Today is National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) and it's become more critical than ever, especially for young Latinos. That's
because by 2016, there will be an estimated 58.1 million Latinos living in the
United States. As the Latino population continues to grow, so does the
importance of the Latino vote. According to Voto Latino, Latinos over the age
of 18 will comprise 16 percent of the U.S. adult population within a year. The
U.S. Census estimates that around 800,000 Latinos turn 18 every year and
because 93 percent of Latino children living in the states are U.S. born
citizens, that means most of us are eligible
to vote. It's no wonder presidential candidates are working hard to boost their
momentum among Latino voters. It would be pretty much impossible for any
candidate to win without us.
It's the first time in American history we've seen
the Latino vote made such a high priority in a presidential election. Both parties
seem to be making extra efforts to go after our community. But even though the Hispanic vote is
going to be key for all presidential contenders in 2016, it's going to take
a lot more than speaking Spanish or having immigrant parents to appeal
to the Latino demographic.
11 million undocumented immigrants (many of whom are Latino) make immigration a big issue for us. Latino wants to know what candidates plans are for comprehensive immigration reform. They want to see a path to citizenship for their relatives, especially since Obama was not able to fulfill his promises with regards to this issue. Aside from immigration, we want to know what candidates are going to do in terms of education, the economy, and health care.
Many believe that a large reason GOP presidential Mitt Romney lost the election back in 2012 was because he won just 27 percent of the Latino vote. So far Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are considered the Republican candidates with the highest chance to win over Latino voters. In fact, according to the new Washington Post-ABC News poll, the Florida governor is actually doing better among Latino voters than among whites. As far as Democrats are concerned, Hillary Rodham Clinton recently addressed 1,200 Latino leaders gathered in Las Vegas, claiming she'd do more than President Obama to stop deportations and make immigration reform happen.
November 8, 2016 is going to be a very important day for all of us. But if we want to see change we need to step up and vote. So don't just register to vote, make sure to get all your friends and family to register as well. Log on to Voterparticipation.org to get started.