Florida Election Recap

Story by Ignacio Rodriguez, Business Manager


November’s general election was, to say the least, a doozy for Floridians and political nuts. This midterm election was certainly one for the books: record turnout across all states, young voters getting involved (amen), women running at an astronomical number (woohoo). Florida, of course, wouldn’t be representing if it didn’t have some massive scandal (looking at you Bush Jr, 2000 election). A quick overview before tackling the meat: Democrats successfully gained control the House of Representatives by flipping thirty-nine seats and tallying their majority to 234, while Republicans lost thirty-nine seats stripping them down to 198 seats. In the Senate, however, things went more in favour of Republicans who were able to strengthen their majority by adding two more seats, bringing them to a fifty-three to a forty-seven majority. As Floridians though, state and local government are more impactful to our everyday life.

Floridians were faced with the longest list of constitutional changes in recent memory at the ballot. Eleven out of twelve amendments on the midterm ballot cleared the sixty percent threshold needed for such a change.

Amendment four, the historic proposal that would resort felons’ voting rights with some exceptions( like murderers and sex offenders) passed with sixty-four percent approval, and along with it hope in Florida.

Amendment three, which would give voters rights to authorize and potentially expand casino gambling in the state( like it is in most states), passed with seventy-one percent approval. Amen

Amendment seven passed with sixty-six percent. Essentially, the amendment provides survivor benefits for the families of first responders and military service members and makes changes to the governance of public colleges and universities

Amendment six, this amendment along with amendment three were some of the most advertised and confusing. Basically, it would create a bill of rights for crime victims and sets two new sets of requirements for judges, sixty-two percent of the vote.

“ I was very surprised to see that 11 out of the 12 amendments on the ballot passed. I thought the amendments were going to be more contested than they turned out to be,” said Senior Alec Bekoff, student voter.

Apart from these star-studded amendments, they were overshadowed by this elections recount drama. The Governor’s race was being battled out by Republican-backed Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum. The count was extremely close, EX-TREME-LY CLOSE. DeSantis carried 49.59 percent (4,075,445) of the vote which narrowly edged out Gillum who got 49.18 percent (4,041,762) of the vote. By law, the Secretary of State can issue a statewide electoral recount and an automatic recount is triggered when the vote is within half a percent(.5). This was put in place to avoid another Bush-Gore;). As the old prose goes, with drama comes to blame, and this year that blame targeted toward the Broward elections office, specifically, Brenda Snipes, the Broward County elections chief who, to stir the pot, was recently suspended by Rick Scott for the recount. As for the Senate race, Republican Governor Rick Scott was running against Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson. This was yet another hotly contested result, Scott edged out Nelson 50.08 percent to 49.92 percent, which again is well within the margin for a recount. Even though Rick Scott eventually was triumphant after the recount, ‘graciously’ accepting Bill Nelson’s concedence.

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