Arizona organizers have registered 75,000 new Latino voters in time for the November election, making it the largest voter registration effort in the state’s history, according to KJZZ.
Mi Familia Vota reached a goal of 75,000 new Latino voters with about a month left to go before next month’s registration deadline, according to Deputy Director Eduardo Sainz. Now the group has upticked their original goal to 100,000 new Latino voters.
Sainz tells KJZZ:
“We are trying to make sure we are meeting our community where they are,” Sainz said. “For some of them, their first language is Spanish, so we are reaching out to them, and we are talking to them and educating them in their own language where they feel comfortable.”
“The next step is to make sure that those voters that we register are getting out to vote either early voting or on election day,” Sainz said. “So after the election, [the next phase] is talking to the voters to see how much 1-888-VEY-VOTA and the campaign had an impact on the election.”
According to Mi Familia Vota registration data, the majority of the new Arizonan Latinos are registering either Independent or Democrat. However, who people choose to vote for doesn’t matter, Sainz said.
Although Arizona has gone blue only once since World War II — for President Bill Clinton in 1996 — state Democrats are seizing upon Donald Trump’s bleak polling in the state in hopes of handing a historic victory to Hillary Clinton:
“Anticipation is high this year,” said Enrique Gutiérrez, a spokesman for the Arizona Democratic party. “You can feel the excitement in our volunteers, at phone banks and training. It’s really boosting morale for Democrats and for our supporters here in the state.”
Opinion polls show Clinton within striking distance of Trump in Arizona and Georgia, traditionally conservative states now in the churn of major demographic change.
Clinton trails Trump by just two points in Arizona; according to the RealClearPolitics.com polling average, a smattering of recent surveys show her with a small edge.
“Even if Republicans carry Arizona,” writes political scientist Victoria Defrancesco Soto in a recent NBC News Latino piece, “it will be by the skin of their teeth and it will be one of the last times it happens.”
Defrancesco Soto also notes “demography is not destiny,” but it’s certainly not hurting. Earlier this week, Arizona Dream Act Coalition co-founder and community leader Dulce Matuz became a US citizen along with some 140 other people in a Phoenix naturalization ceremony.
Matuz’s first act as a citizen upon exiting the venue? Registering to vote.
Former DREAMer and activist Dulce Matuz (left) registers to vote after being naturalized as a U.S. citizen pic.twitter.com/mNh8Ri7mGv
— Brian Fore (@bforephoto) September 19, 2016