With the growing number of Latinos in the US it’s becoming even more important that we, Latinos, stick together. One way we can stick together is by voting, yet many Latinos are not voting or will not vote next time around. There are 27.3 million Latinos who are eligible to vote, yet only 15 million or 11.9% are registered, and only 12 million will actually go to the polls!
Take a look at the below reasons why YOU should vote:
- When Latinos vote, politicians pay more attention to us! We often hear them uttering phrases in Spanish, especially during (re)election times, promising to help our LatinX communities. Our voice makes a difference – Without our vote, we can’t hold our elected officials accountable for the promises they made to get elected. Politicians need to see that Latinos will hold them accountable for what we, as a community, care about.
- Latino voting can lead to more Latinos being placed in higher positions within our government. According to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, there are 6,084 Latino-elected officials in the country at the local, state and federal levels; however, we only have 9 senators and 2 governors of Hispanic descent representing us. Currently the Congressional Hispanic Caucus consists of 27 members, making our voices heard on Capitol Hill. One of those members is Nydia Velazquez, who recently gave a passionate plea for the United States to provide more recovery efforts of hurricane ravished Puerto Rico. The Latino vote can increase our Representative numbers and impede a timely response to our causes.
- By not voting, you are allowing someone else to make the choice for you! Many Latinos have forgotten that voting is a right and a privilege. Not everyone can vote, such as undocumented and Puerto Rican residents. This minimizes Latino voting numbers drastically – making our voice harder to be heard. If you have the opportunity to vote, take advantage of that right! Don’t allow others to decide who will govern your country, city, state and community.
Organizations, such as Voto Latino, are educating and providing tools for Latinos to vote. Since their conception in 2004, the organization has held voter registration events around the U.S. The organization which was co-founded by Rosario Dawson and has registered over half a million voters. In March of 2016 they launched the VoterPal app, making it easier than ever to register to vote.
Latinos care about the issues affecting us, but the only way to be heard is to show up at the polls! Without Latinos coming together and actually voting, we won’t see the changes our Latino community deserves.
So, next time, go out and vote! Together we can make a difference! Register Today!