Posted 5:27 PM 10/22/2012 : Organizations reminding Latinos to vote
TUCSON - Across the country, a record 24 million Latinos are eligible to vote, but turnout has lagged in the past.
About 43 percent of Latinos in Arizona are eligible to vote giving the state the fifth largest Hispanic voting population in the U.S.
Local organizations are trying to urge Latinos to have their voices heard. Mi Familia Vota is one of those organizations that canvass neighborhoods like this one to make sure that Hispanics get out and vote.
The dogs and heat aren't stopping Brienda Bustamante. She is canvassing the area to remind Hispanic eligible voters to vote. "Sometimes people do forget," said Bustamante.
Or, some decide not to vote altogether. This year a record number of Latinos, near 24 million, are eligible to vote, but according to the Pew Hispanic Center, historically Latino voter turnout lags behind the turnout of blacks and whites.
In 2008, only 50 percent of eligible Latino voters cast ballots.
"Sometimes in our community we think our vote doesn't matter," said Magdalena Verdugo with Chicanos Por La Causa.
The organization tells us they've also made it a priority to register their clients to vote. "It's very important for us," said Verdugo.
Some of this outreach is working.
"I think it's pretty important," said Raquel Gonzales.
As a result of these organizations, 20-year-old Gonzales has registered to vote for the first time.
"I'm excited. Really excited," said Gonzales. "I feel like if the person that I didn't want won, I would have a little part in that, and I would feel bad about that."
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