Compared to other battleground states, Florida is relatively well-positioned to administer a smooth—if unprecedented—pandemic-era general election. While Florida’s August 2020 primary saw no major problems, challenges remain to ensure that all Floridians’ votes are counted.
This report addresses three key questions about voting trends in Florida's 2020 primary election, namely:
- How did Florida voters respond to the onset of COVID-19 (turnout and vote mode) in their presidential preference primary?
- How did Florida voting behavior differ by race, age, and first-time voter status?
- As the coronavirus crisis increases the need for vote-by-mail (VBM), can we determine whether certain groups have disproportionately seen their VBM ballots unaccepted for counting?
Florida Updates and Election News:
10/23/30 - Voter Intimidation: In Florida, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is placing uniformed officers at early voting locations after two armed security guards were seen standing close to people campaigning for candidates, an incident that was reported for potential voter intimidation.
10/16/20 - Ballot Drop Box: Florida Secretary of State’s general counsel released a memo to the state's supervisors of elections instructing that “[v]ote-by-mail drop boxes must be staffed at all times they are in use by either an elections employee or a sworn law enforcement officer.”
10/6/20 - Voter Registration Deadline Extension: Governor DeSantis extended the voter registration deadline an extra day to 7 p.m. EST Tuesday, October 6th, after the voter registration website crashed on the 5th due to a high volume of traffic.
10/2/20 - Accessible Voting: Five Florida counties—Miami-Dade, Orange, Pinellas, Nassau, and Volusia—have rolled out accessible vote-by-mail ballots for visually- and manually-impaired voters. Voters will receive a digital ballot if requested by the October 24 deadline.