voting

Jobs, paychecks and taxes -- the usual issues for an election -- have given way to heated rhetoric, discord and divisiveness. How are the issues and the political environment impacting voters and their votes?

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.”

On Wednesday, federal judges in Ohio ordered the state to allow voters who had been purged from the state's voter rolls over the past six years to vote in this year's midterm elections.

MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Candidates are revving up their campaigning in the final days before Nov. 6.

 

The momentum can be felt in South Florida and across the country. More than 800,000 people have already voted across the region – surpassing those who voted early or by mail four years ago.

WLRN asked listeners about their motivations for going to vote.

Lisa Silvers of Parkland says she’s worried about the country’s direction.

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.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

Voters in more than a dozen states will vote on ballot questions next Tuesday to enact stringent laws on campaign finance and other government ethics issues affecting state and local lawmakers.

Hector Gabino / El Nuevo Herald

Voters are facing a long ballot this general election – 105 different questions across the region.

 

City of Miami voters will be deciding on a few land-related deals. There’s the fate of David Beckham’s soccer stadium – whether to build the stadium on Miami’s only municipal golf course near the airport.

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.

Fort Lauderdale Forum
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Voters in Broward County must decide on a one percent sales tax increase to fund transportation improvements. If it passes, the tax will last for 30 years. 

With early voting already underway, the civics group Fort Lauderdale Forum organized a panel of speakers Wednesday morning to hold a public information session about the tax increase - to a crowd of about 30 people.

Florida is one of only a few states that doesn’t automatically restore voting rights to felons who’ve completed their sentences. The fight goes back years and it's been waged both in court and in the court of public opinion. Now, voters themselves have the chance to weigh in with Amendment 4. It  would automatically restore rights to most felons. But there are exceptions that’s created a divide inside the main group pushing hardest for the change.

Sam Turken / WLRN

Broward County’s election warehouse is often full of voting equipment. In one section of the building, dozens of vote-scanning machines sit in rows, waiting to go out to polling places for elections.

During a tour of another area of the facility, Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes points to voter check-in machines that look like black chests. They’re called EViDs, and Snipes says they help protect voter registration data.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

As voters across Florida gear up for early voting for the November elections, and as some ballots have already been shipped out to overseas voters, one question is being repeated over dinner tables and text message chains: “How should I vote on this amendment that is asking me three different questions at the same time?”

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