With the presidential election fast approaching — and a record number of Latinos eligible to vote this year — local and national organizations are ramping up efforts to get Latinos to the polls. DEL Records just joined several advocacy organizations in launching the “Shut Up the Haters and Vote,” campaign aimed at encouraging eligible high school students to pledge to vote. They’re the latest in a growing list of groups targeting young Latino voters in particular.
“We are recording
artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs. We are primos, brothers, and familia.
We are a community that is more united than ever before and ready to strike
back and shut the haters down,” the agency said in a statement.
Together with iAmerica, Mi Familia Vota, the Service Employees International Union, Entravision Communications and Chicago Votes, Del Records used radio and social media campaigns to engage young voters. Community groups registered students in nearly 16 high schools across eight states.
27.3 million Latinos are eligible to vote this year, more than any other racial or ethnic group of voters, according to a recent report by the Pew Research Center. The Latino electorate will make up an estimated 11.9 percent of eligible U.S. voters this year, and millennials account for nearly half of us, according to Pew.
But the trick is getting Latinos to the polls. Less than half (48 percent) of the Latino electorate cast a ballot in 2012, compared with 64 percent of whites and 66 percent of blacks.
“The Latino vote may be poised to have a large impact on the
2016 presidential election. Yet, for many reasons, Latino voters are likely to
once again be underrepresented among voters in 2016 compared with their share
of eligible voters or their share of the national population,” according to
Voto Latino, a civil media nonprofit organization, has spent the past 12 years cultivating young Latinos to vote. The organization encourages millennials to incite change through digital campaigns, pop culture and grassroots voices.
“This cycle we’re looking to create our campaign around uniting all movements,” said Maria Urbina, vice president of politics and national campaigns.
That includes engaging people who are passionate about climate change, a woman’s right to choose, immigration and the Black Lives Matter movement, among others. “We want to uplift voices in all those movements,” she told Vivala.
Urbina said the organization “always leads with technology,” particularly to engage young voters. About 40 percent of young Latinos are mobile-only, she said. “We can’t begin a conversation with young Latinos if we’re not even in the same space that they exist in,” she said.
In March, the organization launched VoterPal, an iOS app that aims to modernize and ease the country’s voter registration process.The app pre-populates a person’s name, address, license number and other information from scanning a state driver’s license, which cuts down the time it takes to fill out a voter registration form.
“We want to make it so that you and your friend and your prima can download it,” said Urbina.
Voto Latino CEO Maria Teresa Kumar said the app will take the registration process into the digital age.
“Today, you can find your partner, pay for parking, and order food right from your iPhone, but yet in many states across the country, the process to register to vote remains long and difficult. This is where VoterPal comes in,” she said.
The organization also plans to launch chapters at college
campuses across the country this fall, in time for Hispanic Heritage Month. A
significant objective of these chapters will be to increase voter registration
before the deadline, according to Urbina. It will unveil its most recent voter campaign during its
Power Summit in Las Vegas June 17-18.
Earlier this year, Univision, along with several other media agencies and organizations, published an online voter guide in an effort to mobilize 3 million new Latino voters in the election. The user-friendly tool details the process of voting. Step 1: Register. Step 2: Prepare. Step 3: Vote. The guide also includes details on how the election works and how people can get others to vote.
“You shouldn't need a reason to vote. But if you do, here's a pretty good one: if you don't, someone else will. And you might not like who they're voting for. Vote for your ideals. Vote for your future. Vote for Your America,” the website says.
The network will also broadcast public service announcements across its 126 television and radio stations about the importance of voting.