August 9, 2022

Sun sets on Sunshine State elections

What felt like a never-ending campaign season continues to linger, more than a week after Election Day and after President-elect Joe Biden nailed down the requisite number of electoral votes to secure a White House victory.

President Donald Trump has refused to concede the race, and many of his supporters say they may never accept his Democratic challenger as the nation’s commander-in-chief.

For a change, Florida is out of the spotlight as officials in other states continue to count ballots and fend off Trump lawsuits in the run-up to electoral-college votes on Dec. 14, when the occupant of the Oval Office will be formally determined.

While election-fatigued citizens could face another month of presidential hijinks, Florida officials are on track to finalize the state’s results this week.

The Florida Elections Canvassing Commission will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday to certify the official returns, which county supervisors of elections have to submit to the state no later than noon Sunday.

The state’s certification of the 2020 general election occurs on the same day lawmakers return to Tallahassee for an organization session to swear in new legislators and give the gavels to incoming Senate President Wilton Simpson and incoming House Speaker Chris Sprowls.

The largely ceremonial one-day session in the state Capitol — still shuttered to the public --- takes place amid a spike in COVID-related hospitalizations as the virus continues to spread throughout the state.

Republicans head into the 2021 legislative session with gains in both chambers, in addition to delivering what by Florida standards is considered a landslide victory — three percentage points — to Trump.

Floridians this week withstood a tropical storm along the state’s west coast, a pandemic that continues to proliferate and uncertainty about a peaceful transfer of power in Washington.

Meanwhile, Biden, a devout Catholic, spoke with a number of world leaders, including Pope Francis. The comments shared by the two leaders could be a guide in a turbulent political era in which Americans are deeply divided, aggrieved and angry.

According to a readout of Thursday’s phone call with the pope, Biden “thanked His Holiness for extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation for His Holiness' leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation, and the common bonds of humanity around the world.”

Tags: News Service of Florida

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