2018 election

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Andrew Gillum couldn’t move.

The Democratic mayor of Tallahassee hoping to be Florida’s next governor stepped off his bus in Miami into a throng of 300 sweaty revelers ready for a “souls to the polls” march on the final day of early voting in South Florida.

But first, Gillum had to make way for a procession of motorcycles and the inevitable selfie requests.

On Nov. 6, I'll join almost a million other Americans who have volunteered — for a minimal fee — to help man the polls.

It's an extraordinary thing when you think about it. This army bands together for a single day (or several, if you include early voting) to make sure every American can exercise one of their most fundamental rights. For all the talk of "rigged" elections, cyberthreats, voter suppression and fraud, it's often those on the front lines who most affect your voting experience. And that responsibility has only become more complicated.

In one respect, this is a typical midterm election — a race shaped as a referendum on the president and the party in power.

But there are so many ways in which this election is anything but typical. We've seen a surge in first-time candidates, especially women and minorities. In the past several midterms, the party in power was relatively complacent compared with the party hoping to be in power. Heading into Election Day, Democrats have an enthusiasm edge, but Republicans have been getting steadily amped up, too.

From the beginning of his campaign, Ron DeSantis, a lawyer and former congressman, tied his electoral chances to Trump, using frequent appearances on the Fox News network to defend the president and his policies.
Butch Dill / Associated Press

It has all led to this.
 

Three days before Election Day, Ron DeSantis joined the man who has played a larger role than any other person or issue in skyrocketing his career from Freedom Caucus congressman to the candidate Republicans nominated to lead the state of Florida.

The two men on stage Saturday night took wildly different paths to arrive at this moment — one a businessman-reality star and the other an Ivy League military man — but in their rally speeches to a crowd of around 5,000 people, they made it clear their political fates were intertwined.

Miami Herald

With only three days before Election Day, former president Barack Obama stumped for Florida Democrats in Miami on Friday with a message that voting blue could help create unity across the state.

Katie LePri / WLRN

More than 10,000 people have voted early at college campuses in Miami-Dade, taking advantage of three polling places established by county leaders at the last minute under pressure from students and civil rights groups.

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

Armed with ominous hyperbole and the aura of “winning,” President Donald Trump flew into Southwest Florida on Wednesday night to whip the Republican vote ahead of Tuesday’s elections and save America from the Democrats.

Less than a week from an election that could propel him toward reelection in 2020 or ensnare him in a fight for political survival, Trump warned the Sunshine State faithful that an Andrew Gillum governorship would take Florida’s purring economy and turn it into a Venezuela-like recession.

In the final days before the midterm elections, high-profile politicians are paying a lot of attention to Florida, including President Donald Trump, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Former President Barack Obama.

The first of 12 amendments Florida voters will see on the ballot November 6th might seem like a straightforward proposal. But the facts around Amendment 1 aren't that simple.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Florida is one of the strictest states when it comes to restoring the right to vote for people with felony convictions.

Former felons do not automatically get the right to vote back after they’ve served their time. That's  1.5 million Floridians who cannot vote.

Amendment 4 would automatically restore the right to vote for former felons except for people with murder or sex crime convictions.

It has wide bipartisan support and very little organized opposition, though some candidates have stated they are not in support of an automatic restoration process.

Updated at 8:28 p.m. ET

President Trump is back in campaign mode and immigration is a key talking point for him, even as his recent comments have exposed divisions within the Republican Party.

After a brief pause to pay respects to victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Trump hosted a political rally in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday. It's one of 11 campaign rallies the president will hold in the next six days, in a furious final sprint to next week's midterm elections.

Alejandra Martinez

Following the deadly synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, candidate for Lieutenant Governor for Florida, Jeanette Nuñez says she is "singularly focused on safety and well-being of the community."

Rep. Nuñez is running alongside Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis for Florida’s governorship. She is current Speaker Pro Tempore of the Florida House of Representatives and began her career in 2004 as the State Director for Government Relations at Jackson Health System.

Hurricane Maria Victims Are Not Going To Decide Florida’s Statewide Elections

Oct 30, 2018
Miami Herald

A hurricane that made landfall 1,000 miles from Miami jolted Florida’s political ecosystem a year ago.

Democrats and Republicans spent months making trips to Puerto Rico, jostling for endorsements from island politicians and cutting Spanish-language TV ads that reached as far as San Juan.

Fort Lauderdale
Kevin Verbeem via Flickr Creative Commons / WLRN

Broward County voters have a lot to decide this election. 

Every voter in the county will get 12 ballot questions; there are up to nine amendment questions, depending on the city. 

One of those amendments: a trust fund to make the cost of housing in Broward more affordable. We explain what's at stake. 

Trump, Obama Head To Florida To Rally Voters Before Nov. 6 Elections

Oct 29, 2018
John Locher / Associated Press

In the closing days of Florida’s high-stakes races for governor and U.S. senator, President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama will try to rally the Republican and Democratic faithful in the state.

Trump will hold rallies Wednesday in Lee County and Saturday in Pensacola, while Obama will appear Friday in Miami, according to announcements from Trump’s campaign organization and the Florida Democratic Party.

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