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When Amendment 4 passed last November, many people thought it would give over a million people with felony convictions the right to vote in Florida. 

Florida Lawmakers Back Restrictions On Ballot Drives

Apr 3, 2019

Changing the Florida Constitution with citizen-led ballot initiatives could soon be harder under a proposal that cleared a Senate panel Monday on a party-line vote.

Progressive organizations spent millions of dollars in Florida trying to increase young voter turnout.

Exit polling from researchers at Tufts University show their efforts may have made a difference in the 2018 midterms. More than 30 percent of registered voters under the age of 29 cast ballots. That's a 25-year-high.

As results roll in on election night, pundits and political junkies will carefully be watching the exit polls for a glimpse into who voted for which candidate and why.

But exit polls are complicated, and sometimes misleading, as they were in 2016.

For one thing, be careful about reading too much into exit polls early in the night. As more data comes in, they can be more useful later in the evening to explain what's happening — more so than predicting results before the polls have closed.

As Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen walks around the second floor of his office in Panama City, Fla., he points up at a makeshift ceiling of tarp and plywood.

"From that wall right there, all the way over, all the wood there, that all just got put on," he says.

Andersen is the supervisor of elections for Bay County, Fla., the county most ravaged earlier this month by Hurricane Michael. Andersen was in the elections office two weeks ago, one floor below this spot, when 130-mile-an-hour winds ripped off the building's roof.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

A federal judge Friday required elections officials in 32 counties to provide Spanish-language sample ballots for the November general election --- but said there wasn’t enough time to order more far-reaching steps to help Puerto Ricans eligible to vote in Florida.

Hand dropping ballot into a box.
Drew McKissick / Flickr

Advocates for Puerto Ricans who moved to Florida after they were displaced by Hurricane Maria have filed a federal lawsuit demanding 32 counties in the state provide voting materials in Spanish ahead of the November election. 


Florida currently has more than 13 million active registered voters eligible to cast ballots in next week’s primaries. With close Senate and gubernatorial races, this is one of the most important states for both major political parties in the 2018 midterm elections.

Florida’s primary election is Tuesday and you can follow the action here on WUSF.

We’ll bring you election news throughout the day as voters cast their ballots and host live coverage that evening during a special Florida Matters at 8 p.m.

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Floridians are running out of time to request and turn in their vote-by-mail ballots for next Tuesday’s Primary Election.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Residents are headed to early voting sites across Tampa Bay this week, while politicians and elections officials try figure out whether Florida's voting system has been hacked.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

The 2012 general election in Florida had some of the longest voting lines in recent memory.

ProCon.org

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Florida to devise a new way to decide when and how former prisoners can get their voting rights restored, saying Gov. Rick Scott and state officials can no longer rely on "whims, passing emotions, or perceptions" in that process.

U.S. District Judge Mark Walker also blocked the state's current system of forcing most ex-felons to wait at least five years before they can ask to have their voting rights restored.

The system was put in place back in 2011 at the urging of Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Open Florida Primary Proposal Debated

Jan 27, 2018
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An effort to let voters decide if they want open primary elections advanced Friday, but moving to such a “top-two” system continued to draw questions from members of the state Constitution Revision Commission.

As lawmakers return to Washington to debate healthcare, they’ll have new ways of communicating with voters back home, through Facebook. But it’s not yet clear how the social media giant’s new tools could affect the political conversation.

Florida To Provide Limited Voter Information To Panel

Jul 7, 2017

With Democrats and some Republicans increasing calls this week to fully reject a federal commission's request for voter information, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced Thursday that the state will only provide publicly available data.

State Still Silent About Voter Data Request

Jul 5, 2017

Despite a bipartisan backlash against a White House commission's request for information about states' voter rolls, Gov. Rick Scott's administration is still not saying whether Florida will provide the potentially sensitive information.

Elections experts say Florida lawmakers dropped the ball when it comes to improving voter security.

A panel of Florida lawmakers began a discussion this week to consider automatically restoring the civil rights of ex-felons who committed nonviolent crimes.

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A bill that requires county elections officials to notify Florida voters if their signatures on vote-by-mail ballots don't match their registration forms was unanimously passed by the Florida Senate.

Census: 13 Florida Counties Must Offer Ballots In Spanish

Dec 6, 2016
Hand dropping ballot into a box.
Drew McKissick / Flickr

More than a dozen Florida counties must provide language assistance to Spanish-speaking voters during elections.

Wikimedia Commons

We're just days away from Election Day and close to one-third of the state's registered voters have already cast their ballots with vote by mail or early voting.  That's four million ballots, already in. 


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Thinking of memorializing your vote for the upcoming presidential election? You might want to think twice about that.

Florida is one of 18 states where it's illegal to take a selfie with your mail-in ballot or while you're in the voting booth.

In an emergency hearing Thursday, Tallahassee federal judge Mark Walker refused a request by the Florida Democratic Party to make additional changes to Florida’s voting system.

When Florida voters go to vote on March 15, the state's voting machines may once again be in the spotlight.

Back in 2000, the nation's most spectacular elections meltdown took place in Florida thanks to the infamous paper butterfly ballots, ancient voting machines and poorly trained poll workers. The ensuing chaos led to a massive recount, a Supreme Court battle and a narrow victory for George W. Bush.

Election Systems & Software

It's been fifteen years since Florida's voting machines sent a presidential election into turmoil. And it's been seven years since Hillsborough County got new voting equipment. 

On Wednesday, Hillsborough County Commissioners will be asked to buy new voting equipment for 2016 - a year earlier than planned in the county's two year budget. The new equipment may make the voting process easier and more reliable. 

A non-partisan organization wants to change the way Florida’s elected officials are chosen. They’re tired of partisanship and say the best way to address it is to make candidates appeal to a broader electorate. That means tapping in to the state’s nearly 2.9 million No Party Affiliated voters, who are largely locked out of state primaries.

Florida Concerned About Aging Election Equipment

Nov 19, 2014
www.usatoday.com

Decade-old voting equipment is quickly aging in nearly half the state's counties, and there has been a struggle at the local level to secure money to cover the replacement costs.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner said he will meet next month with local supervisors of election in Orlando to determine which counties are most in need of new equipment before the 2016 elections.

"It's kind of one of those things that you don't think about until something happens," Detzner said this week. "We know we need to do something."

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Three million voters cast ballots in Florida before Election Day this year.

In Florida, 1.7 million voted absentee, and another 1.3 million voted early, which could turn out to be an all-time record.

Meanwhile, the more than 6,200 polling locations across the state opened without any problems this morning, according to Secretary of State Ken Detzner.

He said an increase in early and absentee voting should lead to results coming in fairly quickly once the last polls close in the Florida Panhandle.

Students Weigh In on Midterm Elections

Oct 7, 2014
Yoselis Ramos / WUSF Public Media

The University of South Florida conducted a straw poll on its Tampa campus to measure students' political opinions ahead of the November 4th midterm election.

92 percent of the 1,096 votes came from students and if the midterm elections were held now, 49 percent of the votes would go towards gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist. 

A majority of students preferred George Sheldon for Attorney General.