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More Florida voters are registering as NPA, but whether they'll vote remains to be seen

Thomas Iacobucci/WUSF Public Media

With the window to register to vote in Florida's Nov. 8 general election closing on Oct. 11, the question become whether Republicans or Democrats gained in numbers.

One analyst said it might be neither.

University of North Florida political science professor Michael Binder said Republicans have been steadily out-registering Democrats in Florida this election cycle.

But, he added, the real wild card is the increase in the number of people registering NPA — No Political Affiliation.

"Do those NPA's actually show up to vote is a different question," Binder said. "And, then, those NPAs — if they do show up to vote — which party are they voting for? And those are different questions that are in the yet-to-be determined category."

Binder said the number of NPA registrations increased in Republican counties, such as Pinellas, and Democratic counties, including Hillsborough.

"Both of those counties, it's been a lot of NPAs," Binder said. "And, we're seeing that not only in that portion of the state, the Tampa market, but across the state. NPAs are really being registered more and more."

Binder said Hurricane Ian could also come into play on Election Day.

If no changes are made to accommodate voters in the most affected areas where some polling places were damaged, Binder said, that could drive down voter participation in Republican counties such as Lee and Charlotte.

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Craig Kopp