WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As we enter the home stretch before Election Day, early voting numbers reflect an energized Latino electorate poised to shape results up and down the ballot tomorrow. The potentially pivotal role of the Latino voting community is due to a number of factors, including the civic engagement and mobilization efforts of NCLR, NCLR Affiliates, and other Latino voter-focused allies.
As NCLR Board Chair Renata Soto said, "This is not about partisanship—it's about participation. It's about making sure that our elected officials focus on the issues that are important to us. Unfortunately, in this election, Latinos in general and immigrants in particular have been used as scapegoats, or ignored outright. But we will be heard loud and clear on November 8!"
And as NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía said, "For an election cycle that has focused a great deal on Latinos, we need to ensure that the country hears from Latinos. For anyone who cares about good schools, safe streets, healthy communities, a better economy, sound immigration policies, or a strong and inclusive society, the growth of the Latino electorate should be a welcome development, because those are the issues that move our community."
The following are highlights of Latino civic engagement and mobilization efforts from NCLR, Affiliates, and allies in this election cycle, followed by key resources.
In Arizona, NCLR Affiliate Promise Arizona (PAZ) aims to unite Latinos and immigrants across the state to build influence and shape their communities. Since its founding in 2010, the PAZ team has registered 50,000 new Hispanic voters in Maricopa County, Arizona's most populated county.
In California and Texas, NCLR's High School Democracy Project partnered with schools to engage high school seniors in the electoral process and make registration available to those eligible. Over the past year, NCLR worked with teachers, students, and administrators to develop a six-lesson curriculum to guide students through various aspects of democracy, including the right to vote. From September 19 to 23, 53 partner organizations implemented the curriculum in 16 states, including Texas and California, the two states with the largest Latino youth populations.
In Florida, NCLR—led by Regional Coordinator and Southeast Liaison Natalie Carlier—and its local Affiliates registered more than 50,000 new Hispanic voters, including many newly naturalized U.S. citizens.
In Pennsylvania, NCLR Affiliate Centro Hispano worked to ensure that there will be interpreters, bilingual staff, and Spanish ballots at the polls. They have also worked hard to engage the local community in the electoral process. Centro Hispano has partnered with the local community college in Reading, broadcasting Spanish-language PSAs on the college's radio station about registering to vote, as well as carrying out voter registration drives throughout the local community.
Nationally, NCLR has pioneered new and accessible tools to engage Latino voters. For example, NCLR partnered with mitú to launch Latinos Vote, a voter registration website and mobile app. The app walks potential voters through the registration process and informs them of their state's specific requirements. More than 13,000 new voters were registered through the app. NCLR is also promoting English and Spanish pages where people can locate their polling places and register to vote. Additionally, NCLR is providing voter protection and information to first-time and low propensity Latino voters, including connecting them to the NALEO Educational Fund's bilingual Ve y Vota hotline: (888) Ve-Y-Vota (839-8682).
Latino Voter Resources
- October 2016 Polling: Latinos' Views on the Economy and Health Care
- Panel: Why Getting Latino Voter Exit Polling Right Matters
- NCLR Annual Conference: Tools to Energize the Latino Vote
- Dynamics of the Latino Electorate: Shaping the 2016 Elections
- NCLR Democracy Curriculum Registers Latino Youth Across the Country
NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.
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SOURCE National Council of La Raza