What Happened In The Florida 2018 Midterm Elections?

Florida Politics Has Us All Slightly Confused At The Moment

Recounts and lawsuits galore! Florida is currently in the middle of a recount that echoes the 2000 election.

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Three races in Florida are being recounted. The high profile Senate and Governor races as well as the Agriculture Commissioner race. On election night, it seemed that current governor Rick Scott would become the state's next senator. Keeping that Republican theme, Ron DeSantis appeared to have edged out a win over Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, to replace Rick Scott. As ballots continued to be counted, the margins between the two candidates in both races fell into recount territory. Rick Scott was ahead of Bill Nelson, the Democratic incumbent by 12,400 votes, a mere .2%. In the governor's race, Gillum was making up ground on DeSantis cutting that margin to just about 34,000 votes. Any vote margins under .5% in the state of Florida are automatically put into a machine recount, if they are at .1% then it goes to a hand recount. Two things Republicans in the state do not want to happen.

Rick Scott claimed of rampant voter fraud in Broward County, which has seen its fair share of controversy. The Secretary of State in Florida denies the claims and says that there is no evidence that this is happening. Meanwhile, the county's election supervisor says that the recount will not be ready by the mandated deadline on Thursday. The spokeswoman for the Department of State for Florida says that if a county does not provide a complete recount by Thursday, then state law mandates that the results from election night will remain in their place. The spokeswoman also said that the Secretary of State has no authority to grant extensions on the recount.

The deadline for the recount is Thursday of this week. This recount is reminiscent of the 2000 election where Florida was make it or break it for George Bush and Al Gore. That election wasn't decided until 36 days after the election. Hopefully, this race will be decided sooner, and we'll have winners by Thursday. Anyways, like always we'll have to wait and watch as the results come in.

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The 10 Most Important Things You Need To Know About Relationships

Without communication, there is no relationship; without respect, there is no love; and without trust, there is no reason to continue.
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When you see an old couple holding hands or sharing romantic kisses while sitting on a park bench, doesn't that spark warm feelings of love and happiness in your heart? Doesn't it make you think about how they maintained their relationship for so many years when couples you know have trouble making it past six months? And of course, some people are not made for each other and so their relationship just simply doesn't work. But then there are couples who give up the minute an obstacle comes along, which makes you think their relationship wasn't truly important to them in the first place. What everyone has to understand in order to preserve a strong, happy, and prosperous relationship is that love is colorful, and the same kind of love doesn't exist for everyone. Being in a loving relationship that continues to thrive, I'm going to share some of the few things that I believe should exist between two lovers who want to sustain their prosperous relationship.

1. Communication

Communicating with your partner is essential. I'm sure you've heard it before, but communication is key. If something is bothering you or what your partner wants to do isn't what you're interested in, say something! Neither you nor your partner are mind readers, so how are they supposed to know how you feel if you keep your feelings bottled up inside? Not speaking up and communicating your ideas, feelings, desires, and wants is unhealthy because one day you might blow up and say some things you'll either regret or feel sorry for saying. Communicate to find a middle ground in your relationship because it's unfair for one person to constantly accommodate the other. Relationships cannot grow without communication, so don't be afraid to speak your mind and embrace your thoughts.

2. Trust and Honesty

A relationship cannot continue without trust and honesty. By being honest with your partner, they have no reason to doubt you or not trust you. Trust is vital in a strong and successful relationship because you don't want to think twice about what your partner says or does. Almost anything can be acceptable in a relationship as long as you're honest with your partner. Being in a relationship doesn't mean that everything else in your life has to change. You can still see your friends, go out, and be your own person, but be honest with your partner with whatever you do because by hiding something from them, you might be giving them the perfect reason not to trust you.

3. Forgiveness

No relationship is perfect. That's because none of us are perfect. People make mistakes in everyday life in the same way that people make mistakes in relationships. Of course, there are some things that are unforgivable, such as cheating on your partner (at least in my eyes), because it means that your relationship didn't mean much to you anyway. But, most things can be forgiven. Forgiveness is extremely important and necessary in a relationship because we have to accept and be reminded that we aren't perfect. So if I bailed on you because something important came up or you had a bad day at work and said some things to me that should have been directed at someone else out of anger, it's okay. Sometimes all it takes is a simple I'm sorry and I forgive you.

4. Respect and Appreciation

Without respect and appreciation, there is no love. How can you disrespect the one you love and care for? Exactly: it's hard to find an answer. Respect is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Respect your partner by choosing your words carefully, honoring boundaries, being willing to compromise, showing consideration, and protecting your partner. Make sure you're being respected by knowing your worth, acting honorably, setting and upholding boundaries, being a man or woman of your word, and showing respect for yourself. Appreciate your partner for who they are, the things they do for you, the support they give you, and the growth that they contribute in building your own identity.

5. Emotional Support

Real men don't cry is a load of bullshit. I have been blessed to be surrounded by a few strong and courageous men in my life who I've seen shed a tear or cry when losing a loved one or simply out of pure happiness. We all have emotions and though we try to hold them in check, those emotions sometimes boil over. In relationships, it's important to show emotional support for your partner, regardless if they are a man or a woman. So when your partner is going through a tough time or is struggling for whatever the reason might be, stray away from the pathetic Be A Man go-to phrase and be their shoulder to lean on. If your partner knows that you're emotionally there for them, they might have an easier time opening up to you in the future.

6. Humor

Sharing laughs and smiles with the one you love is extremely important. After all, being in a relationship is sharing your life with someone you care for, cherish, and have fun with. Being able to joke around and laugh with one another is extremely healthy for your well-being and the relationship. It's not just about fun and games, but it's also no fun to be so serious and stern about everything. Keep your relationship alive with some humor, adventure, and daily laughs to see the smile of your loved one!

7. The Magic of Small Things

The small things in life are actually not that small. There are times where the smallest deed can make someone the happiest and that's usually because the small things are the most thoughtful ones. Preparing breakfast when your partner is too tired or surprising them with an iced caramel latte on their way home from work can be enough to make their day. The small things really do count and they are remembered more than you might think. There's something magical in knowing that your partner feels appreciated and happy that they have the privilege of calling you mine. And the small things can do just that.

8. Sharing Interests

Having things in common with the one you love and sharing interests with your partner is perfect because neither one of you need to accommodate the other! There will be days where both you and your partner will not want to do the same things and a middle ground will have to be met, but sharing interests makes it easier when looking for fun things to do and finding things to talk about! Having a few similar interests like bike riding or playing football allows you and your partner to have your "thing," the thing that brings you two together. Liking similar things is also a perfect conversation starter, but also talking about your dislikes and things that you don't agree on can spark an intense and even more enticing conversation!

9. Celebrate Achievements

The happiness you feel because of your own achievements should be the same feeling you get when your partner accomplishes something they've been striving for, no matter how little it may be. Whether it be winning the Noble Peace Prize, having a 4.0 GPA, or hitting a new record at the gym, no achievement should go unnoticed. Being proud of your partner's achievements can strengthen your relationship and bring the both of you closer together.

10. Love and Affection

Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life. This might strike you at first, but what's the point of being successful, rich, happy or really anything else if you have nobody to share it with? Love is one of life's greatest gifts. It brings people together and allows them to build a life that some can only dream of. But sometimes love is not enough to maintain a prosperous and healthy relationship. That's because relationships aren't easy, people are so different from one another, and relationships take much effort and patience. But in the end, if you don't have love in a relationship, you really don't have anything. Take the time to show your partner some affection, to make alone time a priority. The kisses, hugs, and even sex is something that in the end does make a relationship healthy. But without love, all of that means nothing.

Every relationship struggles, but only strong relationships get through it. Take the time to focus on these ten things that are important in keeping the love alive and feelings between you and your partner strong. And most importantly, remember that no one falls in love by choice; it's by chance, and no one falls out of love by chance--it's by choice.

Cover Image Credit: Marika Cygert

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Kirsten Gillibrand Wants To Give You $600 To Participate In Elections

The New York Senator, who is running for President, has a plan to give every eligible American "Democracy Dollars" to donate to campaigns of their choice.

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Kirsten Gillibrand made headlines this week with her plan to clean up elections. The plan, which she calls the "Clean Elections Plan" includes giving every voter $600 to donate to federal candidates running for office. However, there are strings attached to the proposal. Voters would be able to register for $100 in primary elections and $100 in general elections. Each person who registers would also receive $200 for House, Senate, and presidential candidates, totaling to the $600 mentioned earlier.

The money could only go to candidates in the donor's state. For example, if you live in Nebraska, you can only donate to campaigns in Nebraska. However, you can donate to campaigns in other congressional districts. If you live in the 1st congressional district, you can donate to the 6th congressional district, as long as it is still in the state you reside in.

In order for candidates to receive "Democracy Dollars" candidates could only receive donations of up to $200 or less. A big drop from the current $2,800 campaigns can receive from one donor. Gillibrand believes that this would force candidates to campaign in more local areas. "They would campaign in all communities," Gillibrand said. "They would be going to low-income communities, they would be going to rural communities, they would be asking people to support them not only with a vote, but with (financial) support for their campaign." Candidates would also have to opt-in to the program. If they do not, they cannot receive the money from the federal voucher program.

The congresswoman-turned-senator-turned-presidential-candidate is running on a platform of government transparency. On Gillibrand's campaign website, it says, "Wealthy special interests and their lobbyists have outsized influence over our laws because they can pour unlimited amounts of sometimes-secret money into passing their agenda and bankrolling their allies' campaigns."

Gillibrand's proposal is based off of a rather successful plan in Seattle. In the Seattle City Council elections in 2013, small-dollar donations, under $250, accounted for 48% of the money donated to candidates. After the proposal passed in 2017, small-dollar donations accounted for 87% of the money donated to candidates.

Gillibrand's plan could work, however, it could cost the federal government a lot of money. The Senator refused to accept donations from corporate PACs in her last election and is doing the same for her presidential campaign. If she gets elected, "Democracy Dollars" could show up on your doorstep.

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