Saturday, May 18, 2024

States Mirror Efforts by One Arizona to Increase Latino Voter Turnout through Early Voting


One Arizona, a non-partisan coalition of organizations seeking to advance the number of registered Latino voters and ensuring the full electoral participation of the Latino community, has spearheaded a strategy that focuses on early voting to increase Latino voter turnout.  The strategy has proven to be one of the most effective ways of increasing voter turnout among Latinos and is now being mimicked across the country in states where early voting is offered.

Ben Monterroso, Executive Director of Mi Familia Vota and a member of the One Arizona partnership, urged Latinos “to take the opportunity that we have to start voting as soon as the state gives us the opportunity to do it.” Monterroso continued, “In other words, election day ends on November 4. But it doesn’t begin there, it ends there.”

When an eligible voter is placed on the permanent early voting list, a ballot is mailed to them roughly 26 days before an election. This option gives voters ample time to cast informed votes without disrupting their workday on Election Day. California is now among a number of states ramping up efforts to increase voter turnout through early voting. The results of this strategy have had a dramatic impact on voter turnout and voter registration according to a report released by the polling form, Latino Decisions. Approximately 291,000 Latinos in Arizona voted during the 2008 election, compared to 400,000 Latinos who participated in the 2012 elections after the initiative began in 2010.

“Voting early allows them much more time and much more privacy to really reflect on who the candidates are,” said Petra Falcon, Executive Director of Promise Arizona. Falcon also noted that “for four years that we’ve been doing voter registration, we’ve found that the biggest fear for people is voting for the wrong person or voting for the wrong ballot initiative.”