the Capitol Press Corps Friday, fielding questions about the election, upcoming session and beyond.

Former medical-marijuana lobbyist Nikki Fried is on the verge of being the only Florida Democrat to capture a statewide win, gaining votes over Republican state Rep. Matt Caldwell in the race for agriculture commissioner after a manual recount was completed Sunday.

The manual recount also had no effect on the outcome of three razor-thin legislative races, in which Democrat Janet Cruz flipped a state Senate seat and House Republicans picked up one seat and held onto another.

Gillum Concedes Governor's Race

Nov 18, 2018
Daylina Miller and Mark Schreiner/WUSF News

Andrew Gillum, who tried to energize Florida's young and minority voters through a Democratic coalition seeking to end two decades of Republican control of the governor's office, ended his hard-fought campaign Saturday as the state's first black nominee for the post.

Nine days after Election Day, and one machine recount later, it is all but official: Ron DeSantis is Florida’s next governor.

The state Senate Race between Democrat Janet Cruz and Republican incumbent Dana Young will now go to a manual recount. Results submitted by the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections shows Cruz had a lead of 376 votes over Young.

Federal Judge: Florida Is 'Laughing Stock Of The World'

Nov 15, 2018
Mary Shedden/WUSF

A federal judge slammed Florida on Thursday for repeatedly failing to anticipate election problems, and said the state law on recounts appears to violate the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that decided the presidency in 2000.

This story was updated at 6:20 p.m.

After initially saying earlier Wednesday that it met a state deadline to recount three statewide races, Broward County issued a stunning reversal later in the afternoon.

Wikimedia Commons

Siding with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s campaign and national Democrats, a federal judge early Thursday gave voters until 5 p.m. Saturday to fix ballots that were rejected because of mismatched signatures.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

The battle over Florida's three statewide recounts rages on in the courts. Why? You have to go back to the contested 2000 presidential election.

Anyone who remembers the recount of the 2000 presidential race in Florida may feel an unsettling case of deja-vu. That the state is now conducting three recounts, including for the governor's and U.S. Senate races.

As State Recount Continues, DeSantis Names Transition Team

Nov 13, 2018

While a recount continues in his race for governor, Republican Ron DeSantis’ transition team Monday announced staff members who would help set up his administration.

DeSantis last week announced leadership of the transition team, with Susie Wiles serving as executive director. Wiles chaired his gubernatorial campaign.

It was noon on Monday and Miami-Dade County was about halfway done with its ballot recount for last week’s elections. Yet next door, in Broward County, the official recount hadn’t even started yet.

Steve Newborn

After some early bumps, more than half of Florida's 67 counties began recounting votes Sunday in the razor-thin Senate and gubernatorial races, bringing back memories of the 2000 presidential fiasco.

Gov. Rick Scott's Office, Daylina Miller/WUSF

Judges in Palm Beach and Broward counties sided with Florida Gov. Rick Scott against two supervisors of elections on Friday as Sen. Bill Nelson filed his own lawsuit challenging the state's mail-in ballot signature law.

Nelson Camp Fires Back At Scott As Count Continues

Nov 9, 2018
Broward Supervisor of Elections Office / Facebook

An attorney for Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Friday compared Gov. Rick Scott’s use of a state law-enforcement agency to investigate the actions of elections officials in Palm Beach and Broward counties to a “Third World dictatorship.”

Three tight races in Florida could be heading for a recount. As election officials were still scrambling to count ballots on Friday, it appeared that the races for U.S. Senate, governor and agriculture commissioner were close enough to trigger recounts.

In Florida when a race is close a candidate cannot “call for a recount.” Instead, it all comes down to math. If any candidates are within half a percentage of each other, Florida law requires a recount. Right now that’s the case for the U.S. Senate race, as well as the contests for state agriculture commissioner and governor.

Health Care Not An Elixir For Florida Democrats

Nov 9, 2018

Florida Democrats pushed health care as a top priority during this year’s elections, hammering Republicans for attempts to repeal Obamacare and the potential loss of insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott accused the elections supervisors in Broward and Palm Beach counties of "rampant fraud" and announced Thursday his campaign has sued them over how they've handled counting votes since the election, as new ballots continuing to pour in have narrowed his lead over incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Democrat Andrew Gillum's campaign said Thursday that it's prepared for a possible recount in the Florida governor's race that he conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis on Tuesday night.

Note: NPR will be updating these numbers as more results come in.

Updated at 10:44 a.m. ET Thursday

After Tuesday's elections, a record number of women will serve in Congress come January 2019.

With results still coming in, 98 women have won their House races as of early Wednesday morning, up from the current 84. In addition, at least 13 women won Senate seats. That's in addition to the 10 female senators who were not up for re-election this year.

Health care proved important but apparently not pivotal in the 2018 midterm elections on Tuesday as voters gave Democrats control of the U.S. House, left Republicans in charge in the Senate and appeared to order an expansion of Medicaid in at least three states long controlled by Republicans.

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