Florida Supreme Court building in front of blue sky
Nick Evans / WFSU

The Florida Supreme Court agrees with Governor Ron DeSantis that fines, fees and restitution are part of all terms of a criminal’s sentence. The question stems from 2018’s constitutional Amendment 4. It restored the voting rights to certain convicted felons. But a state law accompanying the amendment has been embroiled in lawsuits and there's difference of opinions on how to move forward. 

Leon County Supervisor Mark Earley says the state and election officers are nowhere close to removing felons that have not paid fines, fees and restitution from voter rolls.

Poll workers in training at the Leon County Supervisor of Elections office, 2016.
Tori Whitley / WFSU News

Floridians approved a constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to most felons in November.  In May, Florida lawmakers passed a law requiring them to repay all financial penalties incurred at sentencing before they can register.

Florida is embroiled in a recount of several key state and federal races that could determine whether Democrats or Republicans will get control of state cabinet posts, and the U.S. Senate delegation. 

Even though Election Day is past that doesn't mean the vote counting is over. Despite claims by the warring sides, under state law that process goes on far longer: until at least November 20th.

Below is a timeline digging in to when votes gets counted and decisions made.

Greyhound Dogs Racing

Floridians have approved Amendment 13 – meaning gambling on live greyhound racing will be phased out by 2020. That could leave many dogs looking for new homes.

Alva Striplin and Darryl James

The Leon County School Board will keep a familiar face but also add a new face following the election.

Jade Jacobs / WFSU

Parkland High School survivors are urging their peers to vote for candidates who back stricter gun laws through the Vote for our Lives initiative.

FSU & FAMU NAACP Chapters Rally To Promote Early Voting

Oct 26, 2018
Front of Crowd marches down the street with Andrew Gillum at the center.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-TV

Members of Florida State University and Florida A&M University chapters of the NAACP rallied Friday to encourage early voting. The decision from Leon County's Supervisor of Elections to not provide campuses with early voting sites has left some worried it will dissuade young voters from showing up to the polls. Statistics show that young people are less likely to vote than other age groups. Florida State's NAACP chapter president Nastassia Janvier is hoping she can persuade other students to cast a ballot at the Civic Center.

Early Voting sign sits outside a precinct, guiding voters inside (2014).
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

For some North Florida residents, voting has become a secondary concern. Early voting began Monday in more than 30 Florida counties, but the majority of the areas affected by Hurricane Michael won't start until the weekend.

The inside of the Leon County Supervisor of Elections office with a vote sign
Leon County Supervisor of Elections twitter

Early voting can start this coming Monday in eight Panhandle Counties hit by Hurricane Michael. Governor Rick Scott’s executive order provides a few extra days for voters to get to the polls.

Bryan Jones via flickr /

As lawmakers return to Washington to debate healthcare, they’ll have new ways of communicating with voters back home, through Facebook. But it’s not yet clear how the social media giant’s new tools could affect the political conversation.

Erik Hersman via Flickr

The American Civil Liberties Union is squaring off against Florida election officials and the Trump administration over voter information.

A sign saying Vote Here
Erik Hersman / Flickr

Lawmakers are moving forward with a measure aimed at helping ensure more people’s votes are counted.

Rep. Williams (D-Tallahassee) thinks the path to the ballot box runs through the DMV.
Erik Hersman via Flickr

It’s an election year and that means the parties are thinking long and hard about voter turnout.  Democrats want to make it easier to register voters while those voters register their cars.

Court Battle Over Fla. Voting Districts Rages On

Sep 7, 2012

As soon as the Republican-led Florida Legislature released its new voting district maps this year, voter rights groups and the Democratic Party filed lawsuits challenging them. This week, the redistricting battle is still raging in court, with a brand new lawsuit and a hearing in a separate, ongoing suit.

Capital Report: 08-17-2012

Aug 17, 2012

Every election seems to have at least a few surprises. One of the shockers in Florida’s August fourteenth primary involved a veteran North Florida congressman’s defeat. Tom Flanigan reports the successful challenger in that race seemed to come from out of nowhere.

Leon Co. Early Primary Voting Outpaces 2008 Election

Aug 10, 2012

Early voting before the Tuesday primary election runs through Saturday. And the turnout in Leon Co., so far, has already surpassed early voting totals for the 2008 presidential primary.

Leon Co. Assistant Elections Supervisor Janet Olin says, with a day left in early voting, voters have already cast about 1,600 more ballots than they did in the entire 2008 early voting period.  She says, primaries usually bring out a core group of dedicated voters.

“You get voters that are tried and true, so to speak, in the primary, that vote no matter what," she says.

Capital Report: 08-03-2012

Aug 6, 2012

Florida Education Chief Gerard Robinson has become the latest agency head to resign. Robinson had been on the job for only a year. He’s been under fire for his handling of changes to the state’s FCAT test that resulted in lower grades for students and schools. But his decision to step aside at the end of August is also raising questions about the state’s leadership under Governor Rick Scott—and why more than 10 agency heads have left their jobs.

Capital Report: 07-13-2012

Jul 16, 2012

Florida A&M University is preparing to launch another presidential search. It will be the third time the in the last decade the school has had to look for a new president, after James Ammons announced he is resigning from the post. FAMU is still dealing with the fallout from a hazing scandal in its famed marching band following the death of a drum major. But as Lynn Hatter reports, those problems are only the tip of the iceberg facing the university.

One -in-ten Florida adults can’t vote due to a felony conviction. That’s the highest rate in the nation according a report released by the Sentencing Project, an advocate for voting rights.

The report found that more than a million felons who served their time in prison were disenfranchised in Florida in 2012. Most states restore voting rights automatically once a felon leaves prison.

Capital Report: 07-06-2012

Jul 6, 2012

While the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the federal healthcare overhaul law, the fight over it is far from over. Many questions about President Barack Obama’s signature legislation remain—like who will be covered under the Affordable Care Act? Who will have to buy insurance, and, will it bring down costs? Lynn Hatter reports the results may be just as complex as the law itself.

Florida and the federal government are once again clashing—this time over the state’s attempt to purge its voter rolls of suspected non-citizens.  The voter purge issue has now spawned dueling lawsuits over whether the state can move forward with its plan.

Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is the latest person to jump into the heated debate over Florida’s push to purge its voter rolls of suspected non-citizens.  Nelson’s remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday were preceded by Governor Rick Scott’s rounds on TV talk shows defending the effort.

Today, after the Florida League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote announced they will resume voter registration drives statewide, the League of Women Voters of Tallahassee began registering its volunteers at the Leon County Supervisor of Elections Office.

A $300,000 campaign is underway to educate Florida voters on the importance of knowing all the facts before they elect appeals court judges as well as Supreme Court Justices on the November ballot. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, the initiative to let Floridians know about the state’s judicial merit retention elections comes just as conservative opposition is mounting against three Supreme Court Justices.