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October 2, 2020

It’s been 20 years since Charley Wells presided over the morass of lawsuits and recounts in Florida that ended with George W. Bush winning the White House by 527 votes. Now, two decades later, as Steve Bousquet reports, the former chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court is even more worried about what may happen in November.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Duval County voter advocates are calling for early voting sites to be placed at the University of North Florida and Edward Waters College. Earlier this year, the League of Women Voters Florida reached a settlement with the State, clearing the way for college campuses to be used as voting precincts, as we hear from Blaise Gainey.

Disability rights advocates are urging Floridians with disabilities to vote in the general election. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 figures,

8.6% of Floridians under the age of 65 have a disability. That demographic has a lower turnout than voters without disabilities. Robbie Gaffney looks at why that is and what advocates are doing to encourage voters with disabilities to cast their ballot.

Big changes in routine, job loss, health and financial concerns...the coronavirus has come with a new list of worries for many Florida families. That’s led to increased cases of stress and anxiety. But one psychology professor says the virus’s impact on mental health hasn’t been all bad. One good thing COVID-19 has caused is increased access to care through telehealth as we hear from Regan McCarthy.
Anyone who is struggling with stress or anxiety, needs help finding mental health resources, or anyone having suicidal thoughts or behavior, has help as close as their phone. Call 2-1-1 to talk to a caring, highly trained professional who’s ready to help. Or call the national suicide prevention lifeline at: 800-273-8255 to get help now.

Residents looking to boost their skills during the pandemic may find help through a Florida workforce initiative. The “Get There” campaign launched by the Department of Education is designed to raise awareness about Career and Technical Education as an alternative to traditional college pathways. Gina Jordan spoke with Henry Mack. He’s the Chancellor for Career, Technical and Adult Education in Florida.

Many of Florida’s rivers, lakes and streams continue to be warm-weather petri dishes for toxic and disgusting blooms of blue green algae. But Tom Flanigan reports some novel experiments are now underway to mitigate this menance.