Oct 20, 2022 - Politics

Midterm elections 2022: Voting in greater Miami

Illustration of a white podium changing into a voting booth and then changing into three campaign signs, over a divided red and blue background.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Florida voters are headed to the polls for the Nov. 8 midterm elections.

Why it matters: Voter turnout is typically lower when a president is not on the ballot, but your vote can decide everything from how much you pay in local taxes to who will represent you in the U.S. Senate and House.

  • Then there are races for Florida governor, several referendums, and a bunch of local and statewide offices up for grabs.
  • But have no fear. We're here to make this easy.
Voting in the 2022 midterm elections
  • Early voting: Skip the lines and vote early from Oct. 24 to Nov. 6 at one of 28 polling places open 7am to 7pm.
  • Or vote from home using a mail-in ballot. The last day to request one is Oct. 29 by 5pm.
  • If you're voting by mail, your ballot must be received by 7pm on Election Day. You can also drop off your ballot at an early voting site or at the Miami-Dade Elections Office on Election Day.
  • If you vote on Election Day, you need to go to your assigned polling place.
  • Remember: Bring your valid photo ID with signature to vote in person, whether for early voting or on Election Day.
Florida governor: Charlie Crist (D) vs. Ron DeSantis (R)
Photo illustration of Charlie Crist, tinted blue, and Ron DeSantis, tinted red, separated by a white halftone divider.
Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: Thomas Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images and Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist seeks to unseat Ron DeSantis in the Florida governor's race.

State of play: Democrats have been largely unsuccessful in Florida elections over the last several years. It's been an uphill battle for Crist, a former governor whose "justice for all" platform signals a departure from his conservative political roots.

  • Recent polling suggests voters are leaning toward DeSantis' confrontational and headline-grabbing style, and the governor is swamping the state's airwaves in TV ads.
  • The incumbent also has a massive campaign cash advantage with more than $100 million on hand as of Oct. 7, CBS Miami reports. Crist had nearly $3 million in cash on hand.

Background: Crist, 66, supports abortion rights and LGBTQ protections, including access to gender-affirming health care. The DeSantis administration has prohibited transgender residents from using Medicaid to cover gender-affirming care.

  • Crist has also promised to repeal DeSantis' Parental Rights in Education law, dubbed by critics the "Don't Say Gay" bill.
  • Crist's agenda also includes requiring universal background checks for gun buyers and banning the sale of assault weapons. Meanwhile, DeSantis, 44, is pushing for a state law allowing residents to carry concealed guns without permits.
  • DeSantis, a rumored 2024 presidential candidate, seeks to cast himself as a leader of the conservative movement, Axios' Erin Doherty reports. In his final weeks before the November election, DeSantis is managing Hurricane Ian recovery efforts and lawsuits over the flights of some 50 migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard, for which he has claimed responsibility.

Go deeper:

U.S. Senate: Val Demings (D) vs. Marco Rubio (R)
Photo illustration of Val Demings, tinted blue, and Marco Rubio, tinted red, separated by a white halftone divider.
Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images and Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Marco Rubio faces Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings in Florida's nationally watched U.S. Senate race.

The big picture: The race will help decide whether Republicans can take control of the Senate, where there's currently a 50-50 partisan split, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tiebreaker favoring Democrats.

Background: Rubio, a Miami Republican, was first elected in 2010 and won re-election in 2016 after losing the GOP presidential primary to Donald Trump.

  • Demings, who was born in Jacksonville, is in her third term in Congress. If elected, Demings would be Florida's first Black U.S. senator.

Catch up quick: Rubio has cast Demings as a far-left politician who wants to defund the police, while Demings — the former Orlando police chief — has slammed Rubio's hardline abortion position.

  • Rubio has led Demings in polls despite Demings' edge in campaign contributions.

Go deeper:

U.S. House: Annette Taddeo (D) vs. Maria Elvira Salazar (R)
Photo illustration of Annette Taddeo, tinted blue, and Maria Elvira Salazar, tinted red, separated by a white halftone divider.
Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: courtesy of the campaigns of Annette Taddeo and Maria Elvira Salazar

Incumbent Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar will look to keep her Miami congressional seat in District 27 against Democratic state Sen. Annette Taddeo.

The big picture: If Republicans gain six seats in this election, they will take majority control of the House of Representatives from Democrats.

Background: Salazar, a retired TV journalist from Miami, won the seat in 2020 after losing in her initial run.

  • Taddeo initially announced a bid for governor this year but withdrew to challenge Salazar.

Catch up quick: Recent polling has put this race within the margin of error, although Salazar was leading in earlier polls, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

  • Election forecasters have cast the district as Republican-leaning, but redistricting may have played a role.
  • Voters in District 27 went for President Biden in 2020, but the newly redrawn district would have slightly favored Trump, the Sentinel reported.
Florida attorney general: Aramis Ayala (D) vs. Ashley Moody (R)
Photo illustration of Aramis Ayala, tinted blue, and Ashley Moody, tinted red, divided by a halftone line
Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: Sarah Espedido/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service, Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Republican incumbent Ashley Moody is seeking re-election as Florida's attorney general over Democratic challenger and former Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

The big picture: The attorney general is Florida's chief legal officer — a position that defends the state in civil litigation cases, issues formal legal opinions on state law and sits on Florida's Clemency Board, among other duties.

Background: Moody, a former Hillsborough County judge, was elected attorney general in 2018 and has the backing of DeSantis and Trump.

  • Ayala served as state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties, where she sparked controversy after announcing her office would no longer seek the death penalty.

Catch up quick: Moody has dismissed the idea of debating Ayala, criticizing her as an unserious candidate who won't work with law enforcement.

Go deeper, via the Miami Herald:

Florida agriculture commissioner: Naomi Blemur (D) vs. Wilton Simpson (R)

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson and North Miami Democrat Naomi Blemur are vying for the state agriculture commissioner seat being vacated by Nikki Fried after her failed bid for governor.

Background: Simpson, a Republican egg farmer endorsed by DeSantis and Trump, has out-fundraised Blemur and has more cash on hand ($1.6 million compared with Blemur's $3,000, as of late September), the Florida Times-Union reports.

  • Simpson has helped DeSantis pass some of his major priorities, including the governor's 15-week abortion ban.
  • He's promised to protect the Second Amendment and to ensure residents can get concealed carry licenses, which the state Agriculture Department oversees, as quickly as possible, the Times-Union and the Tampa Bay Times report.

The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Blemur is a community leader, a pastor and the owner of a business consulting firm.

  • She says on her campaign website that she'll ensure concealed carry licenses are "thoroughly vetted." Her agenda also includes ensuring public school students have nutritious meals and equitable access to the state's hemp industry.
  • Blemur lost support from some Democrats in August following backlash over past anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ social media comments, Florida Politics reports. She responded in a statement saying she supports abortion rights, is "an LGTBQIA+ ally and ... will remain one."
More hot races and issues on Miami-Dade ballots
Illustration of a pattern of checkmarks that turn into question marks and vice versa, over a red and blue background with a pattern of ballot elements.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

There are three other Miami-area congressional races, nine state legislative races, and two races for Miami-Dade County Commission. (You can get your sample ballot online by entering your name and birthday.)

  • There are races for mayor and commission in over a dozen South Florida cities, including Doral, Miami Beach, North Miami Beach and Key Biscayne.
  • Also, you can decide whether to retain five Florida Supreme Court justices and two appellate judges.

Ballot questions: Florida voters have three constitutional amendments, including whether to grant additional homestead tax exemptions for teachers, law enforcement and other industries.

  • Miami-Dade voters will decide on three ballot questions, including whether to increase their property taxes for the next four years to pay for teachers' raises and school safety costs.
  • There are local referendums in several cities, including eight in Miami Beach and one in Miami related to a proposed development on city land near the Miami River.
  • Of note: Miami Beach residents will decide whether to increase the allowable density of the Deauville hotel property to clear the way for a luxury development and on two 99-year land leases to develop on top of public parking lots near Lincoln Road.
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