Thursday, December 5, 2019

Latino Nonprofits in Florida launch a statewide drive on National Voter Registration Day

One in three Florida residents who are eligible to vote is not registered to do so, according to the New Florida Majority, a nonprofit that helped launch a statewide drive to sign people up on Tuesday, National Voter Registration Day.

Other organizations also held events to register voters in one of the country’s most crucial swing states. The Hispanic Federation, a nonprofit advocacy organization, had a full staff of canvassers throughout Central Florida, including Orange and Volusia counties that are heavily Puerto Rican.

But for many organizations, their task goes beyond registering voters. There is a tendency for new voters to register with no party affiliation, so organizations have taken it upon themselves to educate them in the electoral process.

Some, like the Hispanic Federation, are holding forums in the evening to educate voters on their rights and make sure they understand the power of voting. “There are more than 100,000 new potential registrants,” said Yanidsi Velez, senior state director for the Hispanic Federation. “There is a lot of work to do.”

Last year, Hispanic Federation registered over 50,000 voters in the state and are expecting to register far more next year. Andrea Mercado, executive director of New Florida Majority, said they had registered many young people, some who were formally incarcerated, and others.

“People understand that the 2020 elections are the most important election of our lifetime,” she said.

NBC NEWS