Monday, June 24, 2019

Latino Organizations ramp up voter registration for the upcoming midterms

As students return to high schools and colleges across the country, a number of Latino groups are ramping up efforts to register young voters with midterms less than 80 days away.

“Our goal is once they get their class schedule and get settled where they’re living, we can approach them and they can see what their (voting) options are,” said Jared Nordlund, a Florida-based civic engagement senior strategist with UnidosUS, a national Latino advocacy organization.

Earlier this year, UnidosUS launched The Power of the 18 to reach new and potential voters in high schools and increase their numbers at the polls. The group aims to get young Latinos to think of voting as a regular habit that starts at 18.

UnidosUS registered 30,000 new voters in Florida in the last three months, and they calculate about 20 percent of those are young voters. Nordlund said they are seeing more motivated prospective voters, and they hope to register 50,000 new voters by the midterms.

However, it may be too early to forecast whether November will see a wave of young Latino voters, according to Stella Rouse, an associate professor and Director of the Center for American Politics and Citizenship at the University of Maryland. “We may still see a significant jump, it may still happen but it just hasn’t materialized to this point,” said Rouse.

The group Voto Latino pioneered an app that scans a state-issued ID and automatically fills out voter registration information. Young Latinos “have the potential to drastically change the narrative, the political landscape, and direction of our country for years to come,” said Voto Latino co-chair Brandon Hernández.

NBC NEWS