What You Need To Know This Election Day

Midterm Election Day is here! And not very surprisingly, eyes across the nation are looking toward Florida, which again has a number of races attracting national attention.

As you head to the polls on this fine Tuesday, here are some things you should know/keep in mind: 

Florida Has a Long List of Amendments at Stake

There are twelve ballot questions present at the Florida voting polls this election. 

The most closely watched question will be Amendment 4. That could restore voting rights to 1.4 million of Florida’s 1.68 million felons (who have completed their sentences). 

People convicted of murder or sex offenses would still be prohibited from voting. 

For a full explanation of Amendments 1-13 (excluding 8), check out this article: 

Florida's Proposed Constitutional Amendments, Explained
Florida's Proposed Constitutional Amendments, Explained
Here's a closer look at the proposed constitutional amendments

Voting Could Have Significant Impact On Miami-Dade Congressional Delegation

At least three of Miami-Dade County's congressional races are shaping up to be races to the finish line. 

When Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Miami Republican, announced her retirement, most political observers saw an easy win for Democrats in a district that Hillary Clinton won by nearly 20 points in 2016. 

Polls, however, are continuing to show differently. 

Democrats narrowly nominated former University of Miami President Donna Shalala, a veteran of the Clinton administration. Republican voters chose former Spanish-language TV journalist Maria Elvira Salazar. 

Though Shalala is still expected to come out on top, Salazar, fueled by Spanish-language voters, has made a once foregone conclusion into a real race.

Another reversal of fortune is playing out in Florida's 26th Congressional District, where Republican incumbent Carlos Curbelo is running neck and neck with former college administrator Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. 

Curbelo has successfully marketed himself as a moderate who works across the aisle on issues such as immigration. Mucarsel-Powell, however, has chipped away at Curbelo's advantage, running ads to highlight his votes on health care and the recent tax cut, which Curbelo helped write.

Finally, in Florida's 25th Congressional District, veteran Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is facing a spirited challenge from former Judge Mary Barzee Flores. 

In Congress since 2002, Diaz-Balart is expected to hold on to his seat. But Barzee Flores has made a significant impact on the usually strong, red area.

The Future of MLS in Miami, Determined

The ballots this year are also filled with a number of localized questions -- one being based on whether a plan to build a soccer stadium on the site of a city-owned golf course will move forward. 

Miami voters will decide if an ownership team led by former soccer star David Beckham and local businessman Jorge Mas can bypass rules on no-bid contracts to build a home for the planned Miami Freedom Major League Soccer team that also includes offices, stores and an entertainment venue.

Opponents worry that replacing Melreese Country Club with the soccer site will eliminate one of the few open green spaces in the city and put programs that teach young people to golf at risk.

Gillum Rejects Conventional Wisdom

Florida Dems have been unsuccessfully seeking the governor's mansion by playing into the center of the political belief playing field for nearly two decades now. 

Gillum threw out that playbook, touting full Democratic beliefs, and won. And Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, has stuck with this strategy, focusing on progressive issues such as gun control and Medicare for all.

Gillum is betting on bringing out new Democratic voters rather than courting fickle independents and disillusioned Republicans. 

The polls show Gillum with a healthy lead, and if he wins and becomes Florida’s first black governor, he could change how Democrats run in Florida statewide for years to come.

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