By Amy Enberg and Donovan Souppa
While this year saw significant changes in many aspects of our lives, one of the most crucial was how COVID-19 impacted the way Americans vote. With nearly 64 million voters turning in mail-in ballots, according to an article by Stephanie Saul and Danny Hakim for the New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/03/us/elections/mail-ballot-counting-vote.html), not many expected the presidential vote to be called on Election Day.
However, many other offices and amendments were up for voting on Tuesday. Here’s everything you need to know about the votes counted on Election Day, sourced from the Associated Press and NBC-2.
The Associated Press has not called the 2020 U.S. Presidential race – however, the race in Florida has been called. Incumbent President Donald Trump won 51.3% of the vote to competitor Joe Biden’s 47.8% in the state, though as of now, it is possible that the race will not be called until Friday when the extension period on mail-in ballots in some states has ended.
As of 7:00 AM on November 4th, 2020 Joe Biden lead’s in both the Popular Vote and the Electoral Vote. Many key states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona, and Nevada have all not finished counting both early voting and mail-in ballots. Joe Biden leads with 224 electoral votes, while Donald J. Trump trails closely behind with 213. With so many votes yet to be counted, it is way too soon to call the election for either candidate.
Amendment 1, which changes the language of the state constitution to clarify that “only U.S. citizens…” are allowed to vote, passed with a vote of 79.3%.
Amendment 2, which raises the minimum wage to $10.00 hourly and increases annually until it reaches $15.00, passed with a 60.8% approval vote.
Amendment 3, which creates blanket primaries for state office races and provides that all candidates would go on the same ballot in the primary, did not pass due to not reaching the 60% minimum approval vote (57%). Amendment 4, which requires constitutional amendments to be passed in two elections, failed as well.
Amendment 5, which extends the period for transferring benefits to a new homestead property, passed with a vote of 74.5%. Amendment 6, “which transfers the property tax discount received by combat-disabled veterans age 65 to surviving spouses until the spouse remarries or sells the property”, passed with a vote of 89.7%.
US House or Representatives & Senate
Local candidate Cindy Banyai (D) lost the District 19 race to Byron Donalds (R).
Ray Rodrigues (R) won the District 17 race for Senate against candidate Rachel Brown (D).
Over the night it was projected that the U.S. House of Representatives will stay dominated by the left, with them even gaining a few seats. While with the Senate many races have still yet to be decided, along with the presidential election these races will be finalized within the next few days.
Lee County Elections (Fort Myers)
In Lee County, Carmine Marceno won the Sheriffs’ race and Kevin B. Anderson won the mayoral race for Fort Myers.
Jessica Cosden (Incumbent) kept her spot on the Cape Coral City Council, along with keeping Jessica Cape Coral will have 3 brand new council members Dan Sheppard, Tom Hayden, and Robert Welsh.
Charlotte County Elections
Greg Steube (incumbent) kept his U.S. Congress District 17 seat, while Bill Prummel (incumbent) won the Sheriffs’ race. In the county, voters also approved an extension of the 1% sales tax increase, keeping the sales tax at 7% compared to the state of Florida’s 6% sales tax.
Hendry County Elections
Steve Whidden won the Hendry Sheriffs’ race.
Collier County Elections
The Collier County Referendum to reestablish funding for Conservation Collier passed with a vote of 76%.
To view all of the other local offices’ election results, visit https://nbc-2.com/election-results/.
Though we might have to wait a few more days for the presidential race to conclude, we can expect the state of Florida and the local counties to swing into action with their results.
Amy Enberg & Donovan Souppa
Co- Editor-In-Chiefs of the FSW Compass