This past Tuesday, UnidosUS hosted two panel discussions on the Latino vote in Texas and hosted volunteers who called registered voters to encourage them to go to the polls on Election Day.
These volunteers included UnidosUS Texas Affiliate YWCA El Paso Del Norte CEO Sylvia Acosta and team, and even Texas State Representative Lina Ortega stopped by to call voters and remind them to vote.
Through our Power of 18 campaign, along with the hard work of our Affiliates and LEAP (Latino Empowerment and Advocacy Project) grantees, our network has been responsible for registering nearly 10,000 new voters in Texas.
Nearly 1 million Latino citizens turn 18 every year. Meet Fernando Alonso,18, a student at @utrgv who registered to vote and voted early in #Texas. Your vote counts #powerof18 @WeAreUnidosUS @TFN pic.twitter.com/avVv7P7fmg
— UnidosUS_Engagement (@UnidosEmpowers) October 30, 2018
As of 2016, there were about 11.4 million eligible Latinos who were not registered to vote. This number represents roughly half of the total number of Latinos who are eligible to vote in the United States.
Additionally, in Texas, Latinos represent 5.4 million registered voters. Estimates also show that young Latinos will represent the largest population group in Texas by 2022, and that most will be eligible to register to vote.
But it’s not enough to just register new voters, they must get to the polls as well.
At the panel in San Benito, Texas, Javier Araiza, Lead Supervisor at Harlingen-based UnidosUS Affiliate Su Clínica, said, “It’s a good and encouraging feeling with our staff knowing that we helped more than 1,700 people register to vote. Now we want to see that they do show up to the polls and see those numbers grow.”
Both the panel in El Paso and the panel in San Benito focused on the Latino vote in Texas and the community’s priorities as we reach the midterm elections. The panel in San Benito also included two newly registered voters—Fernando Alonso Jr. and Iris Juarez.
“I want to reach out to all of you in the Latino American community and all the young voters to go out and vote on November 6 and show the United States and Texas that we are here and our voice must be heard,” Alonso said in a video statement on Twitter during the event.
By Stephanie Presch, Content Specialist, UnidosUS