Newswise — Come Tuesday, Florida may find itself at the center of national attention once again as voters decide the winner in a closely contested governor’s race and the fate of a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana.

Florida State’s nationally recognized experts are available to provide analysis and commentary on the election.

Carol Weissert,professor and LeRoy Collins Eminent Scholar, Department of Political Science: (850) 644-7320; [email protected]

Weissert is an expert on national and state politics, with an emphasis on elections, intergovernmental relations, federalism, health policy and Florida politics. She is also the director of the LeRoy Collins Institute at Florida State.

“Once again, Florida is in the hot seat with an incredibly close gubernatorial election,” Weissert said. “The two parties need to get their bases out to vote and Independents and NPAs will have to look past the breathtaking campaign mud-slinging to perhaps decide the election. Florida, you have to love it.”

Lance deHaven-Smith, professor, Rueben D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy: (850) 567-8636 or (850) 878-9808; [email protected]

DeHaven-Smith is an expert on demographic and partisan trends and voting behavior in Florida, as well as crime/issues that leave election outcomes in doubt.

“If the 2014 gubernatorial election is as close as polls now indicate it will be, partisan bias embedded in Florida’s legally mandated procedures for manual recounts could produce another election dispute,” deHaven- Smith said.

Franita Tolson, Betty T. Ferguson Professor of Voting Rights, College of Law: (850) 644-7402; [email protected]

Tolson is an expert on the areas of constitutional law, election law, legal history and employment discrimination.

“On Tuesday, voters will go to the polls juggling concerns about the state of the economy, the conflicts in the Middle East, and the potential public health crisis stemming from Ebola,” Tolson said. “Voter anxiety about the state of the country, as well as low turnout, could result in an Election Day in which Republicans gain control of the Senate and further cement their majority in the House. If the Republicans win the Senate, this would confirm that the election is not only a referendum on President Obama and his policies, but is also a reflection of the broader apathy and distrust that many voters have toward the government itself.”