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Politicians Have Courted The Support Of Puerto Ricans. Here’s Why Many Won’t Vote Tuesday.

Gisela Salomon
Associated Press
In April 2018, Marisol Zenteno, right, from the League of Women Voters, helps with registering Aida Merced Lopez, who moved to Miami from Puerto Rico in April 2017, before Hurricane Maria ravaged the island.

Since Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, Florida politicians have courted the vote of those who left the island.

In April, Gov. Rick Scott announced his candidacy for Senator in Orlando, where many displaced Puerto Ricans have moved. He was introduced at the rally by the territory’s lieutenant governor, Luis G. Rivera-Marin, and closed his speech in Spanish. Incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson has made multiple trips to the territory since Maria.

But an examination of recent voter registration patterns casts doubt on whether that campaigning will pay off in the Tuesday primary.

The most recent edition of the state voter file shows that between Sept. 20, 2017, when Maria struck, and July 30, the cutoff to register for the Florida primary, 3,147 new voters having Puerto Rican phone area codes have registered. Of those voters, 55 percent have registered as No Party Affiliation, while 36 percent registered as Democrats and 9 percent registered as Republican.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald

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