The Point, Sept. 18, 2020: UF Professor’s Analysis Finds 100,000 Vote-By-Mail Ballots Might Not Count In November


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• Politico: More than 35,000 mail-in ballots were rejected in Florida primary. “Nearly 66 percent of the rejected absentee ballots were disqualified because they arrived after Florida’s 7 p.m. Election Day deadline. The rest didn’t meet signature match requirements used by county election supervisors to verify voters identities, the analysis from University of Florida political science professor Dan Smith showed.”

• WUFT News: Instagram Account That Showed UF Students Without Masks Shut Down. “@Maskoffuf was created by two UF students, but both of them wish it didn’t have to exist. During the summer, the two said they went through months of walking around town, watching others not wearing their masks correctly — whether it be tucked under their chin in the middle of a packed grocery store or removed entirely to talk to someone.”

• WUFT News: Arrival Of Solar Power To Newberry Expected In 2023. “‘We pledged to purchase the equivalent amount of energy that it costs us to run all of those utilities that the city operates,’ said Tim Marden, who has served on the Newberry city commission for eight years.”

• Spotlight on Levy County Government: School Board Approves Record Budget; State Funding Cuts Expected. “Levy County School Board members approved a $100 million budget Tuesday, largest in history, and while the budget looks strong, the board may face a $1.7 million shortfall in state funding in December.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Rental housing ordinance passed by City Commission. “The ordinance creates a set of safety and energy standards for rental property. It will also require landlords to pay for a permit and periodic inspections of the rental unit.”

• WCJB: Gainesville city commissioners rename J.J. Finley Park. “The park will now be named after Carolyn Beatrice Parker. The only cost associated with the name change is the sign, which is expected to cost $500.”

• The Alligator: UF’s March Spring Break canceled, Winter Break extended by a week. “The Spring semester will now run from Jan. 11 to April 21, with no break aside from Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18. The change was made during a UF Faculty Senate meeting Thursday afternoon, where the 160-member group voted to extend Winter Break by a week and eliminate the March Spring Break entirely.”

• WMFE: Here’s What You Need to Know About a Coronavirus Vaccine Rollout, According to University of Florida Epidemiologist Dr. Cindy Prins. “90.7 WMFE spoke with Dr. Cindy Prins, an epidemiologist at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions about how a rollout would work.”

• WUFT News: Florida Board Of Governors Approves $20 Million For New UF Artificial Intelligence Initiative. “Just days after being ranked sixth among public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the University of Florida took a further step towards reaching its goal of being ranked a top-five public university.”

• WUFT News: Pandemic Pickup: Soccer Scrimmages Continue Despite COVID-19. “Rain, shine or global pandemic, the pickup soccer scene in Gainesville is alive and well. Despite multiple formal soccer groups either canceling or reevaluating fall soccer plans, local pickup players won’t let go of the game.”

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Around the state today

• Florida Politics: ‘All hands on deck’: Gov. DeSantis identifies power restoration, reconstruction as next priority. “The Governor said more than 7,000 linemen are working around the clock to service the roughly 250,000 Panhandle homes without power. Since Sally’s overnight departure, power has been restored to 40,000 of those homes.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): ‘More water than we know what to do with’: Hurricane Sally floods parts of Big Bend. “Tallahassee escaped major calamity as Sally made landfall Wednesday along the Alabama coast — only one home was reported damaged by a tree, and power was restored quickly for the several thousand customers who lost it. But the hurricane and its relentless rain bands hit harder further west.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida Jobless Claims Down, As Companies Face Continued Problems. “The new federal and state jobs numbers come amid discussion about the end of additional federal unemployment benefits for Floridians. The state is expected to end after four weeks its participation in the federal Lost Wages Assistance program, which provides $300-a-week in benefits on top of state benefits.”

• WMFE: What is Amendment 2, Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage? “If 60% of voters approve Amendment 2, Florida’s minimum wage would be $10 per hour in 2021, increasing by one dollar an hour per year until it hits $15 in 2026. After that, it would rise by inflation.”

• News4Jax: Jury trials to resume in Jacksonville after 6-month freeze. “In an email, public defender Charlie Cofer said the Chief Judge Mark Mahon has directed the clerk’s office to begin sending out jury summons for the week of Oct. 5 to impanel a grand jury. A grand jury hasn’t been convened since the pandemic began in March but is required in order to charge first-degree murder and other offenses.”

• Lakeland Ledger ($): 3 FSC athletes test positive for COVID-19. “Florida Southern College is shutting down all sports activities after three men’s lacrosse players tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.”

• Miami Herald ($): Brazilian butt-lift surgery kills again in Miami, despite stricter medical regulation. “The case was the latest Brazilian butt-lift death in Miami, which draws women and men from across the country willing to risk the oft-dangerous surgery for bigger and rounder buttocks. At least 20 people have died in Florida in the past decade because of complications from the procedure, almost all of them in Miami, according to one researcher who tracks the deaths.”

• WMFE: Non-Profits Work To Help Residents Of Osceola County’s Star Motel. “The Washington Post shone a spotlight on the Star Motel in Osceola County where residents are staying with no water or power. It’s not the first time a reporter has written about this motel or the issue of homelessness in Osceola County, but for now, non profits are working with residents to move them into into safer, cleaner accommodation.”

From NPR News

• World: Mexico Records The Highest Number Of Health Care Worker Deaths From COVID-19

• World: India On Track To Surpass U.S. As Country Worst Affected By COVID-19

• World: ‘A Very Serious Situation’: WHO Says Coronavirus Cases Are Rising In Europe Again

• Education: Students Accused Of Breaking College COVID-19 Rules Fight Their Punishments

• Health: Why Can’t America Make Enough N95 Masks? 6 Months Into Pandemic, Shortages Persist

• Business: As Pandemic Stretches On, Revealing Possible Exposure Can Be Costly To Workers

• Politics: Wray: Russian Interference Heavy On Agitation, Less So State Cyberattacks

• Politics: In ‘Tense’ Call, DeJoy Tells Election Officials That USPS Can Handle Mail Ballots

About today’s curator

I’m Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to

About WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news

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