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Guide to Florida's 2020 General Election: What Will Be on the Ballot?

Learn more about the state's upcoming races, which amendments will be on the ballot and more in this guide to Florida's 2020 general election

Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

What to Know

  • Floridians will vote for president, congress, local officials and constitutional amendments in November
  • In addition to the presidential race, South Floridians will have their eyes on some tight local races in Miami-Dade and Broward
  • Scroll down for your complete guide to candidates, amendments and everything you need to know about casting your ballot in the Sunshine State

Florida may play a key role in in determining who will win the 2020 presidential election, but the state's residents will also be voting on amendments and important local races in November. Here's what you need to know about what (and who) is on the Florida ballot.

For information on how to register and important voting deadlines, check out our guide to voting in Florida.

Races to Watch

All eyes will be on the bid for the Oval Office during election night, but here in South Florida there are several important tight races. Once all the votes are counted, a new mayor will be announced, and a hotly contested district will be up for partisan control.

Miami-Dade Mayoral Race

In Miami-Dade, voters will decide between Steve Bovo and Daniella Levine Cava for a new county mayor.

The two county commissioners earned their spots after beating six other candidates during Florida's primary election in August. Levine Cava and Bovo were nearly even, with Bovo receiving 29.41% of the vote and Levine Cava at 28.62%, according to the county's elections office.

Levine Cava would be the county's first female mayor if elected. She resigned her county commission seat to run for mayor, and says that if elected, her first move would be to take a more diligent approach to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bovo is another county commissioner looking to upgrade to the mayor's post. He has touted his conservative approach to local government, emphasizing law and order and conservative fiscal policies.

Miami-Dade County Mayoral Candidates

Get to know the two candidates going head to head in Miami-Dade County's mayoral race.

Florida's 26th Congressional District

Partisan control of District 26 has flipped twice since it was created after the 2010 census. Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell narrowly won against a Republican incumbent in 2018, and this year she's running for re-election against current Republican County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Gimenez, who is term-limited, defeated Omar Blanco for the Republican nomination in August's primary election.

Florida's 27th Congressional District

Democrat Donna Shalala, who was first elected in 2018, is running for reelection this year. The incumbent Democratic nominee will face a familiar foe in Republican nominee Maria Elvira Salazar. The two battled for the district in a fairly close 2018 election.

Salazar, a former broadcaster for Spanish-language television, earned this year's nomination once again after unsuccessfully pursuing the district seat last election cycle. The Miami native, whose parents fled Fidel Castro's regime in Cuba, is focusing her campaign on jobs and an anti-socialism message.

Shalala's 2018 victory was the first time a new face represented District 27, after Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen held the seat for three decades.

Candidates for Florida's 26th and 27th Districts

Get to know the candidates competing for control over Florida's 26th and 27th districts.

Broward Sheriff

After contending against Scott Israel and several lesser-known candidates in the August 2020 Broward County Democratic primary election, Gregory Tony won the nomination.

Tony is now a strong favorite in the general election, because Democrats hold a two-to-one advantage over Republicans in Broward County. He'll face Republican H. Wayne Clark, an attorney and U.S. Army veteran.

Tony replaced Israel in 2019 after Gov. Ron DeSantis removed Israel from office over his handling of the Parkland school shooting that left 17 dead. He is the county's first Black sheriff and a former sergeant in the suburban Coral Springs Police Department.

Broward County School Board

Debra Hixon and Jeff Holness, the leading candidates for the Broward County School Board’s at-large District 9 seat, are headed to a runoff election after neither received 50% of the total votes in the August primaries.

Hixon still won a considerable margin over Holness, with 40,000 more votes.

The winner of the race will replace Robin Bartleman, who is leaving the School Board to run for a seat in the Florida House.

Hixon is the wife of Parkland shooting victim Chris Hixon, who was the athletic director and wrestling coach at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Debra Hixon has been a South Florida teacher for more than 30 years.

Holness has worked for more than 20 years as a teacher and assistant principal designee for Broward County Public Schools. He currently owns and operates a math and learning center in Coral Springs.

Presidential Race

Of course, the biggest race voters across the country will decide on will be the race for the presidency.

Republican nominee and current President Donald Trump will be seeking a second term against Democratic nominee, and former Vice President, Joe Biden. Months of campaigning will come down to just 538 electoral votes, with the winner needing more than half (270).

Florida is one of several swing states, meaning its 29 electoral votes have a large influence on a candidate's chance of winning. The state's booming and diverse population has led to razor thin decisions in the past three elections. In short, every vote counts in Florida.

Other Measures on Florida's Ballot

It's not just candidates Floridians will have to decide on come November. Amendments and potential laws will be up for a vote as well.

One of those laws is Amendment 2, which would raise the state's minimum wage incrementally to $15 an hour by 2026. At the moment, Florida's current minimum wage is $8.46.

Florida voters have a big decision on the November ballot. No, it’s not just President Trump vs. Former Vice President Joe Biden, but whether the state should raise the minimum wage to $10 dollars and all the way up to $15 dollars over time. We’re going to take a closer look at what that would impact.

Here's a list of other amendments that will appear on Florida's 2020 ballot:

  • Amendment 1: Changes the wording of the Florida Constitution to state "only a citizen" of the U.S. may vote, rather than "every citizen"
  • Amendment 3: Establishes a top-two open primary system for state office primary elections
  • Amendment 4: Requires voter-approved constitutional amendments to be approved by voters at a second general election
  • Amendment 5: Increases the period during which a person may transfer "Save Our Homes" benefits to a new homestead property from two years to three years
  • Amendment 6: Allows a homestead property tax discount to be transferred to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran
With both sides calling this the most important presidential election in decades, you want to make certain that your vote is counted. NBCLX's Clark Fouraker has a checklist of the five most important things you should do to make sure your ballot doesn't get disqualified this November.

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