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Record Number of New Yorkers Re-Registering Drivers Licenses in Florida

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The state of Florida under GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and a Republican legislative majority continues to be a beacon for Americans tired of living in heavily regulated blue states.

According to Just the News, a record number of New York residents are re-registering their driver’s licenses in the Sunshine State, which, at the same time, has been adding a significant number of new GOP voter registrations.

The numbers were confirmed by a New York Post analysis of Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles data.

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Just the News noted further:

The analysis comes at a time when New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has urged New York Republicans to leave and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has welcomed new residents to “the free state of Florida.”

In August, 5,838 New Yorkers switched their driver’s licenses to Florida, the highest recorded number for a single month in history, the report found.

From Jan. 1 to Sept. 20, 41,885 New Yorkers have turned in their licenses after officially leaving the state.

“And we’re here to say that the era of Trump and [U.S. Rep. Lee] Zeldin and [Dutchess County Executive Marc] Molinaro – just jump on a bus and head down to Florida where you belong, OK?” Hochul said last month at a campaign event for newly elected U.S. Rep. Pat Ryan.

Ryan defeated Molinaro in a special election for New York’s 19th congressional district.

“Get out of town. Get out of town. Because you don’t represent our values,” Hochul said in comments directed to New York Republicans. “You are not New Yorkers.”

Even before Hochul made her divisive remarks, New Yorkers were heeding her call: Roughly 319,020 residents left the Empire State between July 2020 and July 2021, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. That amounted to a 1.6 percent year-over-year population loss and made New York the No. 1 state for population decline. And over the past 10 years, a steady stream of residents out of the state also led to a loss of a congressional seat.

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Meanwhile, “from July 2020 to July 2021, Florida gained 211,196 residents. Its population increase over the past decade also led to it gaining a congressional seat,” Just the News reported.

According to state records, out of around 1 million new registered voters in the Sunshine State between October 2018 and July 2022, less than 18,000 of them identified as Democrats.

Meanwhile, more than a half-million new registrants during the same period have identified as Republicans, giving the GOP a substantial lead.

“The 2022 numbers show the state with 5,191,018 Republicans,” The Western Journal reported. “That means from the 2018 election until this summer, the Florida GOP added 509,420 people. That is an increase of roughly 10 percent.”

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Conversely, during the same period, “Democratic Party enrollment rose from 4,962,064 to 4,944,867 — which is an increase of only 17,197 people,” the outlet added.

Christian Ziegler, vice chairman of the Florida GOP, said regarding the large increase in registered Republicans: “The biggest number in Florida Politics that no one is talking about: 17,197. While Florida has added 1,037,685 net new voters since [Ron DeSantis’] 2018 Victory, the Democrat Party only managed to convince 17,197 of them to register as a Democrat.”

“Governor DeSantis is delivering on the important issues, our Florida GOP County leaders are executing on the ground and voters in every corner of our state are resonating with our record while showcasing a historic rejection of the Democrat Party,” he added, according to Florida’s Voice.

“And while the data is great, we cannot afford to let up at this point,” he said, adding, “The Florida GOP is committed to the fight and we will not take our foot off of the gas until Governor DeSantis achieves victory, freedom in Florida is protected for generations to come and the Democrat Party is extinct in our state.”

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Other state Republicans commented on the remarkable gains the party has made in Florida in the age of DeSantis, including some who said Democrats were not offering residents much in terms of favored policies.

“The symptoms currently plaguing the Democrat Party in Florida point back to the virus that is the failed leadership in Washington DC and the disastrous extreme anti-American values leading the state and local Democrats further away from their constituents,” Lee County GOP Chairman Jonathan Martin said.

“Their entire platform is to be against whatever Ron DeSantis does, but they’re never telling the voters what they’re for, what they have to offer, and what they can do better,” state Rep. Spencer Roach added.

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