The Point, Oct. 30, 2020: What’s It Like To Vote While Homeless During A Pandemic?


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• WUFT News: ‘It’s Your Inalienable Right’: Gainesville’s Homeless Population Encouraged To Vote. “While voter turnout is surging across the country, the pandemic has limited resources for the 800-plus people without homes in Alachua County, including those that would help them to vote.”

• News Service of Florida: More than half of voters have cast ballots. “More than 50 percent of Florida’s registered voters have cast ballots by mail or at early voting sites, as turnout continues to surge ahead of Tuesday’s elections.”

• WUFT News: First Early Presidential Voting At Reitz Union Brings Large Turnout. “‘NO SOLICITATION BEYOND THIS POINT.’ Short white lawn signs with navy blue lettering signify to passersby that they have arrived within 150 feet of the J. Wayne Reitz Student Union on the University of Florida campus. This marks early voting territory. For the first time, that early voting territory is active during a presidential election.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville High School Class Quarantined, School Remains Open. “The reported number of cases at GHS and all other Alachua County public schools don’t currently meet the criteria for closing an entire school — a precaution that would only be taken if 10% of all classes in a middle or high school or three or more classes in an elementary school had to be quarantined, and only after consultation with the Scientific Medical Advisory Committee.”

• WCJB: UF Health enrolls first patient in a clinical trial aimed at testing new COVID-19 treatment“While at Walter Reed Medical Center, President Trump was given a similar therapy along with other medications.”

• New York Times ($): The Daily: The Shy Biden Voters Among Florida’s Seniors. “In the swing state’s conservative retirement communities, some voters have switched sides. And some of them have reason to worry about what the neighbors might think.”

• WUFT News: Meet The Candidates Running For Dixie County Sheriff. “Incumbent Dixie County Sheriff Dewey H. Hatcher announced his retirement in March after serving four consecutive terms, leaving an open seat for the first time since 2004. Three candidates are vying for the spot: Darby Butler, Nicholas Hatcher and Jamey King.”

• USA Today/ProPublica: Marsy’s Law was meant to protect crime victims. It now hides the identities of cops who use force. “Now, as police across the nation face cries for accountability amid mounting evidence of brutality and systemic racism, law enforcement agencies in Florida are using Marsy’s Law to shield officers after they use force, sometimes under questionable circumstances.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Library District To Expand Browsing Hours. “On Monday, Nov. 2, the Alachua County Library District will expand browsing hours to each of its 12 locations.”

• WUFT News: UF Health Officials Encourage Students To Get Flu Shot. “The flu vaccine has become increasingly accessible this year.”

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Around the state today

• Florida Times-Union ($): Duval County judge resigns from vote-counting board after Trump donations uncovered. “Brent Shore, the judge who led Duval County’s vote-counting board, resigned Thursday, five hours after The Florida Times-Union uncovered he donated 12 times to President Donald Trump’s campaign and his home was covered in signs supporting Trump, despite rules requiring judges like him refrain from donations or public support.”

• Associated Press: Florida, Butt Of Election Jokes, Believes System Is Ready. “Though there are other scenarios that make elections officials nervous, the computer punch-card ballots that fueled 2000’s chaos are buried in history’s landfill. Casting valid ballots and processing them is now easier, even before Election Day, and the Legislature has enacted clearer laws governing recounts.”

• New York Times ($): Florida Could Decide the Election. Inside the Count That’s Already Underway. “About 50 million Americans have already voted by mail. Here’s what processing those ballots looks like in a crucial swing state.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Florida failed to spend $10 million for election security, COVID-19 protection at polls. “A large piece of that pie is $3.5 million that Secretary of State Laurel Lee requested from the Legislature earlier this year for the state’s 67 county supervisors of elections to shore up their systems. The counties didn’t ask for that money. And it remains unspent, sitting in a state account as ‘unbudgeted reserve.'”

• WUSF: Tampa Appearances By Trump, Biden Are A Contrast In Views, And Crowds. “It was two tales of the same pandemic as both presidential candidates courted Florida voters in Tampa on Thursday.”

• WLRN: Florida Groups Fear Loss of Health Insurance For Many Ahead Of Oral Arguments In Obamacare Lawsuit. “Dozens of groups and individuals sent a joint letter to Attorney General Ashley Moody this week, asking her to withdraw Florida from the list of plaintiffs in the California v. Texas lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act.”

• Miami Herald ($): Ransomware attacks have hit Florida institutions and governments. How big is the risk? “Cybersecurity experts estimate that data is stolen in about one in four attacks. The outcome often results in the information being posted online, and experts say that these incidents are a global security risk. Just days before a presidential election — that’s already on high alert for cyber interference — these types of attacks raise concerns about the integrity of cybersecurity systems around the state.”

• WUWF: Zeta Cleanup Continues. “(Eric Gilmore, Escambia County’s Emergency Management Director) agrees with those who say the Panhandle ‘dodged a bullet’ with Zeta, but it didn’t emerge unscathed.”

• Panama City News Herald ($): Boat washes ashore in Panama City in wake of Hurricane Zeta. “Although Hurricane Zeta made landfall about 5 p.m. Wednesday in southeast Louisiana, the Category 2 storm still generated tropical storm-force winds in Bay County, said Don Vandyke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tallahassee. Vandyke said the winds, which came in gusts of up to 45 miles per hour, likely ushered the boat on shore.”

• Bay News 9: NFL: Limited Number of Fans At Ray Jay Likely For Super Bowl. “In September, Gov. Ron DeSantis talked about a full crowd in Raymond James Stadium for February’s Super Bowl. On Wednesday, the National Football League said it is considering a limited audience in the stadium for the Super Bowl.”

• Sun Sentinel ($): Iguanas may be growing more tolerant to the cold, and that’s bad news for Florida. “Research shows that in recent years, several species of lizards have grown more tolerant of cold temperatures. It’s a discovery with big implications for Florida, where bouts of cool weather keep invasive iguanas contained to the southern regions of the state and helps keep populations under control.”

From NPR News

• Business: U.S. Economy Grew At A Record Pace In Third Quarter

• Business: Walmart Yanks Guns Off Shelves Citing Rising Tensions

• Health: Internal Documents Reveal COVID-19 Hospitalization Data The Government Keeps Hidden

• Health: Rural Idaho Hospitals Are Feeling The Pressure As Coronavirus Cases Fill Up Beds

• Politics: Within The Early Voting Boom, Youth Turnout Seems To Be Surging

• Politics: How The Associated Press Calls Winners During The Election

• Race: Homecomings Go Virtual At Historically Black Colleges And Universities

• Science: Why Some Memories Seem Like Movies: ‘Time Cells’ Discovered In Human Brains

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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