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Democrats Winning Voter Registration Battle

July 23rd, 2012 by flanews

Democrats are outpacing Republicans in the battle for new voters, but as Whitney Ray tells us, the real challenge may be getting the newly registered to show up on Election Day.

After a year long hiatus, the League of Woman Voters is back in action, signing up new voters.

The nonpartisan voter group ceased registration efforts after a 2011 law put a 48 hour deadline in place for turning in forms. New voter registrations fell by 80-thousand. A judge threw out that provision. Now the league is playing catch-up.

“At this point we have over 180 volunteers who have signed up to do voter registration with the League of Women Voters,” said Jessica Lowe-Minor.

And with voter drives back in full swing, Democrats are pulling further ahead in the fight for new voters. In June, Democrats signed up 18-thousand new voters, Republicans, 13-thousand.

“Not only have Democrats out-registered Republicans for five months in a row, but we’ve also out-registered them with key interest groups,” said David Bergstein, a spokesman for the Florida Democrats.

But Democrats have traditionally outpaced Republicans when it comes to signing up new voters. In fact they have about a 440-thousand voter advantage over Republicans in Florida. So the problem for Democrats becomes getting those voters to actually come out and cast a ballot.

The Republican Party of Florida isn’t worried about the recent surge in new Democrats.

“We focus a lot of effort on getting out the vote efforts. We want to make sure we not only register people to vote but they actually show up on Election Day,” said Kristen McDonald, a RPOF Spokeswoman.

If the latest presidential polls are any indication, every voter, newly registered and the party loyal, will be needed for either side to claim Florida. Up for grabs are the 2.3 million Floridians who’ve registered with no party affiliation.

Those no party affiliated voters make up more than 20 percent of the state’s electorate. Democrats make up 40 percent, Republicans 36 and about three percent of registered voters are affiliated with minor parties.

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