TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Election Day is here, marking the last day Florida voters can head to the polls and make their voices heard in the 2022 midterm elections.
WFLA News Channel 8 is Your Local Election Headquarters and will have you covered throughout Election Day. Check back here for live updates throughout the day (all times local, latest updates will appear at top):
Polls close in 30 minutes for most Florida counties. Counties in the Central Time Zone close at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
WFLA is your local election headquarters this Election Day and will have live results and analysis after polls close. WFLA Now’s J.B. Biunno will be live at 7 to break down the latest results with a panel of political experts.
Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday his endorsements won Ron DeSantis the Florida governor’s seat. But he said DeSantis, now seen as Trump’s primary rival for the GOP presidential nomination, could have been more gracious.
Trump spoke exclusively to NewsNation about DeSantis, midterms and election integrity.
“He was not going to be able to even be a factor in the race,” Trump said, referring to the GOP gubernatorial primary. “And as soon as I endorsed him, within moments, the race was over,” Trump said. “I got him the nomination. He didn’t get it. I got it, because the minute I made that endorsement, he got it.”
Florida has warned the Department of Justice against allowing its election monitors inside polling locations in several Florida counties.
Brad McVay, General Counsel for the Florida Department of State, sent a letter to the DOJ Monday and said the move would violate state law.
It “would be counterproductive and could potentially undermine confidence in the election,” McVay added.
On Monday, the DOJ said it would monitor voting sites in 64 jurisdictions across the 24 states, including Florida.
Charlie Crist held a press conference with supporters in St. Petersburg a few hours after polls opened on Tuesday morning.
“You know what’s on the line, what’s on the ballot today. A woman’s right to choose is on the ballot today. Charlie Crist is a champion of women’s rights. Ron DeSantis has already signed legislation to ban it,” Crist told the crowd. “Florida has become the most unaffordable state in our country. Just look at your utility bills, look at your property insurance rates, they are going through the sky, and nobody is stopping it in the DeSantis administration because he doesn’t care.”
The Democratic candidate governor plans to visit a polling location in the city later in the day and rally voters.
Crist and his running mate will watch the results come in at their Election Night Watch Party in St. Petersburg.
Republican incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis will host his Election Night Celebration at the Tampa Convention Center.
“Are you happy to live in the free state of Florida?” DeSantis asked supporters in South Florida on Monday. “We’ve been fighting and had your back for the last four years and we just ask that you have mine coming up on the Election Day.”
People started trickling into the polls shortly after they opened in Pinellas County on Tuesday.
The county had more than 127,000 early voters ahead of Election Day.
Charlie Crist, the Democratic candidate for governor, will be in St. Petersburg Tuesday night to watch the results.
Tampa Bay’s polling locations opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday for Election Day. If you don’t know where your polling place is, you can find it here.
Voters should bring two forms of identification that include a signature and a photo.
The early voting numbers are in. More than 2.2 million ballots have already been cast in Florida. Of the early voters, 51% were registered Republicans, and 30% were Democrats. More than 147,000 people voted early in Hillsborough County. There were more than 127,000 early voters in Pinellas County and more than 49,000 in Polk County.
Officials are keeping a close eye on anyone who might try to vote illegally today. The Florida Department of State has the authority to investigate allegations of irregularities involving voting. If you experience issues while voting, you can call the Florida Divisions of Elections‘ voter assistance hotline can be reached at 1-866-308-6739 or your county’s supervisor of elections office. Here’s more information.
Polls will open in the Tampa Bay area in just a few hours. Voting precincts will be open from 7 a.m. ET through 7 p.m. Where you go to vote on Tuesday will depend on where you live. You can find your specific polling location here.
Millions of Floridians have already cast their ballots by voting early or voting by mail.
Voters all around Tampa Bay will make their voices heard in hundreds of key races – from major state offices like the governor and agriculture commissioner, to local school board races.
Results will start coming in soon after polls close at 7 p.m. As soon as they do, you can find real-time results on WFLA’s election results page.