early voting

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.

Nearly a year after a federal judge’s ruling allowed early-voting sites on college and university campuses, state elections officials and plaintiffs in the case remain locked in a legal battle.

With one day left before Election Day, more than 5 million voters have already cast ballots in the battleground state of Florida, and records show Democrats have the edge.

Sam Turken / WLRN

Although more people in Palm Beach County cast ballots this year during early voting than previous midterm elections, turnout at a new voting site at Florida Atlantic University appeared to fall short of expectations.

Palm Beach saw nearly 175,000 people pass through 14 polling places during two weeks of early voting. The FAU site, however, recorded ballots from just 4,410 voters, the second fewest among early voting locations in the county.

Douglas Hanks / Miami Herald

Miami-Dade briefly ran out of ballots Sunday for some voters at its North Miami location, as malfunctioning printers upended logistics there during the final day of early voting and had people reporting wait times topping three hours.

Jennifer Lett / South Florida Sun Sentinel

Voters from Parkland to Hollywood waited in long lines that wrapped around buildings on Sunday, the last day of early voting for the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

“The voting is breaking all records in Broward County,” said Fred Bellis, a spokesman for the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office. “The numbers are higher than we’ve ever seen.”

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

In the final days ahead of potentially pivotal midterm elections, activists are working to get voters to the polls who ordinarily might not show up when the presidency doesn't hang in the balance.

Donors have poured millions of dollars into efforts to turn out more African-Americans, Hispanics and young people for the 2018 elections.

With early voting under way in many states, there are signs that these efforts may be paying off.

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.

Katie Lepri / WLRN News

A cheering crowd greeted county officials and the president of Miami Dade College as early voting began on the school's north campus Monday.

The pep rally-like scene was especially celebratory because, only weeks ago, there were no plans for voting on college campuses here at all.

THE FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, BRUCE LIPSKY/AP PHOTO

Want to beat the projected crowds (and long lines) expected on Nov. 6? If you are a resident of Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties you can do it by going to an early voting site starting Monday, Oct. 22 until Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. 

Read more: How To Find Your Way Through 105 Possible Questions In South Florida Ballots

Sebastian Ballestas / Miami Herald

Florida International University will now host an early voting site, Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Wednesday after facing pressure from civil rights groups.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Local chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union, the League of Women Voters and several other groups are calling on Miami-Dade County to offer early voting on college campuses here.

The groups argue college students often lack transportation to get to the polls, and many have classes or work obligations on Election Day. So they could be disenfranchised without access to early voting on their campuses.

The security of Georgia's touchscreen electronic voting machines will be under scrutiny in a federal courtroom Wednesday.

A group of voters and election security advocates want a federal district court judge to order the state to not use the machines in this November's election and replace them with paper ballots.

"I will not cast my vote on those machines, as I have no confidence that those machines will accurately record, transmit, and county my vote," said one of the plaintiffs, Donna Curling, in a court filing.

Vaguely Artistic / Flickr/Creative Commons

Some will vote by mail. Some will vote early. Some will go old-school and vote on the actual election day. Some won’t vote at all.

But slightly more than 13 million Floridians are registered to vote in advance of the Aug. 28 primary elections, according to new figures posted online by the state Division of Elections. Democrats outnumber Republicans, but just barely, as both parties gear up for a fierce battle in November for a U.S. Senate seat and the governor’s office.

GOP Has Early Lead In Mail-In Ballots For August 28 Primaries

Aug 6, 2018
Associated Press

Nearly 260,000 people have already voted in the Aug. 28 primary elections, with Republicans having an early edge over Democrats in returning vote-by-mail ballots, according to figures updated Monday morning by the Florida Division of Elections.

With nearly 2.5 million ballots sent out, the state reported that Republicans had returned 120,939 ballots, compared to 98,493 by Democrats. Another 38,728 ballots have been completed by people without party affiliations and 1,129 by people registered with third parties.

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