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Primary Election Day: as it happened

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick Wins Primary 2022
Wilkine Brutus
/
WLRN
Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick arrives to her watch party in Broward after winning reelection to Florida's 20th Congressional District seat

Did you vote on Election Day? Tell us about your voting experience and what drove you to cast a ballot. Saw anything at the polls that you want to tell us about? Text the word ‘voting’ to 786-677-0767. Or reach out on social media @wlrn on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

A recap of primary election night in South Florida
Updated on Wednesday at 1:25 a.m.

As we wrap up our coverage for the evening, here are some of the headlines and main results from the 2022 primaries:

  • Rep. Charlie Crist comfortably beat out Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried for the Democratic nomination for governor, with around 59.7 percent of votes with 98 percent of votes counted. 
  • Rep. Val Demings was easily confirmed as the Democratic candidate to take on U.S. Senator Marco Rubio in November. 
  • Democrat Aramis Ayala advanced to the general election for Florida attorney general, where she will take on Republican incumbent Ashley Moody.
  • Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson won the Republican primary for commissioner of agriculture and will face Naomi Esther Blemur, who won the Democratic nomination. 
  • Florida Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book won a bitter battle against Barbara Sharief to win the seat for Senate District 35.
  • Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick won a heated primary battle against former Broward mayor Dale Holness for the Democratic nomination for Florida’s heavily-blue 20th Congressional District.
  • Annette Taddeo, a Florida State Senator from Miami, beat Commissioner Ken Russell to become the Democrats' candidate against incumbent Republican congresswoman María Elvira Salazar, a seat Democrats hope they can flip.
  • Despite being targeted for removal by a grand jury investigating the Parkland shooting, Broward School Board member Donna Korn had enough votes to advance to a run-off to keep her seat.  

As the final votes are counted, you can find the latest numbers for the main races across the state here.

For the latest detailed counts for your county, go to the Supervisor of Elections websites:

Join us again later this morning, on WLRN.org and on-air, for more coverage from the Florida primary.

- WLRN

Three Miami-Dade County Commission races were decided tonight
Updated on Wednesday at 12:16 a.m.

In one of the contests, there were only two candidates — but in two other races, the winners avoided a November runoff by getting more than 50 percent of the votes.

In South Dade, Danielle Cohen Higgins won reelection for District 8 in a three-way race. Republican state representative Anthony Rodriguez will now represent parts of Kendall and Westchester in District 10. And Doral Mayor JC Bermudez will now represent the Doral and Sweetwater area in District 12.

Read more about the changes coming to the commission this election cycle here.

- Danny Rivero / WLRN

'Anti-woke', DeSantis-backed teacher ousts longtime member for Miami-Dade School Board seat
Updated on Wednesday at 12:09 a.m.

A longtime Miami-Dade County School Board member has been ousted by a political newcomer who was backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and who claims that teachers are “indoctrinating” students.

Monica Colucci, an elementary teacher with 26 years of experience in Miami-Dade classrooms, carried 53% of the vote Tuesday, edging out Board Member Marta Pérez’s 46%, according to unofficial results.

Perez, a former teacher and businesswoman, has held the District 8 seat since 1998. Colucci’s upset win is a victory for the “parents’ rights” groups that have helped drive a new political era in education politics across the country – and underscores how DeSantis’s culture warrior approach to public schools has gained ground in Florida.

Colucci is one of 30 local school board candidates across the state who garnered an endorsement from DeSantis, who has ushered in new restrictions on how race, sexual orientation and gender identity can be discussed in schools.

She has pledged to “keep woke ideologies out of the classroom”, to prioritize school safety and to expand school choice.

- Kate Payne / WLRN

'Gracias Miami': Annette Taddeo celebrates primary win in Florida's 27th Congressional District
Updated on Tuesday at 11:55 p.m.

Annette Taddeo wins Primary 2022
Danny Rivero
/
WLRN
Annette Taddeo hugs her mother after winning the Democratic primary for Florida's 27th.

Annette Taddeo, a Florida State Senator from Miami, was gathered with roaring supporters at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club on Tuesday to celebrate her victory in the Democratic primary for Florida’s 27th Congressional District, a victory that she promises is one battle in a long fight to save democracy in the U.S.

The win sets Taddeo up for a November election against incumbent Republican congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar, a seat Democrats hope they can flip.

After an emotional speech partly in Spanish, she told WLRN that her past support across party lines is a strong indicator that she can pull off a victory in November.

"It's going to take someone like me who can bring together a coalition of voters to win in a difficult seat like I've done," Taddeo said.

Taddeo carried nearly 68 percent of the votes, more than double her closest challenger Ken Russell, a City of Miami commissioner, according to state election data released Tuesday night. Fellow Democratic challenger Angel Montalvo won just over 6 percent of votes.

Read the full story here.

- Danny Rivero / WLRN

Broward School Board member targeted for removal by Parkland grand jury makes it to runoff
Updated on Tuesday at 11:23 p.m.

A Broward County School Board member who could be removed from office will advance to a runoff election. Donna Korn will face off against business consultant Allen Zeman in the race to hold on to her district-wide seat.

Board Member Donna Korn carried 30 percent of the vote in last night’s election, with Allen Zeman pulling in 29 percent. Student advocate Raymond Adderly, 18, took third spot.

If Korn wins in November, she may not hold on to the office for long – a grand jury that investigated the 2018 Parkland shooting recommended that Governor Ron DeSantis remove her from office, along with three of her colleagues.

Korn’s critics have called on her to suspend her campaign. The grand jury report was publicly released last Friday – too late for the thousands of Broward residents who had already voted.Korn was first appointed to the seat by Governor Rick Scott in 2011.

Meanwhile, voters in Broward and Monroe Counties have decided to renew local property taxes to help increase teacher pay and fund school safety measures. The referenda passed with 57 percent of the vote in Broward and 74 percent in the Keys.

School officials say the tax is needed to make up for what they call a critical lack of state funding. The money will go towards staff salaries, mental health initiatives and school security. Similar questions are on the ballot in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties in November.

- Kate Payne / WLRN

Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz wins the 23rd congressional district primary
Updated Tuesday at 11:06 p.m.

Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz has won his Congressional primary.

In November, he'll run against a Republican opponent to succeed U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch.

"I feel pretty good, was a big victory tonight. We told our voters this is what we've done over the last 15 years, this is what we're gonna do in Washington and I think the voters responded to that," he told reporters after his win.

Moskowitz won more than 61% of the vote. He faces Joe Budd in the general election.

The 23rd congressional district is heavily Democratic. Moskowitz has been a city commissioner in Parkland, a state representative in the Legislature, and the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management under Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

He said Democrats can't get things done without working across the aisle.

Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz
Verónica Zaragovia
/
WLRN
Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz

- Verónica Zaragovia / WLRN

Republican primary race for Florida's 22nd Congressional District is too close to call
Updated Tuesday at 10:38 p.m.

- WLRN

Democratic incumbent Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick beats out former Broward Mayor Dale Holness for 20th Congressional District
Updated Tuesday at 10:11 p.m.

Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick won the primary for Florida's 20th Congressional District, which includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. The seat was held by Representative Alcee Hastings from 2013 until his death last year.

Cherfilus-McCormick is the first Haitian America representing South Florida in Congress. She beat out former Broward Mayor Dale Holness again in an anticipated rematch, and she defeated primary challenger Anika Omphroy, who represents parts of Broward County in the Florida House of Representatives.

The majority-minority District 20 leans heavily democratic. Cherfilus-McCormick is broadly expected to win against Republican Drew Montez Clark in the November general election.

Read the full story here.

- Wilkine Brutus / WLRN

Key West's mayor stays in office, voters approve expanding discrimination protections
Updated Tuesday at 9:50 p.m.

In Key West’s nonpartisan mayoral race, incumbent Teri Johnston won reelection in a landslide with 56% of votes. Johnston was elected in 2018 as Key West’s first openly lesbian mayor.

A central issue in this year’s election was the handling of disputes with the cruise industry. Key West residents voted to limit cruise ship dockings two years ago. However, the Florida Legislature overruled them last year.

The Key West ballot also had several referendum questions, including whether to expand the categories of people protected from discrimination to include gender identity and immigration status. Voters approved it by a supermajority.

- Tim Padgett / WLRN

Winner Lauren Book extends olive branch after bitter fight
Updated Tuesday at 9:28 p.m.

Democratic State Senator Lauren Book has won the race to represent newly-drawn Senate District 35 in Broward County.

Throughout the campaign, she and her primary opponent, Barbara Sharief, exchanged jabs. Sharief has been the mayor of Broward County and a county commissioner. She criticized Book for moving to Davie after her Plantation home was drawn outside of the district.

Lauren Book Wins Primary
Veronica Zaragovia
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WLRN
State Senator Lauren Book wins Democratic party's nomination for Senate District 35.

Book spoke at her watch party at a Mexican restaurant, Agave Bandido, at a shopping center in Pembroke Pines. She told reporters that Sharief is a “formidable” opponent and a community leader.

"I wish that we could have been able to work this out in a different way, but here we are and I hope that we can work together in the future to continue to make western Broward County and District 35 great and continue to do the work to fight for our constituents everyday," Book said.

Book also said fellow democrats should rally behind Charlie Crist, who won the party's nomination for the race for governor.

“We’ve got to come together," she said. "It’s time to put some of the divisiveness aside. We’re behind Charlie, he’s our nominee and it’s time to get to work to get him to Tallahassee to be the next governor of the state of Florida."

Book says her constituents in cities that include Hollywood, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City and Weston are worried about putting food on the table, their children being safe at school from shootings and access to abortion. She'll continue to lead Florida’s Senate Democrats through 2024.

- Verónica Zaragovia / WLRN

Florida Dems leader congratulates Crist, commends Fried
Updated Tuesday at 8:45 p.m.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz released the following statement: “Today, I congratulate Charlie Crist on winning the Democratic primary for Florida Governor. Charlie has fought for the people of Florida his entire life, and his campaign has united Floridians far and wide for this critical election.

“Crist is a tested leader who’s running for Governor to put the people back in charge and restore civility to our politics. He will fight to lower prescription drug costs, expand Medicaid, and defend the right to vote. Crist will tackle Florida’s housing affordability crisis, which has ballooned under DeSantis, leaving Floridians struggling to make ends meet.

“Crist will also protect our freedoms that are currently under attack from DeSantis because he knows when it comes to personal health decisions, you know what’s best for your family. While DeSantis believes politicians should mandate medical decisions for women and families, Charlie will fight to protect your rights and freedoms.

“I would also like to commend Nikki Fried for running a principled campaign. Competitive and energizing primaries make our party stronger. I look forward to working with Congressman Crist to defeat Ron DeSantis and restore civility to the Governor’s mansion.”

- WLRN

Hugs and celebration for Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick
Updated Tuesday at 8:38 p.m.

Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick arrives to her watch party in Broward after winning reelection to Florida's 20th Congressional District seat

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick Wins Primary 2022
Wilkine Brutus
/
WLRN
Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick arrives to her watch party in Broward after winning reelection to Florida's 20th Congressional District seat

- Wilkine Brutus / WLRN

Three Miami-Dade Comission races on track to be called tonight
Updated Tuesday at 8:28 p.m.

Three Miami-Dade Commission races could be settled as early as tonight. Any candidate to pass 50% of votes — even in a packed primary election — would win the seat outright without going to a Nov. runoff election.

Unless something drastic changes, Doral Mayor JC Bermudez will likely represent District 12.He leads former Sweetwater commissioner Sophia Lacayo 65% to 34%, with 31 out of 49 precincts reporting.

In South Dade's District 8, Danielle Cohen Higgins has more than 60% of the votes in a three-way race, with 13 out of 87 precincts reporting.

Anthony Rodriguez has 54% of the votes, with 15 out of 73 precincts counted. He may also win the election outright. Rodriguez faces three challengers in the District 10 race, and the closest among them is Martha Bueno, who has about 22% of the votes.

- Danny Rivero / WLRN

Fried announces she has conceded to Crist
Updated Tuesday at 8:23 p.m.

Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried concedes to Rep. Charlie Crist in the biggest battle of the evening. The AP had called the race at 8 p.m. shortly after polls in the Florida Panhandle closed.

At her watch party in Broward, Nikki Fried came on stage to tell supporters she called Charlie Crist to congratulate him and vowed to support other Dems in state races.

"Nobody ever broke a glass ceiling on the first pitch," she told the crowd. "I just got off the phone with Charlie. And I congratulated Charlie for this evening. And we fought really hard in this campaign. "

DSC09220.JPG
Gerard Albert III
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WLRN
Defeated gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried tells supporters at her election night watch party that she has conceded to Charlie Crist

- Gerard Albert III / WLRN

Whitfield's supporters in Palm Beach feel confident
Updated Tuesday at 8:17 p.m.

Erica Whitfield Supporter at Watch Party
Yvonne zum Tobel
/
WLRN
Rebecca Currie at the watch party for Erica Whitfield, seeking reelection to District 4 of the Palm Beach County School Board, at The Irish Brigade in Lake Worth Beach.

Around 50 people have gathered at The Irish Brigade in Lake Worth Beach to support incumbent Erica Whitfield, who is looking to be reelected to District 4 of the Palm Beach County School Board.

While they’re waiting on results, they’re passing the time eating bar food and chatting. Supporters here are feeling confident.

Rebecca Currie has been out at the polls at Lake Worth Shores since 7:30 this morning. She was holding signs, encouraging people to vote. “There was great energy today,” she said. “Erica takes issues on from a non-partisan standpoint and she’s brought both sides of the aisle in her favor so I expect her to do very well tonight.”

- Yvonne zum Tobel / WLRN

Potential surprise in District 109
Updated Tuesday at 8:10 p.m.

Democrat Ashley Gantt is setting herself up to win a potential surprise victory for Florida House District 109.

The winner of the heavily Democratic district – currently represented by Democrat James Bush III – would all but secure the seat for the coming term. With 9 out of 121 precincts reporting, Gantt leads Bush by more than 3 percentage points.

The strong challenge comes as Representative Bush came under attack from fellow Democrats over his support for abortion restrictions, allowing guns in churches and other party priorities. Bush has frequently been invited to events hosted by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.

- Danny Rivero / WLRN

The AP calls Florida's 20th Congressional District for Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick
Updated Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick wins reelection to Florida's 20th Congressional District seat, a seat previously held by the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings.

The Associated Press called the race and there is no way Holness would catch up.

- Wilkine Brutus / WLRN

Strong early results kick off watch party for Annette Taddeo
Updated Tuesday at 7:55 p.m.

The crowd at the watch party for Annette Taddeo has immediately shifted into party mode after early results showed her with more than double the votes of challenger Ken Russell, a City of Miami commissioner.

Bad Bunny is blaring and the drinks are flowing at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club. Taddeo has yet to show up but is expected soon.

- Danny Rivero / WLRN

Last minute rush by voters - and candidates
Updated Tuesday at 7:20 p.m.

In the final minutes left for voting in the primary election, the polling center in front of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens saw an uptick in voters — albeit, a small one.

Campaigners wearing t-shirts and holding multi-color posters supporting various candidates had more than doubled since the morning. Most notable was the appearance of congressional candidate Ken Russell, reaching out to voters as they entered the gates of the Historic Garage.

One voter, while leaving the ballots, jokingly told Russell, “The damage has been done.”

Russell is facing off against Annette Taddeo for the Democratic nomination to take on Republican incumbent María Elvira Salazar for the District 27 congressional race in one of the most watched races of the night.

- Ali Bianco / WLRN

"It's important to show up for all elections"
Updated Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.

At the John F. Kennedy Library in Hialeah, campaign workers were greeting voters with loud speakers — so loudly it was hard to make one message out from the other. They were thanking voters for coming out to cast their ballots and then urging them to choose their candidate.

Rene Alfonso, a Republican, voted around 4:30 p.m. Speaking in Spanish, he said: "It's very important top show up for all elections. May freedom of speech and all other freedoms that are the mark of the U.S. continue to flourish."

After being interrupted by a loudspeaker, he added that the U.S. gives opportunities to Latinos and people from around the world.

Earlier, paid campaign workers took a few minutes off for a cafecito.

Three people drinking cafecito. One person pours coffee from a carafe into the small paper cup of another person. A third is drinking.
Verónica Zaragovia
/
WLRN
Poll workers taking a cafecito break.

- Verónica Zaragovia / WLRN

Judicial races are top of mind for one voter
Updated Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The big ticket races might draw some people out to vote, but that wasn’t front of mind for Andy Hazelton when he went to cast his ballot in Cutler Bay.

Because he had just completed another civic duty ... in a courthouse.

"I served on jury duty recently and got to see, you know, what a big job the judges have and how important it is to have quality and qualified people there," he told WLRN over the phone. "That kind of showed me the importance of those races."

Hazelton said he didn’t feel like voting in this primary election, but made himself do it anyway.

"A lot of governance and policy happens at the local level. We don’t always think about that, but it’s important to be involved in the democratic process and make your voice heard."

It took him about five minutes to vote during his lunch break. Hazelton, 31, said he was probably the youngest person he saw voting today at his polling place at Goulds Church of Christ in Cutler Bay.

Afterwards, he tweeted a selfie with an “I voted” sticker on his chest and encouraged others to do the same.

- Katie Lepri Cohen / WLRN

Some polling places seem to be very quiet due to a lack of voters
Updated Tuesday at 5:51 p.m.

Voters can still cast ballots in various races, including for governor, local school boards, U.S. Senate and state cabinet seats.

With only a handful of hours left, in Miami-Dade County, only 16% of voters have cast ballots so far — that includes people who voted early, by mail or in-person today.

Veronica Peña from Miami Shores said that when she hit the polls in the morning, she was one of the few people in her precinct there.

"I mean, it's good because there weren't any lines and it was super fast, and I was able to do it before work," Peña said. "But I was super disappointed to see there was only one person there."

She decided to vote in person instead of by mail to be sure her vote counted.

"I've heard stories about issues with mail-in ballots, maybe the signatures not matching or something going wrong. So instead of voting by mail... I waited until voting day and I stepped in the precinct to surrender my ballot," she said.

Voter turnout in Broward is at about 18%. In Palm Beach County, their tallies are at nearly 21% and Monroe County has the most votes cast at almost 30%.

- Sherrilyn Cabrera / WLRN

Confusion at the polls causes voters to be turned away
Updated Tuesday at 5:35 p.m.

A steady stream of voters that showed up at the Kendall Regional Library to vote were told they were in the wrong location.

For 15 minutes, over ten voters went in and promptly left after being redirected to another location. Only two from that group were able to cast their ballots.

Kendall resident Miriam Montemayor said the main thing driving her to the polls today is her Christian beliefs.

"I don't believe in abortion, I don't believe in LGBT," she said. "I don't believe there should be a special day for the gays or anything like that."

She doesn't have children and said the school board races are not at the top of her agenda. Rather, she said it's important to her to keep Gov. Desantis and Republicans in office to "combat inflation."

"The salaries stay the same, and the wages don't go up," she said.

Carlos Montes, a native of Peru, says he sees the US going down a dark path of socialism similar to what has happened in his birth country. "When Pedro Castillo was elected in Peru we saw inflation through the roof. We have the same thing here," he said.

"The problem here started when we got the new government. Biden says it's because of the war in Ukraine but that's a lie. It was already happening before that."

Montes said he voted so he could stop complaining and get involved. He says he sees a dark agenda to destroy the country at play, ranging from billionaire George Soros helping buy out Miami's conservative Radio Mambí radio station to COVID restrictions championed by Anthony Fauci.

"If I go back to Peru I'll be crucified. And if I stay here I'm also screwed," said Montes. "It needs to change."

- Danny Rivero / WLRN

There's still time to return mail-in-ballots. Here's how
Updated Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.

Voters who requested a mail-in ballot but didn't return it on time can bring it to one of the two drop-off locations in Miami-Dade County:

  • Miami-Dade Elections Department - 2700 N.W. 87th Ave.
  • Stephen P. Clark Center - 111 N.W. 1st St.

Both locations require ballots to be turned in by 7 p.m. today.
While the Stephen P. Clark Center was quiet at 2:45 p.m., an attendant told WLRN that she's been busy with all of the people that showed up today.

A returned and filled ballot must have been received, regardless of postmark, by the Supervisor of Elections' office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Here's a list of how and where to vote.

- Verónica Zaragovia / WLRN

Politicization of state school board elections is bringing some Floridians to the polls
Updated Tuesday at 3:48 p.m.

At West Miami Middle School on Coral Way, voter Jaime Rivera said he was expecting the polling place to be busier than it was on Tuesday afternoon. Rivera said he would’ve stood in line for hours to vote if he had to, but was pleased that the process seemed to be running smoothly.

“With this political climate that we’re in, I thought there’d be many more people. But I don’t think that’s a reflection of lack of interest. It might be a reflection of people getting involved earlier in the process and mailing in their votes,” Rivera said. “But to walk in there, it was so smooth.”

Rivera came to the polls with a fistful of notes and handouts; he wanted to be sure there would be no issues with how he filled out his ballot. He said education was on his mind as he cast his vote.

“Knowing how politicized even our school boards have become nationally really is mindblowing to me. Those are the races and those are the areas of our community that I never thought would be so politicized,” Rivera said. “Board members’ lives being threatened, home addresses being put online…that really saddens me.”

When asked about Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to endorse candidates who are challenging incumbent school board members – in races which are officially nonpartisan – Rivera characterized it as “overreach”.

- Kate Payne / WLRN

At Vizcaya, a calm morning and some redirection
Updated Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

At one of South Florida’s most picturesque precincts, Election Day participation has been sparse - with some voters having to be redirected.

A handful of voters showed up at 7 a.m. at the Vizcaya Village Garage, in Coconut Grove, to cast their ballot in the primary election. In the hours that followed, more voters filed into the historic pink building, located in front of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

Posters and campaign flyers adorned the entrance to the poll center. With no line waiting, voters flew in and out.

Lindsay Kissel, a Coconut Grove resident who came to vote with her five-year-old son, said that voting at the Vizcaya location has remained the same over the years and is easy and quick.

“It’s always very nice to vote here. Happy, easy poll workers,” she said.

However one poll worker said that, due to redistricting, they have had to redirect some voters to their new assigned voting location.

Though the morning hours saw low turnout, poll workers added that the location would see a rush of people closer to the end of the voting period, at 7 p.m.

- Ali Bianco / WLRN

New restrictions and redistricting cause confusion in Palm Beach County
Updated Tuesday at 12:14 p.m.

The Lantana voting precinct at a public library in Lake Worth Beach is seeing a low voter turnout for the 2022 Florida primary election, with many voters arriving at the wrong assigned polling place.

Some of the confusion is a result of redistricting in Palm Beach County.

And many people who arrived with absentee ballots were redirected to official drop-off locations in nearby cities, such as West Palm Beach and Delray Beach.

Voters like Joi Howell say she’s voting due to the controversies surrounding school boards. She was the only voter outside of the Lantana Road Branch Library holding a sign that supported a candidate — Edwin Ferguson for Palm Beach County School Board, District 7.

“I’ve never gotten involved in a school board race before, but I’m involved in two of them in this cycle because I saw these extreme forces trying to take over our school boards,” Howell said. “And our school boards ought to be about electing people who want education quality and good teaching for kids in the classroom, not extreme policies that take the school board off in a polarizing direction.”

As of this morning, out of the nearly 1 million eligible voters, more than 125,000 mail-in ballots were submitted, just over 27,000 early voters and more than 18,000 people voting on Election Day. That’s a 17 percent voter turnout.

“I think the legislature did and the governor, to discourage voting, to make it harder and more confusing,” Howell said. “I mean, in a democracy, we want everyone to vote. And so anything you’re doing that makes it more confusing, more difficult — those are all things that are anti-democratic.”

READ MORE: Secretary of State Cord Byrd on election integrity and how a new crimes office impacts 2022 voting

- Wilkine Brutus / WLRN

PalmBeachCounty-Voting-2022PrimaryElection.jpg
Wilkine Brutus
/
WLRN News
A sign at a Palm Beach County voting precinct expressing gratitude for poll workers, encouraging voters to wear a mask on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022.

A quiet start at South Florida's polls
Updated Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.

After months of furious campaigning and over two million early ballots cast, Floridians appear to be in no hurry to vote on Election Day.

Polls have been open since 7 a.m. and so far no reports of problems. If you’ve yet to cast your ballot, you'll most likely have a smooth time voting. Click here for information on precincts and drop boxes.

Let us know if you spot any issues at your precinct or share your experience. We want to hear from you: What candidates or issues have caught your attention this election session?

Aug 23 Election MH photo.jpeg
David Santiago
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Miami Herald
Poll workers assist a voter as votes cast during the Florida primary election at the Miami Beach Fire Department - Station 3 on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in Miami Beach.

Catch up with this morning’s Election Day stories
Updated Tuesday at 9:15 a.m.

Crist vs. Fried: Democratic voters to choose a candidate that can best challenge DeSantis

The winner of Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial primary race on Tuesday will likely come down to who voters believe has the best chance of defeating Gov. Ron DeSantis in November.

Democratic primary voters will decide between U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg and state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

Fried is the only statewide elected Democrat in office, a fact she's highlighted throughout her campaign. Crist is a former single-term Republican governor who was elected in 2006. Eight years later, he ran for governor as a Democrat and lost to former Gov. Rick Scott. In 2010, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate as an independent.

Democratic voters to choose from three Attorney General candidates to challenge Ashley Moody

Three Democrats are vying for the chance to run against Attorney General Ashley Moody in November. They are: former Orange County State Attorney Armaris Ayala, Panhandle lawyer Daniel Uhlfelder and Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Jim Lewis.

The state Attorney General has the power to bring lawsuits against companies on behalf of consumers, advise state lawmakers on the constitutionality of legislation, issue public legal opinions and enforce the state's antitrust laws.

Of the three candidates, Uhlfelder is the most high-profile. This is his first run for public office. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, he quickly gained widespread recognition after donning a "Grim Reaper" costume and walking along Florida's beaches.

 Daniel Uhlfelder drew national media attention during the pandemic by dressing as the Grim Reaper and criticizing the state’s handling of COVID-19. He filed a lawsuit pushing the governor to close beaches as he raised concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
via Daniel Uhlfelder's Twitter page
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Daniel Uhlfelder drew national media attention during the pandemic by dressing as the Grim Reaper and criticizing the state’s handling of COVID-19. He filed a lawsuit pushing the governor to close beaches as he raised concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

An appeals court clears the way for former Department of Health employee to run for Congress

On the eve of the primary election, an appeals court Monday overturned a ruling that would have blocked Democrat Rebekah Jones from running for a Northwest Florida congressional seat.

A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal rejected a ruling by Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper that said Jones was ineligible to run in Congressional District 1 because she had not been a member of the Democratic Party for 365 days before qualifying for the race.

Jones, a former Florida Department of Health employee, entered the race after drawing widespread attention for alleging that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration manipulated COVID-19 data. Her primary opponent, Peggy Schiller, and another plaintiff filed the lawsuit in July challenging Jones’ eligibility.
     

Some of the key races to watch today     
Updated Tuesday at 6:30 a.m.     

The Florida primary’s headline contest is the tight statewide battle between U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, for the right to be the Democratic candidate to run for the governor’s office in November.

Gov. Ron DeSantis awaits the winner, but he has been active down the ballot, using his own campaign money to back school board candidates as the nonpartisan races become a new political battleground. Florida Democrats have retorted with their own candidates. In Broward, Donna Korn, a school board member standing for reelection, has been recommended for removal by a grand jury, investigating the Parkland shooting.

With dozens of races on ballots across South Florida, there are plenty of other significant battles to watch. Two heated contests between Democratic candidates, for nominations for the Florida Senate and the State House, are going to be watched closely in Broward. The winners would be strong favorites for November.

In Miami-Dade, many eyes will be on State Sen. Annette Taddeo who, after dropping out of the gubernatorial race, took aim at the U.S. House seat for District 27. She is running for the Democratic nomination to take on Republican incumbent María Elvira Salazar, in one of the few seats the party is thought to have a chance of flipping in the midterms. Meanwhile, at the county commission, this election cycle will bring a change of the guard.

- WLRN

Where's my precinct and how do I drop off my vote-by-mail ballot?
Updated Tuesday at 6:00 a.m.

We are one hour away from the opening of polls across South Florida for the state's 2022 primary.

If you are voting today, click here to find your voting precinct — and remember to bring appropriate ID to the polls. If you have a mail-in ballot, you can drop it off at a small number of designated drop boxes. For those locations in your county, go to our voting guide here. You will also find links to sample ballots there.

We will be updating this page throughout the day with the latest news and developments.

- WLRN