ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The U.S. Department of Justice said 44 poll jurisdictions in 18 states will be monitored on Election Day, including Orange, Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties in Florida, according to a report.
“Our federal laws protect the right of all American citizens to vote without suffering discrimination, intimidation, and harassment,” said Eric S. Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s civil rights division, in a statement. “The work of the Civil Rights Division around each federal general election is a continuation of its historical mission to ensure that all of our citizens can freely exercise this most fundamental American right.”
Orlando police Chief Orlando Rolón said only an emergency – such as disruptive voters or violation of election laws – would lead to law enforcement being brought in.
“The safety and security of everyone in our community, is always the top priority for the Orlando Police Department,” Rolón said in a statement released by the agency. “... Any violence in our city will not be tolerated and those who seek to do otherwise, will be held accountable.”
Rolón wants to ensure keeping the peace.
“The City of Orlando has shown that we can work together during significant times,” Rolón said. “I encourage everyone in our community to practice civility and unity, no matter the outcome of this election.”
Slightly more Florida Democrats have cast ballots than Republicans as the nation’s largest swing state heads into Election Day, but that is a position they were in four years ago before President Trump’s late surge narrowly took the state.
With early voting completed and the return of mail-in ballots slowing, state figures released Monday show that out of 9 million ballots cast, 108,000 more Democrats have voted than Republicans. It is unknown who these voters cast ballots for, but Democrats are expected to overwhelmingly support former Vice President Joe Biden. The same applies to Republicans and Trump.
Florida, with 29 electoral votes, is a must-win state for Trump to have a realistic chance of being reelected. The pre-Election Day margin in the president’s adopted home state was slightly tighter in 2016, when 96,000 more Democrats voted early or by mail than Republicans out of 6.5 million cast — but Trump had a strong turnout on Election Day and carried the state over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by 113,000 votes or 1.2 percentage points.
There is one significant difference this time — because more voters have already cast ballots, significantly fewer are expected to show up Tuesday. In 2016, 3 million Floridians voted on Election Day. This year, between 1.5 million and 2 million are expected, meaning Trump will need to carry a larger percentage of those.
Polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday local time and mail-in ballots must be received by the voter’s county by that hour to be counted.