In their 10th Election Night Special, the FAMU TV 20 News staff on Tuesday announced winners and provided updates in the highly contested gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races. In addition, the news team reported on Tallahassee local races and the constitutional amendments.
Each election year journalism students work in teams as fact checkers; on-air talent; social media, digital and online producers, reporters and writers, as well as the technical staff.
Election results may still be in the process of recounts and special elections.
This included a nationally monitored gubernatorial race where Andrew Gillum received support from former President Barack Obama, while President Donald Trump campaigned for Ron DeSantis.
Bethany Walton reported on Trump’s impact on the DeSantis bid. She said his presence on social media helped clinch DeSantis’ win in the primary and that hot-button topics such as immigration is shared by both politicians.
Media outlets reported the increase in voter turnout for the 2018 and even records have been broken.
Over 30 million Americans have voted early, passing the records set for the 2014 turnout at 28.3 million, according to the Associated Press.
Buddy Wells, the supervisor of Elections for Wakulla County, advocated for people to exercise their right to vote.
“The only way that change can take place is we the people,” Wells said. “We are the only ones that can make the difference by getting out and voting.”
News 20 reporters went to the polls to garner a census of what Leon County voters expect for the outcome.
Rob Otis, a voter at precinct 1313 on Pasco Street, said it is his responsibility to make it out to vote.
"The path has been made for us to make it here,” Otis said. I actually urge people to take it a step beyond voting and do the research for the amendments and what they do. That is how I knew what I wanted before I came here. If you want change, push for it.”
In the midst of the election season and voting activity, Hurricane Michael made landfall in the North Florida region. This may have placed a brief hold on all things electoral, but it did stop the activism of campaigners and government officials.
Gadsden County was one of many counties affected. Supervisor of Elections Shirley Knight said that although they were prepared, there were still many tasks left to complete to get voters to the polls.
In Tallahassee, Kristen Thomas reported about the key issues residents wanted candidates to address.
Thomas reported those issues are crime rate, land development, sanitation and taxes.
The 2018 Election Special was broadcast live on Comcast 20 at 10 p.m. from the FAMU TV 20 News studio. Regular newscasts are Mondays and Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Fridays during the school term.