Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Middle-Age and Young Texas Latinos Vote Less than Other Ethnic Groups

Based on numbers from the 2008 election, 2.3 million non-voters in Texas who were registered to vote never made it to the ballot box. According to the new study, of these non-voters, 34% are Latino, and those between ages 35-44 were staying away at a much higher rate. Young Latinos, between 18-44 years old, also voted in much lower numbers than other ethnic groups.

Researchers suggest that these non-voters tend to be poor or uneducated, and that more of these people would vote if officials made it more convenient.

“The fundamental reason a lot of these people don’t vote has to do with economics,” says Peck Young, Director of the Center for Public Policy and Political Studies at Austin Community College. “When you’re a breadwinner, but you’re winning your bread by working long hours and at maybe more than one job, you need a window of opportunity.”

Young also explains that many people feel a duty to register to vote, but not necessarily an obligation to cast a ballot.

As previously indicated on La Plaza, a predicted 12.2 million Latinos nationally are expected to go out to vote in the upcoming election. The Latino impact in Texas is notable given that Texas has the second largest Latino population nationally.

Young adds that life experience plays a role whether someone is likely to vote, with older people more likely to cast ballots. Education is also another indicator, as 39% of eligible Latino voters in Texas have not completed high school, greater than the rate for all Latino voters in the U.S.

“Convincing younger, uneducated people to vote has always proven difficult,” says Young.  “They wouldn’t be non-voters if it was easy.”

NBC Latino