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Florida Votes! WFSU's Official 2012 Elections Blog

Update 12:30 am: Presidential Race in Florida Still Too Close To Call, But President Obama wins re-election without it.

Maria Sachs wins re-election for Florida Senate over Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff.

Getting word that in Miami, people are still voting as of 12:30 am.


Update 10:30 pm: Gadsden County Superintendent Reginald James wins re-election, Clay Van Landingham wins re-election for Property Appraiser.


Update: 10:07 pm   Barbara Hobbs upsets Josephine Tomayo for 2nd Judicial Circuit Judge win and Mary Ann Lindley bests incumbent County Commissioner Akin Akinyemi for At-Large seat win.


Update 9:50 pm: Republican Steve Southerland wins re-election.

All three state Supreme Court justices have been retained on the bench. Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince, and R. Fred Lewis survive merit retention vote.

- Mary Ann Lindley leads Akin Akineymi in Leon Co. Commission race 51-48 with 96 percent of precincts reporting.

-State Sen. Maria Sachs (D) leading Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff (R)  in marquee legislative race.


Update 9:42 pm: Charlie Creel wins race for Wakulla Sheriff.

-Future state House Speaker Chris Dorworth in a surprise dog-fight for reelection.


Update: 9:15 pm: State Rep. Representative Scott Plakon loses re-election bid to Democratic Challenger, Kathy Castor-Dentel.

Morris Young re-elected as Sheriff in Gadsden County.

Presidential Race in Florida still too close to call.


Update: 9:03 pm: The race for Jefferson County School Superintendent is heating up. There's a 100-vote difference between  incumbent Bill Brumfeld and Al Cooksey with each at 33-percent. This race is within the margin of error.

- Southerland now pulling ahead of Lawson slightly in hotly contested Congressional race.

-Bobby Pierce is leading in the race to replace outgoing Wakulla Co. School Superintendent David Miller

-NPA Candidate Charlie Creell is leading in the Wakulla Co. Sheriffs race.


Update 8:25 pm  * Republican Congressman Steve Southerland Trailing Democrat Al Lawson

-State Sen. Maria Sachs (D) leading 55-44 over Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff (R). The two sitting senators were drawn into the same district due to redistricting.

-HD 30: Democrat Kathy Castor-Dentel leading Incumbent Republican Scott Plakon 53-46.

-HD 42: Candidates in a statistical tie, with Mike LaRosa and Eileen Game at 49-50.


Update: 8:08 pm U.S. Senator Bill Nelson defeats Congressman Connie Mack IV.

Statement from FL Dem Chair Smith on Sen. Bill Nelson's Re-Election Victory “On behalf of Florida Democrats, I wish Senator Bill Nelson congratulations on his reelection. Sen. Nelson has and will continue to serve our state and country with the highest level of distinction. Throughout this campaign and his entire career in public service, Sen. Nelson has stood up for the values that make our state great. He is a true champion for middle class families and a passionate advocate for our state. He has delivered for the people of Florida, and tonight they have delivered him a decisive victory.”

Update 7:42 pm  -Sen. Bill Montford and Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell win re-election. 60-percent of precincts have reported.

-Fmr. Tallahassee Mayor Scott Maddox currently leading in City Commission Race against Steve Stewart.

-Statewide: Democratic Sen. Maria Sachs currently leading big in Palm Beach, but Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff leading slightly in Broward. Both sitting state senators were drawn into the same seat by redistricting. Only one will win.

Update 7:34 pm  Leon County School Superintendent Jackie Pons handily wins re-election. Pons faced NPA Challenger Sabrina M. Allen, a longtime English teacher. Pons benefitted from high popularity and approval ratings along with greater name recognition.

-In the 2nd Judicial Circuit: Barbara Hobbs currently leading over Incumbent Judge Josephina Tomayo with three-percent of precincts reporting. Fla. AG Pam Bondi has endorsed Tomayo.

Update 7:22 pm   Wakulla Sheriff Update: Creel lags Langston

Leon Co. Commission candidate Lindley, "I expected a close race, he's been on the commission for four years, I'm trying to remain calm. It's been a great experience, and it's still early."    Lindley currently trailing Incumbent Akinyemi by about a thousand votes.

From Gadsden via Havana Herald's Byron Spires, "no problems, everything is going smoothly, absentee  ballots are reporting. No controversies in any of the polling places. Should have some results closer to 9."


Update 7:15 pm WFSU talks with Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner: "One of the best elections we've had in years"

Detzner on in-person absentee voting: "Supervisors operating within the law, didn't throw a screw in the chain, but allowed voters in urban areas a bit of a release valve."

On reports of people walking away from the polls due to long lines: "I've heard a couple of the reports but by and large, people satisfied. Anyone in line by 7 pm will be allowed to vote.

Detzner on turnout: "I think we'll equal the 2008 residential turnout and probably do a bit better than that."

Update 6:27 pm:  Precinct Problems in Duval: Voters in the wrong place. From a Democratic poll watcher in Jacksonville, "Soooo many people did not get word of precinct change. Can't just be told to check web; workers must look each up and fill out form.  Help desk line longer than voter check in. So many will be told too late to get to right place. Our team sending vans for rush transport."

*Polling locations changed as a result of the redistricting process this year, and as part of Florida's 2011 elections law overhaul, voters can no longer vote provisional ballots if they turn up at the wrong place.

                                       Memo from the Florida Department of State:

Please be advised of the attached information already being handed out to voters waiting in line for in-person absentee ballots. Important! You must return your absentee ballot to the Supervisor before 7 p.m. Merely being in line to pick up an absentee ballot or in line to return an absentee ballot at 7 p.m. today will mean that your vote will not count. Section 101.67(2), Florida Statutes, (2012) states that all marked absentee ballots to be counted must be received by the Supervisor of Elections by 7 p.m., Election Day. Therefore, if you have obtained an absentee ballot today, you must return it to the Supervisor of Elections office no later than 7 p.m. If the Supervisor does not receive your absentee ballot by 7 p.m., your vote will NOT BE COUNTED. HOWEVER, You may return to your properly assigned precinct to vote and if you are in line to vote at 7 p.m. at your precinct, you will be entitled to vote.


Update: 5:37 pm: Florida has more Federal elections monitors than any other state. Feds monitoring in 51 counties in 23 states, including several places in South Florida.

They may need to.

According to ACLU of Florida@ACLUFL

@wfsumedia Voters at wrong precincts being told cast provis. ballots. These WONT count! Vote @ your location! More info


Update 4:18 pm: Long lines being reported in South Florida, wait times up to six hours. Some folks walking away from the polls without voting, via twitter from the Miami Herald/ Tampa Bay Times twitter:

5 hr waits in Kendall via @PatriciaMazzei: A "woman left the polling place in a huff before voting. 'I can't wait any longer,'" she said


Update 3:30 pm: According to the Florida Department of State, 4.5 million Floridians have already cast ballots. Secretary of State Ken Detzner says he expects record turnout as voting continues until the polls close at 7 pm this evening. Results will start coming in at 8 pm, when the polls close in Panama City due to the time difference.


Update 12:30 pm: Several South Florida voters reported receiving robo calls telling them they could vote tomorrow. At least two of the calls went to Hispanic voters in Orange County.

A similar issue cropped up in Pinellas County. Hundreds of calls came from the local supervisor of elections office, which attributed the calls to a faulty automated phone system.


Follow us on twitter @wfsumedia #wfsuvote for news updates and elections results as they come in.