Despite claims to the contrary, St. Petersburg was among the many Pinellas Cities rejecting Greenlight Pinellas last week. An analysis of voter data by the Sunbeam Times reveals that the measure failed by a 4 point margin, with 52% of residents voting it down and 48% voting in favor (the county rejected by 62% to 38%). 49 of St. Petersburg precincts voted against Greenlight Pinellas and it was only favored by 40 precincts. It was approved only in a geographically contiguous area largely in the South and East of the city. The Greenlight plan was soundly defeated in Western and northern areas of the city. In the end no votes registered at 48,697 and yes votes at 44739, a nearly 4,000 vote margin (per the Supervisor of election for undivided St. Pete precincts). However with the number of St. Petersburg non-residents factored out the vote was estimated at 47,300 No votes and 43,894 Yes votes, about a 3,400 vote margin. (Note these updated numbers/estimates were added on 11/12/14).
The rejection of Greenlight by St. Petersburg residents stands in contrast to claims by Tampa Bay Times that St. Petersburg supported the proposal. Many die-hard transit supporters are hoping to capitalize on perceived support in large cities like Tampa and St. Petersburg to push for more taxes and a train again in 2016. The rejection of Greenlight by St. Petersburg residents should give pause to the politicians who refuse to stop pushing their agenda on the people. Sadly, rejections of higher taxes and unneeded trains by the voters rarely stops those with agendas. This is another demonstration of elected officials ignoring the “consent of the governed” and instead feigning to lead for the people when they are merely trying to impose their will on the people.
A map showing St. Petersburg Precincts rejecting Greenlight is linked here (dark brown is water in the precinct). The larger county map showing nearly every other precinct rejecting Greenlight is below.
|NO on Greenlight (St. Petersburg Precincts)—217, 215, 275, 143, 146, 230, 201, 234, 240, 231, 150, 200, 237, 144, 151, 154, 232, 236, 239, 142, 155, 147, 233, 156, 110, 241, 157, 229, 152, 138, 211, 235, 219, 153, 139, 216, 222, 145, 131, 202, 223,213, 132, 140, 221, 103, 162, 161, 14||YEs on Greenlight (St. Petersburg Precincts)—108, 106, 133, 228, 220, 137, 225, 122, 101, 136, 105, 109, 111, 102, 128, 104, 224, 227, 203, 204, 113, 112, 205, 129, 135, 226, 130, 116, 119, 114, 120, 134, 123, 115, 118, 121, 126, 117, 125, 127|
The analysis was conducted using publicly available data from the Pinellas Supervisor of Election, comparing it to their precinct maps matched to precinct and city limit maps at the Pinellas County GIS service. The proprietary software “Webelect” was also used to determine the presence of St. Petersburg registered voters in split precincts. Those precincts that were partially in the city limit (seven) were also evaluated and given the same margin of victory or defeat for all voters living in precinct. (The Pinellas Supervisor of elections does not provide data for precincts segregated based whether they are inside or outside city limits). There were two precincts listed as part of St. Petersburg (by the Supervisor of elections), there were actually entirely outside the city (401, 243), and one precinct with 13 registered voters that did not vote at all (165). Thus a total of 89 St. Petersburg precincts had active voters within the city limits and were used for analysis. Data is available upon request.
Following are the resources and references used for the analysis.