Photo: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain
Photo: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Voto Latino sees surge in voter registrations amid Black Lives Matter protests


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In the wake of nationwide demonstrations reacting to George Floyd’s murder by police officers in Minneapolis, the nation has found a new way to protest: increasing voter registration.

Latino voter registration groups like Voto Latino reported a surge in recent registrations linked to Democratic causes. CNBC reported this surge could end up being one of the defining factors tipping the election towards former Vice President Joe Biden against President Donald Trump.

The leaders of these organizations say many are registering after nationwide outrage at police brutality and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on Black and brown communities.

Voto Latino is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit grassroots organization focused on, “empowering a new generation of Latinx voters,” as well as boosting inclusivity.

Despite the pandemic, Voto Latino says it has been able to keep its voter registration program on track, having reached over 100,000 voters registered for the 2020 cycle in May.

Maria Teresa Kumar, CEO of Voto Latino, told CNBC the organization has already surpassed its goal of registering 20,000 people in the key states of Arizona and Texas, for June.

She says Voto Latino is expected to have 50,000 Latino youth registered by June 14, and is aiming to register at least half-a-million young Latinos by Election Day. Kumar tweeted a response to this milestone, also adding the record was hit in just 72 hours.

Other nonprofits like Mi Familia Vota and Rock the Vote, have seen similar trends.

Such feats seen in key Southwest states like Arizona and Texas, may play a vital role in the upcoming election.

There will be 32 million Latinx voters eligible to vote in 2020, reported Remezcla. Trump secured 29% of the Latinx vote in 2016, and a recent poll by Politico showed 25% of Latinx voters would vote for reelection.

In May, Julián Castro joined forces with Voto Latino, committing to register over 1 million voters. 

“As I said during my campaign for president, the Latinx community can determine the outcome of November’s election,” he said.

“We are living in a really unique moment,” Kumar told CTNewsJunkie. “We need to come together and use this moment and address the system and make a change. We change by will.”

This show of protest through registering to vote signals a change in the political system. With the 2020 election on the horizon, it will determine the strengthening influence of the Latinx vote.

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