Historically, the midterm elections mean record-low voting turnout. This means that EVERY SINGLE ADDITIONAL VOTE carries that much more weight. At a time when Latinos’ voices are being ignored from every direction, using the full force of the voting voice becomes so much more important. We have so much at stake, so much to gain and SO MUCH TO LOSE. To put it into perspective, in the upcoming midterm elections 46 states will hold state legislative elections, 36 governorships and 471 congressional seats (!) Each and every single one of these elections’ outcomes has a direct impact on the policies that are implemented on these communities and on the daily lives of their residents.
The Latino vote has become a pivotal factor for many political candidates, including the presidency. But historically, our voter turnout has been low. to give you an idea, approximately 24 million Latinos are eligible to vote in the United states, yet only 6.6 million Latinos are registered voters across the nation, making up 11 percent of the voting-eligible population. There is a difference between politics and civic engagement: To vote is more than a right, it’s our civic duty. We owe it to our families and our children, our communities to have a say in the laws of this country, because that affects them directly.
This year, as Hispanic Heritage Month rolled out, Speak Hispanic has joined the Hispanic Heritage Month of Action campaign #PowerOfOurVote, a nationwide campaign to ignite the Latino vote as part of taking ownership of the pride and responsibility that comes with being a citizen in this country. Organized by Voto Latino, the campaign includes a coalition of over 80 national organizations like Mi Familia Vota, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Dolores Huerta Foundation and the Latino Victory Project and celebrity supporters like Eva Longoria, Rosario Dawson, Wilmer Valderrama and America Ferrera to mobilize Latino communities to register to vote TODAY and head to the polls in November.
To celebrate our partnership, I hosted a Google + Hangout on National Voter Registration Day, during which I interviewed some of the stakeholders of the campaign, including:
- Jossie Flor Sapunar, Communications Associate at The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
- Nicole Campbell – Digital Media Associate at Voto Latino
- Ingrid Alvarez, Connecticut State Director at The Hispanic Federation
Watch the Hangout on YouTube (below):
Here are some resources to get informed and help others exercise this most basic right.
- Register to vote today at http://latinos2014.com/
- If you’re already registered, I urge you to please get everyone around you who is eligible to vote to register and show up at the polls on November 4th.
- If you have any questions about voting in your state or to report voting problems, please contact the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE
- Para preguntas en español, llame al 1-800-VE-Y-VOTA
- Para más información en español: http://movimientohispano.org