voting

Mail-in voting, which tens of millions of Americans are expected to use this November, is fraught with potential problems. Hundreds of thousands of ballots go uncounted each year because people make mistakes, such as forgetting to sign the form or sending it in too late.

WP PAARZ / FLICKR

TALLAHASSEE --- Laying the groundwork for an upcoming trial in a case seeking to expand the state's vote-by-mail procedures, a federal judge on Friday tossed out an effort by left-leaning groups to require county elections officials to pay for postage for mail-in ballots.

Al Diaz / Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE — Accusing Florida officials of ignoring “the harsh reality of the pandemic,” left-leaning groups are asking a federal judge to move forward with legal challenges to state vote-by-mail restrictions.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Secretary of State Laurel Lee late last month asked U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle to dismiss the challenges, arguing that they are based on “speculative fears” about what might occur later in the year.

No door-to-door canvassing. Public gatherings are canceled. Motor vehicle offices are closed. Naturalization ceremonies are on hiatus.

Almost every place where Americans usually register to vote has been out of reach since March and it's led to a big drop in new registrations right before a presidential election that was expected to see record turnout.

In a decision with potentially far-reaching implications for November's election, a federal judge in Florida has determined a state law that would have required felons to pay any outstanding court fees and fines before they can register to vote is unconstitutional.

The ruling on Sunday by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle moves hundreds of thousands of felons who have completed "all terms of their sentence including probation and parole" one step closer to winning back their right to vote.

With an election year pandemic, mail-in ballots may become an increasingly popular way to vote, especially in states like Florida that allow any voter to use them.

Jaylan Scott was in the middle of planning an upcoming event for the Young Democrats of Georgia when he found out his state's primary was postponed.

"It was pretty much a shocker for me," the Georgia State University sophomore said. "It was a shocker for everybody."

Scott first voted in the 2018 midterm elections but has yet to participate in a presidential election. He's a supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but says he'll vote for former Vice President Joe Biden if he is the Democratic nominee.

Listeners Weigh In As South Florida Votes During COVID-19

Mar 17, 2020
Sherrilyn Cabrera / WLRN

Florida is holding its primary Tuesday as the state battles COVID-19, but only some South Florida voters are choosing to head to the polls. 

“We're definitely voting. They voted during the Civil War. We're gonna vote,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a press conference last week. 

WLRN has been hearing from listeners on social media from Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties who are choosing to take precautions during voting or not vote at all. 

While much of the country has come to a standstill because of the rapidly spreading coronavirus, democracy, it seems, goes on.

Four states are set to hold their presidential primaries on Tuesday, and many more states and territories are currently scheduled to vote before the end of April.

Here are answers to three questions you may have about voting in the time of a pandemic.

1. Are elections still happening?

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have canceled their respective rallies tonight in Cleveland, Ohio, with the campaigns citing public health concerns amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture on election security in the 2020 campaign after Super Tuesday: could be worse — but also could be better.

The biggest day of voting so far in this year's race wasn't problem-free: Officials dealt with problems in Texas, California and North Carolina, plus tornadoes disrupted the vote in middle Tennessee.

Group Campaigns For Sen. Elizabeth Warren In Miami

Mar 1, 2020
Maria Esquinca

Officials gathered to discuss why they support Senator Elizabeth Warren for the presidency at an event called “Cafecito Con Warren” at Gramps bar in Miami on Saturday. 

About two dozen people packed the room inside Gramps. Posters like “Demócrata por Warren” and “Latinx With Warren” were plastered on the walls. Tomas Alcala, Statewide Latino Constituency Director for the Warren Campaign, offered cafecitos to attendees while Salsa music like “Bang Bang” by the Joe Cuba Sextet played over the speakers.

The Democratic presidential nominating contest now heads into a critical phase.

The candidates have so far stood for elections in two of the whitest states in the country, Iowa and New Hampshire. But Nevada and South Carolina — the next two states to vote — will provide far more diverse electorates.

MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Florida Democrats will be voting in the presidential primary next month -- and it remains a tight race.

The Iowa caucus results came in days after voting, and there have been several reports of inaccuracies.

 

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

On an afternoon in November, 17 people from across Miami-Dade County gathered in a Miami courtroom to have their voting rights restored. The hearing would be an early indication that party politics are playing a role in how a controversial state law is being rolled out.

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