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AP-FL--Florida General Election Testing,Advisory, FL

October 3, 2018




The FLORIDA general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Poll Close: 7 and 8 p.m. EST (7 p.m. CST)

First Results Expected: 7:05 p.m. EST


—10/2/2018 Added anomaly about US House 17, April Freeman-Allen Ellison.

—Removed section about testing search criteria that was no longer needed.


The last two Florida governor’s races have been extremely tight and this year’s contest between Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is expected to be no different. Florida also has one of the most closely watched U.S. Senate races in the country as three-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson faces Republican Gov. Rick Scott. In addition, Florida has three Cabinet seats on the ballot, a number of competitive U.S. House races and possibly as many as 12 proposed constitutional amendments.

Florida Democrats have not won a governor’s race since Gov. Lawton Chiles won re-election in 1994. While Democratic President Barack Obama twice carried Florida, and Democratic Vice President Al Gore lost the state by only 537 votes in 2000, Democrats have seen a significant voter drop-off in mid-term elections. This year the party broke from its pattern of nominating a moderate, white candidate from along the Interstate 4 corridor and nominated a black, liberal candidate from north Florida. Democrats hope that Gillum can energize minorities, liberals and young voters. The election will also be test of whether President Donald Trump’s influence in elections can extend beyond a primary. DeSantis soundly won the nomination almost entirely on the backing of Trump. While Gillum has had a slight lead in polls since the primary, the race will be close if it’s anything like the last two mid-term elections.

In US Senate, Bill Nelson is facing his toughest challenge since winning his seat in 2000. He easily defeated U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris in 2006, when Harris committed a series of embarrassing blunders, and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, who proved to be a weak campaigner without much substance beyond sharing the name of his father, former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack III. Nelson beat Harris by 22 percentage points and Mack by 13 points. Rick Scott is a different story. Scott has more money, a stronger campaign team and the state is in much better economic shape than when he took office in 2011. Scott hit Nelson with a string of negative ads, making him appear to be a career politician with no accomplishments. Until recently Nelson’s campaign hadn’t put up much of a counterattack. The polls show the race as virtually tied.

Two of the three Cabinet races, Attorney General and Agriculture Commissioner, are open seats due to term limits. The Cabinet position with an active incumbent is Chief Financial Officer. Although Jimmy Patronis is the current incumbent running for re-election, it is after being appointed to the position to replace Jeff Atwater’s unfished term. Patronis is being challenged by former state Sen. Jeremy Ring. The Attorney General’s race is between Republican former Judge Ashley Moody and state Rep. Sean Shaw. In the Agriculture Commissioner race, Republican state Rep. Matt Caldwell faces lawyer and lobbyist Nikki Fried. Republicans have won 13 of the last 14 Cabinet races, most by large margins. Democrats hope Gillum and Nelson, along with a Trump backlash, can drive up their turnout in order to compete for Cabinet seats that aren’t receiving as much attention or money as the top of the ballot races.

Florida will have at least four new U.S. House members in January. DeSantis is leaving his seat for the governor’s race and Republicans Dennis Ross, Tom Rooney and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are retiring. While the Ross and Rooney seats are considered safe Republican (and the Democrat seeking Rooney’s seat, April Freeman, has passed unexpectedly), there’s a very good chance Democrats will pick up Ros-Lehtinen’s seat. The Democratic nominee is Donna Shalala, who served as President Bill Clinton’s Health and Human Services secretary and won the primary over several challengers. Democrats are making a hard run at the seat DeSantis is giving up even though it leans Republican. Democrat Nancy Soderberg, who served as United Nations ambassador and as a member of President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council, has raised about $2 million for the race, or about twice as much as Republican businessman Michael Waltz, whose totals include $400,000 of his own money. State Sen. Greg Steube is the Republican nominee for Rooney’s seat and Republican state Rep. Ross Spano is the nominee for Ross’ seat. Republicans are targeting freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, who will be challenged by state Rep. Mike Miller. Among Republican seats Democrats are targeting, U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo is being challenged by Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast faces Lauren Baer and U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan is challenged by David Shapiro.

Florida has an unusual number of ballot questions due largely to proposed constitutional amendments submitted by the Constitution Revision Commission, which meets every 20 years to make suggested changes to the state constitution. Petition drives placed two other items on the ballot, one to automatically restore voting rights to most felons who complete their sentences and another to require voter approval for the expansion of gambling. The Republican-controlled Legislature also placed three items on the ballot, all dealing with tax issues. The ballot, though, is still in flux.

Among the notable items submitted by the Constitution Revision Commission is a ban on greyhound racing. The commission also approved measures that would ban oil drilling in state waters and outlaw vaping in places where smoking is already illegal; give crime victims more rights, including having their voices heard during criminal proceedings, notification of the custody status of defendants and having a say in any plea agreements prosecutors seek; provide death benefits and a waiver of education costs for the spouses and children of first responders who die on the job and make it more difficult for state university trustees to raise fees; require the Legislature to start its annual session in January during even-numbered years and require counties elect their sheriff, tax collector, property appraiser, supervisor of elections and clerk of courts and prohibit elected officials from lobbying for six years after leaving office. The Legislature’s proposals include an amendment that would increase the state’s homestead property tax exemption by up to $25,000 on homes valued more than $100,000, keep in place an existing tax benefit for commercial properties and require a two-thirds vote by the Legislature to raise taxes. A circuit judge threw out the measures on vaping and oil drilling and on university fees and death benefits for first responders because they address multiple issues. That decision has been appealed.


—Democrat April Freeman unexpectedly passed away while running for US House District 17. Her name will still remain on the ballot. A vote for Freeman will be a vote for Democrat Allen Ellison, nominated to candidacy by the Democratic party. We will display the candidate name as “April Freeman-Allen Ellison”.

—State Senate Districts 23 and 25 are special primary elections to fill vacant seats. These results will be in a glance report Special-Glance-Sum.

—State House 56 was printed on the GOP primary ballot in August. After a qualified write-in Democratic nominee withdrew, the race was moved to the General election so that all voters can participate. Thus, State House 56 has two GOP candidates.

—Constitutional Amendments require 60% of the vote to pass.

—All counties close at 7:00 p.m. local time. Counties in the Eastern Time Zone close at 7:00 p.m. EST. Counties in the Central Time Zone will close at 8:00 p.m. EST. These counties are: Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Holmes, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington. Gulf county is in the Eastern Time Zone in the south & the Central Time Zone in the north, but the county seat is in the Eastern Time Zone. Thus, all polling sites in Gulf county close at 7:00 p.m. EST.

—Due to Florida’s two time zones, Uncontested race calls will be declared and transmitted at 8 p.m. EST, 7 p.m. CT. The report, FL-Uncontested, will be available after the last polls close.

—AP will not call winners in contested judicial races. Uncontested Circuit Court winners will not be listed in the FL-Uncontested report.

—Contested Circuit Court races were considered General Election races in the primary. In races with three or more candidates, if no candidate received 50% + 1 of the vote, the two top candidates advanced to a runoff election. These runoffs will be held on November 6th, 2018.


Where to find NATIONAL ELECTION REPORTS (Governors/U.S. Senate/U.S. House - All 50 States (and DC)):

Premium NATIONAL election customers - On the AP Elections FTP Server, electionsonline.ap.org:

- /Trend - Governor/U.S. Senate/U.S. House balance of power/trend reports

- /US_topofticket - Summary/state-level vote reports/feeds for Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House and results of ballot measures of national interest for all 50 states

- /US_topofticket_county - Summary/state-level and county-level vote reports/feeds for Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House and results of ballot measures of national interest for all 50 states

Premium STATE election customers - On the AP Elections FTP server, electionsonline.ap.org:

- /Trend - Governor/U.S. Senate/U.S. House balance of power/trend reports

Premium state election customers AND non-premium AP customers - In AP Newsroom/AP Webfeeds:

For state-level (no county) vote reports for Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House:

- US-Gov-All, US-Senate-All, US-House-All - vote results for Gov/US Senate/US House for all 50 states

- US-Gov-Sum, US-Senate-Sum, US-House-Sum - balance of power/national trend for Gov/US Senate/ US House

(non-premium AP customers only)

Please refer to the following national election testing advisories on your respective news wire/on AP Newsroom for scheduled Election testing and Election Day times.

-“BC-US-General Election Tests-Member Choice, Advisory” - for newspaper subscribers (Member Choice Complete customers)

-“AP-US-General Election Tests-National Reports, Advisory” - for broadcast subscribers (Newspower customers)

For assistance in setting up an AP Webfeed for the national election reports, please contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.


Direct any questions about election reports, testing, or delivery to AP Elections services to AP Customer Support at 877-836-9477; apcustomersupport@ap.org.

Documentation for the AP Elections services is available at http://aphelp.ap.org.

Direct questions about news and photo coverage to News Editor Jim Baltzelle, jbaltzelle@ap.org.


Members and customers interested in premium election services should contact Sales planning Manager Tara Mahoney, phone 212-621-1759, tmahoney@ap.org.


Testing Dates and Times:

The 2018 general election testing schedule is:

.Mondays, Oct. 8, 15, 22, 29 - 1-3 p.m. EDT (2 hours)

.Tuesdays and Thursdays, Oct. 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, 30, Nov. 1 - 11-3 p.m. EDT (4 hours)

.Monday, Nov. 5 - 11-3 p.m. EST - LAST ELECTION TEST(asterisk) (4 hours)


This advisory will be updated throughout the testing period.

Zeros will be transmitted after testing on the eve of the election.

Race calls: AP will make race calls on election night unless a race is too close to call. Race calls will be made during testing, except on the day of the final test.

Races, candidates and precincts are considered preliminary. AP will advise when they are final.

Statewide and race-specific precinct totals in early tests are considered preliminary. AP will advise when they are final.

Uncontested races: AP does not tabulate uncontested races. A list of races, FL-Uncontested, will move to premium service subscribers at ftp://electionsonline.ap.org/FL/anpa/ and to state news and broadcast services after the last polls close.

Winners: AP will move a list of unofficial winners at the end of tabulation and during each test, except on the final day of testing. A list of winners, FL-Winners will move to premium services at ftp://electionsonline.ap.org/FL/anpa/.

End of tabulation: AP will advise when its election night tabulation of results has concluded, generally before 6 p.m. the day after the election.


Test results are created electronically to test the accuracy of the election night reporting system and do not reflect an expectation of election results. They should not be broadcast, published, replicated or posted on websites.

It is vital to read weekly advisories during testing. Advisories move to news service advisory queues. Advisories note updates to candidates, races and precincts, along with the date when updates will appear. Changes may be made up to Election Day.

AP advises capture of each test during the testing period and particularly during the final test on the day before the election to ensure readiness to take results on Election Day.

Report frequency in testing may not reflect the actual election night schedule. For example, county tables for contested U.S. House races move to Member Choice subscribers in each test but will move just twice on election night.


Premium Election Customers:

Premium Election Products (API, APEO-FTP, ANPA-FTP, DNE Elections) will have live zeros by 2 a.m. EST, Election Day.

AP Newsroom and Webfeeds Users:

On Election Day from (1-2 p.m. EST), there will be a “live” (non-test) transmission of reports with zeros sent to AP Newsroom and Webfeeds.

Please pull in these live zero reports to clear your systems of test data.


“TopRaces-Glance-Sum” contains race-wide results in summary format for contests AP considers editorially significant. For this election, those races are Governor, US Senate, US House Districts 6, 7, 18 and 26, and Amend-4-FelonVoters and Rev-9-DrillVapeBans.

“Glance” reports include summary results for one or more races with similar characteristics. For this election, those Glance reports are for Constitutional Amendments and Revisions (Amends-Glance-Sum), other statewide races (OthState-Glance-Sum), judicial races (Courts-Glance-Sum) and the Special General races (Special-Glance-Sum).

“Cnty” provides results in tabular format by county for a race. County Tables for this election are for US Senate, Governor, all contested US House Districts, and Amend-4-FelonVoters and Rev-9-DrillVapeBans.

“CntyLong” provides results in summary format by county for a race. County Tables for this election are for US Senate, Governor, all contested US House Districts, and Amend-4-FelonVoters and Rev-9-DrillVapeBans.

“Winners” lists winners of all contested and uncontested races.

“Contested” provides results in summary format for contested legislative races.

“Trend” tables show the balance of power between political parties in a state legislative bodies and Congressional delegation.


Here are the slugs for the reports AP will provide and approximate times they will move for each service on election night:

Premium Elections Results via Digital Feeds (API, ANPA-FTP, APEO-FTP, DNE Elections): Results are updated every three minutes for API/DNE and four to five minutes for APEO-FTP and ANPA-FTP.
































































Member Choice Basic / Member Choice Plus / Member Choice Complete, includes Webfeeds and AP Newsroom:

NOTE: The AP will post elected bulletins for select top and statewide races.

BC-FL-TopRaces-Glance-Sum, every 30 minutes starting at :20

BC-FL-House-Contested, every hour at :40

BC-FL-OthState-Glance-Sum, every hour at :10

BC-FL-Amends-Glance-Sum, every hour at :10

BC-FL-Courts-Glance-Sum, every hour at :45

BC-FL-Special-Glance-Sum, every hour at :45

BC-FL-StSen-Contested, even-numbered hours at :40

BC-FL-StHou-Contested, odd-numbered hours at :45

BC-FL-Senate-Cnty, every hour at :50

BC-FL-Gov-Cnty, odd numbered hours at :50

BC-FL-Amend-4-FelonVoters, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-Rev-9-DrillVapeBans, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-1-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-2-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-3-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-4-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-5-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-6-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-7-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-8-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-9-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-11-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-12-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-13-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-15-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-16-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-17-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-18-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-19-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-22-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-23-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-25-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-26-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-27-Cnty, once at 10:50 p.m. and again at 01:50 a.m.

BC-FL-House-Trend, every hour at :40

BC-FL-StSen-Trend, every hour at :40

BC-FL-StHou-Trend, every hour at :40

OpenWire / NewsPower / Newspower Max, includes Webfeeds and AP Newsroom:

NOTE: The AP will post elected bulletins for select top and statewide races.

AP-FL-TopRaces-Glance-Sum, every 30 minutes starting at :20

AP-FL-House-Contested, even-numbered hours at :40

AP-FL-OthState-Glance-Sum, once at 10:45 p.m.

AP-FL-Amends-Glance-Sum, every hour at :10

AP-FL-Courts-Glance-Sum, once at 10:45 p.m.

AP-FL-Special-Glance-Sum, once at 10:45 p.m.

AP-FL-StSen-Contested, even-numbered hours at :40

AP-FL-StHou-Contested, odd-numbered hours at :45

AP-FL-House-Trend, every hour at :40

AP-FL-StSen-Trend, every hour at :40

AP-FL-StHou-Trend, every hour at :40

Headlines, includes Webfeeds and AP Newsroom:

AP-HD-TopRaces-Glance-Sum, every 60 minutes starting at :50

The AP, Miami

Update hourly