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Occupy Tampa protesters have poor voting records

11:07 AM, Dec 5, 2011   |    comments
Occupy Tampa protesters at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. 29 were arrested Thursday night for trespassing.
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TAMPA, Florida - After the first mass arrests of Occupy Tampa protesters, The 10 News Investigators pulled their voting records to see how active the protesters have previously been in the democratic process.

While the 29 people arrested Thursday night fared slightly better than the 22 protesters analyzed in the Investigators' initial report, the group cast ballots at lower rates than non-protesting Floridians.

Forty-seven Occupy Tampa protesters - almost all Florida residents - have been arrested since Oct. 21 a total of 62 times.  And by cross-referencing arrest reports with public records from various elections offices, the Investigators compiled the following statistics:

  • Only 67% of arrested protesters - all over the age of 18 - are registered to vote.  The state average is 76%.
  • Only 42% of arrested protesters who were 18 years old in 2008 voted in the presidential general election.  Across the state, 57% of Floridians 18 years and older cast ballots that year.
  • Only 22% of arrested protesters who were 18 years old in 2008 voted in the presidential primary, compared to 27% across the state.
  • In 2010, when Floridians decided a gubernatorial and U.S. Senate race, only 21% of arrested protesters who were old enough to vote cast ballots.  That year, 38% of all Flordians 18+ voted in the general election.

Additionally, only four of 43 local voters had cast ballots in any municipal elections since 2008, even though Tampa, St. Petersburg, and a number of other Bay-area cities have elected mayors, councilmembers, and commissioners.

Connect with 10 News Investigator Noah Pransky on Facebook at www.facebook.com/noahpransky or Twitter at www.twitter.com/noahpransky.  Send your story tips to noah@wtsp.com.

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