Election live updates: Here’s what’s happening in Florida with four days to go

Howard Cohen, Devoun Cetoute
·8 min read

We’re keeping track of the latest news regarding the campaigns, early voting and other political news in South Florida and around the state. Check back for updates throughout the day.

Voting is underway in Florida. Absentee ballots went out last week in Miami-Dade. Here, workers load carts filled with ballots onto a waiting USPS truck at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department in Doral.
Voting is underway in Florida. Absentee ballots went out last week in Miami-Dade. Here, workers load carts filled with ballots onto a waiting USPS truck at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department in Doral.

A backlog of mail is piling up at a Miami-Dade post office as Election Day nears

9 p.m.: Mail is piling up at a post office in South Miami-Dade County with Election Day coming up.

At the Princeton post office near Homestead a backup of mail that should have been delivered is piling up, according to Mark Travers, South Florida president for the National Association of Letter Carriers.

On Friday, State Rep. Kionne McGhee tweeted a brief, undated video clip purporting to show mail stacked up at the Princeton post office with the caption, “Raw footage of mailroom in post office here in Miami Dade. Source revealed ‘mail in ballots are within these piled up in bins on the floor. Mail has been sitting for over week!’ ”

A campaign spokesman for Miami-Dade mayoral candidate Daniella Levine Cava called the footage from McGhee’s tweet “incredibly disturbing” and called on county elections officials to respond.

U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Debbie Fetterly said the USPS was looking into the matter.

“We are aware of the footage and immediately reported this to our contact at the U.S. Postal Service,” said Miami-Dade deputy elections supervisor Suzy Trutie. “They are looking into the matter and have assured us that all ballots will be delivered timely.”

Read the full story here.

Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat reacts during the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 3 of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on Oct. 4, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista.
Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat reacts during the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 3 of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on Oct. 4, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista.

Miami Heat has a plan to help those waiting in Election Day lines: 2020 playoff replays

8 p.m.: In effort to kill boredom while waiting in Election Day lines, the Miami Heat has come up with a solution.

The Heat announced a plan Friday to stream one-hour game broadcasts from its run to the NBA Finals throughout Election Day on both the team’s website (Heat.com) and the Heat app. The streams are only available for those in South Florida.

There will be 15 games streamed between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Read the full story here.

Trump’s rally permitted — but Miami-Dade plans to enforce some rules

4:40 p.m.: President Donald Trump wants to attend a rally Sunday night at 11:30 p.m. at Opa-locka Executive Airport. But Miami-Dade has a midnight curfew.

A letter from Miami-Dade’s Aviation Dept. to the Republican National Committee granting the OK for Trump’s rally at the Opa-locka airport lists an end time of 2 a.m. but includes a reminder of the county’s current COVID mask mandates and states that everyone at the event will be governed by it.

A Republican organizer told Miami-Dade the Trump rally is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. Sunday, and county says 2 a.m. end time for permit is for “essential” workers for clean up. The county still has a midnight curfew.

Hialeah was a tie in ’16 in presidential race. Six Miami-Dade cities to watch

The battle for Miami-Dade comes down to the size of Demoratic nominee Joe Biden’s winning margin, which President Donald Trump needs to keep low enough that he can wipe it out elsewhere in Florida. It’s a fight that plays out across Miami-Dade’s 34 cities and in the suburbs.
The battle for Miami-Dade comes down to the size of Demoratic nominee Joe Biden’s winning margin, which President Donald Trump needs to keep low enough that he can wipe it out elsewhere in Florida. It’s a fight that plays out across Miami-Dade’s 34 cities and in the suburbs.

4:20 p.m.: The Florida race between Joe Biden and President Donald Trump is expected to be close. If Trump improves on his 2016 numbers in Miami-Dade, it could help him win the state.

Much of the battle in 2020 will unfold in cities across Miami-Dade, the state’s most populous county. There are six places to watch: Hialeah, Palmetto Bay, Doral, Miami Lakes, Miami Gardens and North Miami.

Read the report here.

Florida entrepreneurs and business owners on virtual forum support Biden, slam Trump

3:05 p.m.: Prominent Florida business leaders sought to rally support for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Friday with a virtual town hall appealing to undecided Hispanic and Black voters.

The event, organized by the Biden for President campaign, included appearances by healthcare industry magnate Miguel “Mike” Fernandez; Related Group CEO and chairman Jorge M. Pérez; renowned Spanish chef José Andrés; VMD Ventures founder Harold Mills; and Half Moon Empanadas CEO Pilar Guzman-Zavala.

The hour-long discussion, moderated by Felice Gorordo, CEO of eMerge Americas, gave each panelist the opportunity to share personal stories and argue against the “socialist” label that opponents have pasted on Biden.

Read the story here.

Trump plans a MAGA rally at airport in Miami-Dade County close to Election Day

US President Donald Trump speaks at a “Make America Great Again” rally at Raymond James Stadium’s parking lot on October 29, 2020, in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks at a “Make America Great Again” rally at Raymond James Stadium’s parking lot on October 29, 2020, in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

1:50 p.m.: Donald Trump’s campaign on Friday announced that the president will attend an 11:30 p.m. rally on Sunday, Nov. 1, at Opa-locka Executive Airport, part of a frenetic, 48-hour, cross-country tour. The rally is expected to be Trump’s final South Florida appearance before Election Day.

Trump’s appearance will likely violate a midnight curfew in Miami-Dade County put in place by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who is also running for Congress as a Republican with Trump’s endorsement.

Read the story here.

Fraudster attempts to register dozens of dead Democrats in Broward

11:50 a.m.: Authorities have uncovered an attempt to register dozens of dead people as voters in Broward County, the Sun Sentinel reported.

Though officials said no mail-in ballots were requested or cast under the falsified voter IDs, the scheme exposes weaknesses in Florida’s voter registration process.

Read the story here.

How is the vote shaping up so far in Florida?

10:30 a.m.: The race to get their ballots in early is getting closer among Democrats and Republicans, the numbers show.

Where Trump and Biden are campaigning on Friday

Presidential candidate Joe Biden and President Donald Trump talk to voters and argue with each other during their first debate in Cleveland. Both are campaigning in battleground Florida.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden and President Donald Trump talk to voters and argue with each other during their first debate in Cleveland. Both are campaigning in battleground Florida.

10:15 a.m.: Florida motorists get a break Friday — at least in terms of traffic tie-ups owing to visits by contenders in the presidential race.

After hitting South Florida and Tampa on Thursday, President Donald Trump and his opponent, former vice president Joe Biden, are campaigning in other states Friday, The Hill reports.

Biden in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota.

Trump in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Biden’s VP running mate Kamala Harris, however, will visit Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties on Saturday.

Kamala Harris to visit Miami, Broward and Palm Beach on final weekend of early voting

Lil Wayne posted a photo of his meeting with President Trump and Twitter is going nuts

8:15 a.m.: Lil Wayne started a fire on social media on Thursday night when he posted a picture with President Donald Trump during his visit to Florida.

President Trump was making campaign stops in the state on Thursday. The tweet had a mixed response among the rapper’s fans.

Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., better known as Lil Wayne, spoke to Trump about criminal justice reform, but Carter had his own run-in with the law late last year.

In December, Carter was facing a weapons and drug investigation after his private plane was stopped at Miami-Opa-locka Executive Airport.

Read the story here.

Fake threats trigger fear for Spanish-speaking Trump backers

Gisela Fiterre attended an Anti-Communist Caravan for Freedom and Democracy and in support of President Trump, beginning in the Magic City Casinos parking lot at 450 NW 37 Avenue following a route through several Miami streets including SW 8 Street and Flagler Street, on Saturday, October 10, 2020.
Gisela Fiterre attended an Anti-Communist Caravan for Freedom and Democracy and in support of President Trump, beginning in the Magic City Casinos parking lot at 450 NW 37 Avenue following a route through several Miami streets including SW 8 Street and Flagler Street, on Saturday, October 10, 2020.

8:10 a.m.: In private messaging apps and social media, Spanish-speaking residents in South Florida have been exposed to a barrage of deceptive claims — a voter disinformation tactic that could last until Election Day.

The latest example is an anonymous message that emerged in WhatsApp chats this week that threatens Spanish-speaking supporters of President Donald Trump. The claims have rattled some Hispanics in South Florida even as experts warn of the claims’ falsehoods.

Read the story here.

A populist strongman? Democrats struggle with labeling Trump a ‘caudillo’ in Spanish ads

8:10 a.m.: In the one-minute, Spanish-language campaign ad, a Kissimmee woman named Cecilia reminisces about Venezuela, her homeland. As she drives a black car with Biden-Harris painted in white on her back window, she speaks of her grandmother, her childhood home and her friends.

The ad attempts to counter claims — many from President Trump and his campaign — that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is a socialist, while also comparing Trump to Nicolás Maduro, a caudillo, a traditional Latin American authoritarian strongman.

But some Democratic strategists cannot come to a consensus on whether Trump should be called a caudillo, or a Latin American strongman.

Read the story here.