If voters have been model citizens so far, and they have, a very small handful of candidates or party operatives, particularly in the Republican Party, have been a little less so: their actions have required the interventions of poll deputies, of Supervisor of Elections Kaiti Lenhart and of sheriff’s deputies.
As in Florida and the rest of the nation, Flagler County is seeing a surge of early voting and voting by mail in one of the most unusual–and unpredictable–election in memory. But Flagler would have to experience an even more unusually heavy turnout in the remaining days of the election, especially on Election Day, if the turnout records of the 2000s are to be broken.
The conflict reflects a deep split within Flagler County Republicans, some aligned with incumbent Mayor Milissa Holland, some with challenger Alan Lowe. Both are Republicans in a supposedly non-partisan race that has turned into the single-most partisan race in Flagler aside from the top of the ticket.
The efforts to boost turnout among Black voters — especially young Black men — come as recent polls show Biden and Trump deadlocked in Florida, a state with 29 electoral votes considered critical for a White House victory.
For the first time since 2008, all three seats on the mosquito control board, which controls a $2.2 million budget and levies taxes on Flagler homeowners, are being contested simultaneously, a direct reflection of the board’s troubled few years–a financial crisis, and the booting off of Robert Fruehan following his felony conviction. Two incumbents, Barbara Sgroi and Jules Kwiatkowski, are fighting for survival on the board.
Trump needs a contingency plan if the Supreme Court accepts his argument that the ACA should be overturned. The justices are scheduled to hear the case the week after Election Day. Administration health officials have pledged to have an alternative if the high court does as they ask. But they have refused to publicly share any details.
Democrat Joe Biden and his supporters are targeting Puerto Ricans along the Interstate 4 corridor in the effort to flip the state blue. Trump has solid backing from Cuban-American voters, especially in Miami-Dade County, who for decades have been a reliable source of support for Republican candidates running statewide.
In April, election officials from a little over half of Florida’s counties signed a letter asking their secretary of state and attorney general to either take legal action against the Center for Voter Information or speak out publicly against its mailers, which the letter referred to as “a deceptive enterprise” that will “carpet bomb Floridians with more voter registration deception this month.”
Dennis McDonald, the candidate running for a Palm Coast City Council seat in a fifth attempt at elected office, may be declared in contempt of court over $80,000 he owes Flagler County government as reimbursement for legal fees and interest after he filed an ethics complaint against a former county commissioner that was judged frivolous and false.
The emails that several Flagler County Democrats, hundreds of Floridians and others across the country received today, threatening recipients to vote for Donald Trump or else, were the work of Iran, according to a federal investigation.