Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Efforts to Register Latino Voters Rise

Three of the largest Latino organizations in the nation announced a voter registration initiative as the importance of the Latino vote rises.

As previously reported on La Plaza, the Hispanic Federation, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), have united their efforts to mobilize Latino voters.

“This is much more than registering Latinos to vote,” said Jose Calderon, the Hispanic Federation’s Interim President. “This is really a voter education campaign, to engage them at the most basic level to understand the importance of voting, but also in the importance of the issues that confront our community – from immigration to education to economic empowerment, jobs obviously, housing, etc.”

Despite efforts to increase voter registration within the Latino Community, Calderon believes that there will be powerful setbacks to their efforts.

New legislation such as voter ID laws make proof of citizenship a requirement, and new regulations carry fines of up to $1,000 for voter drive participants who don’t deliver registration cards to elections offices within 48 hours.

“You really see a lot of the voter suppression efforts across the nation. It’s really historic in nature. Not since Jim Crow laws were in existence did you see this kind of effort across the country,” said Calderon.

A study released by the Brennan Center in October of 2011 found that election laws enacted in 14 states could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.

New voting restriction fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities, according to the study.

“There is a trend here that no one is going to reverse,” said Brent Wilkes, LULAC’s National Executive Director. “Every four years, when Americans go to the polls, there will be a lot more Latino voters.”

Huffington Post

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