PORTLAND, Ore. — Most of the 112 protesters arrested in Portland last week didn’t vote in Oregon, according to state election records. Approximately 30 percent did cast a ballot in Oregon or in another state.
At least seventy-nine demonstrators either didn’t turn in a ballot or weren’t registered to vote in the state.
Following Tuesday's presidential election of Donald Trump, thousands of people took to the streets in downtown Portland for five straight nights. The activity included at least one night that the police declared to be a riot, with more than $1 million in property damage. The bulk of the arrests happened on Friday and Saturday evenings as protesters faced off against police.
KGW compiled a list of the 112 people arrested by the Portland Police Bureau during recent protests. Those names and ages, provided by police, were then compared to state voter logs by Multnomah County Elections officials.
Records show 39 of the protesters arrested were registered in the state but didn’t return a ballot for the November 8 election. Thirty-five of the demonstrators taken into custody weren’t registered to vote in Oregon.
Kevin Grigsby was one of 71 arrested during the Saturday night protest. He said he didn't do anything wrong, but told KGW he also did not vote.
"I did not (vote) and the reason why is because we know that the electoral college is really what matters the most. And I think that we need to change that because your vote doesn’t matter if you don’t have enough electoral college points.," said Grigsby.
Another protester said those arrested are not representative of the thousands who took to the streets last week.
“You just look at your sample and it’s the people who got arrested. And the people who got arrested, I just don’t think they’re representative of the majority of the people who are out protesting.”
It is unclear if those who aren't registered in Oregon are registered to vote in other states. Most of those gave Oregon addresses as their official residence in court records.
Four of the 112 arrestees are under the age of 18 and thus not eligible to vote, and 34 of the protesters did vote.
There have been theories floating around the internet that protesters are being brought in from elsewhere and encouraged by outside agitators.
Our analysis of court records shows the majority of those arrested in Portland are from either Oregon or Washington. Of the 112 arrested protesters we looked at, 89 listed Oregon addresses and seven listed Washington addresses.
One listed a California address and one listed a Texas address. Fourteen protesters didn’t have addresses listed in court records.
Statewide, nearly 79 percent of Oregon's registered voters cast their ballots, representing just over 2 million votes. While nearly 9 out of every 10 Republican and Democratic voters did vote, only 63 percent of those not registered with one of those parties did participate. Officials attribute some of the lack of voting to Oregon's new motor voter law, which has automatically registered hundreds of thousands of people as new voters.
This article originally stated that 35 people were registered to vote and did not. One woman who was arrested told KGW she recently moved to Washington and did vote in Washington. She was also registered to vote in Oregon.