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UPDATES: Trump wins Florida; Floridians approve minimum wage increase

Sunshine State carries 29 Electoral College votes

ORLANDO, Fla. – Here’s the latest on the 2020 general election.

2:34 a.m.

Trump touts wins in key states, says he will fight the election in Supreme Court.

President Trump set to speak on election results

President Trump speaks about election results https://bit.ly/3kXdniT

Posted by News 6 WKMG / ClickOrlando on Tuesday, November 3, 2020

1:27 a.m.

President Donald Trump has won four of Nebraska’s five electoral votes, while Democrat Joe Biden has won one electoral vote from the state.

The 1st Congressional District was called for Trump early Wednesday. He also won the 3rd Congressional District earlier, as well as the statewide vote. Trump gets one electoral vote for each congressional district, plus two electoral votes for winning the statewide vote.

Biden’s win in the 2nd Congressional District, which includes Omaha, is a flip from 2016, when Trump narrowly won it against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

While Trump easily carried the state itself, Nebraska is one of only two states that divides its electoral votes.

In 2016, Trump won all five of Nebraska’s electoral votes.

1:09 a.m.

President Trump wins Texas.

12:59 a.m.

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are locked in tight races in battleground states across the country.

Trump won Florida, Ohio, and Iowa, important battlegrounds, but races were too early to call in other fiercely contested states, including North Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Both candidates, meanwhile, won a number of expected states. Both parties unseated one of the other’s senators. Voting was generally calm. It’s the conclusion of an epic campaign that will shape America’s response to the surging pandemic and foundational questions of economic fairness and racial justice.

12:38 a.m.

President Donald Trump has won Florida and its 29 electoral votes, the biggest prize among the perennial battlegrounds and a state crucial to his reelection hopes.

A victory in Florida means reelection is within Trump’s grasp. A loss in the state would have made it nearly impossible for Trump to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to retain the White House.

Democrat Joe Biden’s campaign had hoped the devastating toll of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly among older adults, would put him in a strong position in a state popular with retirees.

Trump moved his official residence to his Palm Beach estate Mar-a-Lago from New York last year.

Trump narrowly beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016.

12:35 a.m.

The race to the White House continues, with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden currently leading with 223 electoral votes

11:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden were locked in a tight race in Florida late Tuesday, and it was too early for The Associated Press to call the perennial battleground state.

Florida has a history of close elections, including the state’s 2018 governor’s race, which went to a recount. The AP was waiting on more vote count to come in from south Florida, including Miami-Dade County, the largest county in the state.

11:20 p.m.

Florida voters have approved an amendment that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour gradually over the next six years. More than 6.3 million or 61%, voted in favor of Amendment 2 that will increase the minimum wage. The proposal needed at least a 60% approval was needed to pass.

11:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is leading Democratic opponent Joe Biden in Florida in the race for the top office in the United States, and Trump’s support in South Florida is a big reason why.

As of 10:20 p.m. Tuesday, Trump has received 195,000 more votes in Miami-Dade County, compared to the 2016 election.

11 p.m.

With 66% of the vote, Monique Worrell was declared the winner in the Orange-Osceola state attorney race.

10:59 p.m.

Republican Maria Elvira Salazar has defeated Democrat Donna Shalala for a U.S. House seat in Florida.

Salazar, a Spanish-language television newscaster, won in her second try for the office after Shalala prevailed in 2018.

The district covers much of the central Miami area and has generally been considered Democratic. Salazar sharply criticized Shalala for failing to timely report several stock sales as required.

Shalala previously served as President Bill Clinton’s secretary of Health and Human Services. Shalala also is a former president of the University of Miami and chancellor at the University of Wisconsin.

10:11 p.m.

Spectrum provided a statement explaining the internet issue in Osceola County.

“A construction crew unrelated to Spectrum severed a bundle of fiber optic cables in Kissimmee that serves the Supervisor of Elections office. We have crews onsite working to repair the damage and restore service as quickly as possible,” the statement read.

Osceola County Supervisor of Elections Mary Jane Arrington said each voting machine has an encrypted USB that is uploaded once the machine arrives at the office. She plans to have this process completed by midnight.

10 p.m.

In a tweet, Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote that he believes Florida is a “done deal” for President Donald Trump.

9:56 p.m.

Three of six Amendments on the Florida ballot have passed with the majority 60% approval needed.

Florida’s Amendment 1, which would change the verbiage that describes who has the right to vote in the state of Florida, has passed.

Florida’s Amendment 6, which aims to ensure beneficiaries of veterans with combat-related disabilities continue to receive Homestead tax benefits after the death of the veteran, has passed.

Florida’s proposed Amendment 5, which would extend the Homestead exemption transfer period, has passed.

8:45 p.m.

Secretary of State Laurel Lee said it’s too early to know if a recount will be required.

"It is too early to tell, but if we do in fact require a recount, it is important to note that the procedures for recounts are clearly defined in our statutes, both the thresholds that require a recount, and how those recounts will be conducted. Our Supervisors of Elections are aware of those processes and I’m confident that if a recount is required, that too will be conducted in an orderly and secure fashion,” she said.

8:30 p.m.

The internet service at the Osceola County Supervisor of Elections office experience an outage, meaning precincts cannot upload their results and instead will need to drive their results to the office, which could cause the results to be delayed by several hours.

Spectrum, the internet service provider, is unable to explain what’s causing the issue.

The voting machines are being driven by two people-- a member of both major political parties-- to the main Supervisor of Elections Office in Osceola County.

All results will be transmitted regardless if the internet is restored.

It’s important to note that when a paper ballot is placed inside a voting machine, that vote is automatically counted, so the internet issue will not prevent votes from being counted.

8:30 p.m.

Within the first hour or so of polls closing, a flurry of local races in Central Florida were called including John Mina for Orange County sheriff, Amy Mercado for Orange County property appraiser, Chris Anderson for Seminole County supervisor of elections and Dennis Lemma for Seminole County sheriff.

8:21 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan has won reelection for an eighth term representing parts of Florida’s Tampa Bay area.

The Republican defeated state legislator Margaret Good, a Democrat.

Buchanan, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, campaigned on his business acumen and support for lower taxes.

Good campaigned on strengthening environmental safeguards and preserving the health care law put into effect by former President Barack Obama.

8:20 p.m.

Republican Matt Gaetz has won the reelection for U.S. House District 1.

Republican Greg Steube has won the reelection for U.S. House District 17.

Republican Michael Waltz has won the reelection for U.S. House District 6.

8:17 p.m.

Republican Kat Cammack has won Florida’s U.S. House seat held by her former boss, retiring Florida Republican Rep. Ted Yoho.

Cammack, 32, defeated Democrat Adam Christensen in the firmly conservative congressional district that stretches from Ocala to just south of Jacksonville in north Florida.

Cammack owns a political consulting firm and previously served as Yoho’s deputy chief of staff and campaign manager. Yoho is leaving Congress after four terms to fulfill a campaign promise to self-impose term limits.

Cammack won the August primary with 25% of the vote in a 10-way race.

Christensen, 26, owns a company that tests botanical oils for purity.

8:04 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast has won reelection to his Florida seat for a third term.

Mast defeated Democrat Pam Keith, an attorney and former Navy lawyer, in a district that includes coastal areas north of Palm Beach.

Mast, 40, served in the Army as a combat engineer and lost both legs when he stepped on a bomb in Afghanistan in 2010. After his military discharge, Mast worked as an explosives instructor for the Department of Homeland Security before he was elected in 2016.

He is a supporter of President Donald Trump and is a member of the House foreign affairs and transportation committees.

7:55 p.m.

Democratic incumbent Val Demings has been declared the winner of the U.S. House District 10 race.

With 210 of 247, or 85%, of precincts reporting, Demings was declared the winner over Republican candidate Vennia Francois with 64% of the votes.

WATCH LIVE | US House District 10 voters re-elect Rep. Val Demings

WATCH LIVE | US House District 10 voters re-elect Rep. Val Demings. https://bit.ly/3mNRGCj

Posted by News 6 WKMG / ClickOrlando on Tuesday, November 3, 2020

7:50 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist has won reelection to Congress for a third term representing parts of Florida’s Tampa Bay area. Crist defeated Republican Anna Paulina Luna, who was seeking office for the first time.

A longtime fixture in Florida politics, Crist served as a state legislator, education commissioner and attorney general before being elected governor of the country’s third-most populous state in 2006.

Crist was a Republican until his final year as governor, but left the party in 2010 as an independent before becoming a Democrat in 2012. Luna, an Air Force veteran, emerged from a crowded Republican primary that included better-financed opponents.

7:22 p.m.

Republican state Rep. Byron Donalds has been elected to the U.S. House seat now held by Florida Republican Francis Rooney.

Donalds defeated Democrat Cindy Lyn Banyai in the heavily Republican southwest Florida district. He will become only the third Black Republican to represent the state in the U.S. House. The first was Josiah Walls, elected in 1870 when Florida had only one House seat. The other was Allen West, who served from 2011-2013.

Rooney is retiring from the House after two terms.

Donalds, a financial adviser, was first elected to the state House in 2016 and served as chairman of the Insurance and Banking Subcommittee.

Banyai is a former professional boxer who runs a community development consulting firm.

7:10 p.m.

The polls are closing across Central Florida but some voters who were in line before 7 p.m. are still waiting to cast their ballots.

A long line could be seen outside the precinct in DeLeon Springs at McInnis Elementary. Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis said the long line is because it’s the only polling place in the area.

After 7 p.m., Central Florida counties began reporting mail-in and early voting numbers.

Not all polls in Florida are closed yet because the Florida Panhandle is in the Central Time zone.

6:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump called into talk radio shows in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin just hours before polls closed.

Trump projected confidence Tuesday that he will win key states like North Carolina and Florida and said he’s expecting a “great” evening.

He was set to call into conservative host Mark Levin’s show minutes after the first two interviews, but Levin abruptly said Trump would not be appearing. Levin said he was told the president couldn’t come on the show but gave no further details.

Trump told Wisconsin host Vicki McKenna that he is expecting a strong night based on lines of people waiting to vote. Trump has sown doubts about mail voting, without evidence, and is expecting most of his supporters to turn out on Election Day.

At the same time, his campaign was hosting a call with reporters in which they projected confidence but predicted a tight race that would come down to turnout.

6:35 p.m.

Voters in Florida made their pick for president while holding negative views about the country’s direction, according to an expansive AP survey of the American electorate.

The race between President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden concluded Tuesday as the nation remains in the throes of a global public health crisis and mired in the economic downturn it brought on. AP VoteCast found that 38% of Florida voters said the United States is on the right track, and 61% of voters said it is headed in the wrong direction.

Click here for a snapshot of who voted and what matters to them, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, a nationwide survey of about 127,000 voters and nonvoters -- including 3,584 voters and 759 nonvoters in Florida -- conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

5:40 p.m.

Polls close in less than two hours in Florida but if voters are in line at 7 p.m. they can still vote. Many Central Florida counties have already surpassed their voter turnout for 2016.

Here’s how voter turnout is looking across Central Florida:

Brevard County is reporting more than 73% turnout.

Orange County is reporting more than 73% turnout, officially breaking the 2016 record.

Lake County broke its 2016 turnout record by 5:40 p.m. reporting 78.56% compared to 77.9% four years ago.

Marion County is reporting 75.14% turnout compared to 76.7% for overall 2016 votes cast.

Sumter is reporting 86.86%, 4% above 2016 overall turnout.

4:45 p.m.

The cybersecurity agency at the Department of Homeland Security says the U.S. election so far has featured the usual technical glitches and routine issues but no apparent signs of any malicious cyber activity — at least not yet.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency also says it’s too early to declare victory as polls near closing time around the nation Tuesday and with days of vote counting and certification ahead.

A senior agency official says, “It has been quiet and we take some confidence in that but we are not out of the woods yet.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity to brief reporters about ongoing nationwide election monitoring efforts ahead of the release of any kind of official evaluation.

The official warned that local and state election systems could experience problems as results are reported, but the most likely cause would be from high demand put on the system as people overwhelm websites to check results.

3:53 p.m.

Video from Sky 6 shows a long line of voters at a polling site at McInnis Elementary in Volusia County. Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis said the long line at the school is because it’s the only polling place in the area. She said voters are social distancing.

LIVE LOOK | Long line forms at Volusia County voting location

LIVE LOOK | Long line forms for voting at McInnis Elementary in Volusia County. https://bit.ly/34RDguG

Posted by News 6 WKMG / ClickOrlando on Tuesday, November 3, 2020

3:44 p.m.

Lake County officials said a glitch that was reported Tuesday morning shortly after polls opened was fixed before 8:30 a.m.

“We identified a computer problem in some precincts that incorrectly identified some voters were not registered in that precinct,” said Alan Hays, Lake County supervisor of elections. “The problem was isolated immediately, and corrective action was initiated.

Hays said he appreciated the voters' patience as his agency worked to correct the issue.

3:20 p.m.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered U.S. Postal Service inspectors to sweep more than two dozen mail processing facilities for lingering mail-in ballots and for those ballots to be sent out immediately.

The order, which includes centers in central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, south Florida and parts of Wisconsin, comes after national delivery delays leading up to the election and concerns the agency wouldn’t be able to deliver ballots on time.

The Postal Service’s ability to handle the surge of mail-in ballots became a concern after its new leader, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major GOP donor, implemented a series of policy changes that delayed mail nationwide this summer. Delivery times have since rebounded but have consistently remained below the agency’s internal goals of having more than 95% of first-class mail delivered within five days, with service in some battleground areas severely lagging, according to postal data.

3:15 p.m.

With less than four hours before polls close, Central Florida counties continue to report record turnout.

As of 3 p.m. nearly 75% of Lake County’s registered voters have cast their ballots, catching up to the nearly 78% total turnout in 2016. In Marion County, voters are also set to surpass 2016 total turnout with 72% by 3 p.m.

In Sumter County, home to The Villages, voters have already surpassed 2016 totals with nearly 86% as of 3 p.m. compared to 84.4% for 2016.

Election officials in Seminole County are reporting an overall 71% turnout with 249,000 votes cast -- by mail, early or on Election Day-- out of 335,000 registered voters. The record turnout for the county is 78.5% but its expected to surpass that record.

Before 3 p.m. Orange County reached 70% turnout between early, mail-in and Election Day ballots.

Volusia County saw 35,000 votes on Tuesday by 3 p.m. with a 72.5% overall turnout. Election officials said 2020 has already surpassed previous mail-in and early voting records.

2:15 p.m.

A polling site at Discovery Intermediate School in Osceola County was placed on a lockdown for about 40 minutes. During that time, voters were told to go to the Gym and Aquatic Center in Poinciana to vote provisionally or to visit the elections office. The lockdown has since been lifted and residents can vote as usual at the site.

1:25 p.m.

In South Florida, 63-year-old Luisa Cabrera cast a ballot for President Donald Trump.

The retired travel agent, who was born in Cuba, voted at a precinct in the Miami suburb of Hialeah on Tuesday morning.

“He is direct. He is a straight shooter,” Cabrera said. “He has done a good job with the economy.”

1:17 p.m.

News 6 reporter Mark Lehman checked out a polling location in Orange County where voters of all ages were ready to submit their ballot.

Around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, election officials said the county surpassed the mark of 565,843 ballots, which was set in 2016.

The record voter turnout came after election leaders said 62 percent of registered voters cast their ballot through early voting or vote-by-mail.

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1:05 p.m.

News 6 reporter Ezzy Castro visited a Seminole County polling station where Floridians were casting their ballot.

Voters in Seminole County were predicting the county could go from red to blue this time around.

In 2016, President Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 1.2% in Seminole County, which has voted red for decades.

In fact, President Trump made several campaign stops here within the last couple of weeks.

News 6 political expert Jim Cark explained Seminole County went blue for the 2018 elections which could make a difference in this election.

Noon

More than 24,000 voters have cast an Election Day ballot in Lake County, officials said.

“For those of you who haven’t made it to the polls yet, be sure to have photo/signature ID with you and to vote at your home precinct,” Lake County officials tweeted.

Meanwhile, more than 178,000 (67.33%) of Marion County’s registered voters have already cast a ballot, which is a record for voter turnout, officials said.

11:45 a.m.

Floridians are lining up for the final day of voting in a state that has 29 Electoral College votes seen as vital for President Donald Trump’s re-election.

Florida has already set records for votes cast before Election Day, and the presidential election is expected to be close once again.

Most polls show the Republican incumbent and Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden in a virtual tie.

In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 1.2 percentage points and only earned 49% of the vote. Florida will also be voting in congressional and legislative elections and deciding the fate of six proposed constitutional amendments.

10:49 a.m.

Orlando police on Tuesday tweeted phone numbers for voters who may need help.

“It’s Election Day, and there are a lot of people working hard to protect your vote today. Below are some phone numbers to call, if you need help, or if you see something suspicious in person or online,” the tweet said.

The phone numbers include 911 and 866-308-6739 for anyone who has voting questions.

10:38 a.m.

Nia Casado said she cast a vote for Joe Biden because President Donald Trump is dividing the nation and has to go.

“He’s just a terrible person,” Casado, 24, said of Trump. “He gives everyone the impression they can do whatever they want.”

Casado works at a COVID-19 testing facility and cast her vote Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale.

“Having Trump in office in general is just dividing more people. We need to get him out if we want to come together.”

Patricia Castillo, a 62-year-old retiree from Delray Beach, said she voted for Biden because she’s tired of Trump treating minorities like second-class citizens.

“We’ve never had a president who just approved of discrimination and racism against people,” Castillo said.

Castillo opted for a mail-in ballot, which she turned in by hand in September instead of relying on the U.S. Postal Service.

She also cast her vote for Biden because of his stance on healthcare, adding she doesn’t want her 89-year-old mother to lose health benefits.

“I know we need a change in this country,” she said.

10:29 a.m.

First Lady Melania Trump voted in Florida on Election Day.

CBS reporter Mark Knoller tweeted a photo of President Trump’s wife arriving at a polling location.

10:08 a.m.

More people have voted in Orange County, Florida, this year than in 2016.

The Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office tweeted that 565,843 ballots were cast in 2016. Thus far, 565,953 ballots have been cast in 2020.

“Keep the votes coming!" the tweet said.

10 a.m.

The U.S. Justice Department is monitoring Orange County, Florida, and several other jurisdictions on Election Day.

The department will also take complaints from the public regarding possible violations of the federal voting rights laws through its call center.

“Federal law entrusts the Civil Rights Division with protecting the right to vote for all Americans,” said Eric S. Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division. “Our federal laws protect the right of all American citizens to vote without suffering discrimination, intimidation, and harassment. The work of the Civil Rights Division around each federal general election is a continuation of its historical mission to ensure that all of our citizens can freely exercise this most fundamental American right.”

The Civil Rights Division enforces the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot. Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the division has regularly monitored in a variety of elections around the country throughout every year to protect the rights of all voters, and not just in federal general elections.

The agency has personnel in 44 jurisdictions across 18 states.

9:45 a.m.

Federal authorities are monitoring voting and any threats to the election across the country at an operations center just outside Washington, D.C..

The operation is run by the cyber-security component of the Department of Homeland Security. Officials said there were no major problems detected early Tuesday, but they urged the public to be wary and patient.

U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director Christopher Krebs said from the center there was “some early indication of system disruption,” but he did not elaborate. He said he has “confidence that the vote is secure, the count is secure and the results will be secure.”

Krebs said officials have seen attempts by foreign actors “to interfere in the 2020 election," but he added that officials “have addressed those threats quickly” and “comprehensively.”

9:22 a.m.

Florida voter Mervat Harry said she’s planning to vote for President Trump because she believes he’s in best position to lead the nation for the next four years.

The 57-year-old Tarpon Springs resident, who was born in Egypt and lived in Sudan before moving to the United States, said she planned to cast her vote on Election Day. She is concerned about the country moving toward socialism.

“I know the meaning of socialism,” the former substitute teacher said.

Kickstarting the economy in the midst of a pandemic is also a concern, and she said she believes the nation will flourish under another Trump presidency.

“We need more jobs. We need people to go back to work,” Harry said.

Keegan Connolly, a 25-year-old registered Democrat from Tallahassee, said he cast his ballot during early voting on Friday for Joe Biden. Connolly said he trusts Biden to surround himself with the right people.

"Trump has been so corrosive to the presidency and to his ability to conduct foreign policy and maintain stable relationships both here and abroad, Connolly, a researcher at a nonprofit said while explaining why he voted for Biden. “I feel he’s just more level-headed.”

8:45 a.m.

Voters in Lake County ran into problems Tuesday morning, shortly after polls opened in Florida.

“We identified a computer problem in some precincts that incorrectly identified some voters were not registered in that precinct,” said Alan Hays, Lake County supervisor of elections. “The problem was isolated immediately, and corrective action was initiated. The solution is being deployed and everything will be fine very shortly.”

Hays said he appreciates the voters' patience as his agency works to correct the issue.

8:10 a.m.

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon tweeted a message about Election Day, saying his agency will ensure the safety of everyone voting in The City Beautiful.

“The city of Orlando has shown that we can work together during significant times and I encourage everyone in our community to practice civility and unity no matter the outcome of this election.”

8 a.m.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) tweeted a reminder to Floridians that polls are open across the entire state.

“Make sure you get out and vote!” Scott said.

7 a.m.

Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden have campaigned heavily in Florida, each hoping to win the prized battleground state’s 29 electoral votes. Millions have already voted by mail and in person before Tuesday’s election, setting records for early voting.

Besides the presidential race, 27 congressional seats are at stake in Florida. Neither of the state’s two senate seats are up for election this year.

Florida residents will also get to vote on six state constitutional amendments, including an increase on minimum wage.