As elections in the United States are approaching, apart from the recent debates and controversial statements, some organizations have been seeking not to try to make people vote for a specific candidate, but to raise citizens’ awareness about the responsibilities of voting. They have particularly focused on a group that will really play an important role in the next elections: Latinos.
The Center for American Progress and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), for example, have launched a campaign directed toward Latino and Hispanic immigrants who reside in Florida, Colorado and Texas. They represent 13% of voters in next year’s elections.
The number of Latinos in the United States has increased, and so has therefore the number of Hispanic voters in Florida from 17% to 20%. In Nevada, it has reached almost 19%. As a matter of fact, the future forecast indicates that there could be up to 28,5 million Latino voters all around the country in 2016.
The LCLAA campaign is not the only one. “Juntos Podemos” (Together We Can) has been trying to reach the permanent residents of the Latino community to help them through the process of citizenship application and, afterward, registration so that they are able to vote in the next elections.
“Juntos Podemos” is presided over by Diana Vargas, a young American citizen whose parents are of Mexican origin and undocumented. Vargas considers that, since all immigrants’ sons and daughters have enjoyed their rights, it is now time for them to fulfill their duties. One of the most important duties is to vote and to give a voice to those who, like her parents, cannot be heard.
“Juntos Podemos” organizes workshops in order to clarify doubts related to the paperwork and the process of getting the citizenship. Diana, who studied Political Science and Psychology at the Dominican University in River Forest, believes that one vote, just one vote, can change things.
It is estimated that 800,000 Latino people living in the United States turn 18 years old every year, and may register to exercise their right to vote.