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La Opinión Editorial Calls on Latinos to Vote

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Republicans have done nothing for the Latino community, and Democrats have broken their promises to it, which is why some immigration reform advocates have been pushing for a boycott of both parties in this November’s election.  But the way to gain influence and win public policy involves showing power at the ballot box, which is why a La Opinión article today calls on the Latino community to get out and vote.  Read the full editorial below — and also check out a similar column from our own Maribel Hastings from last week.

Register to Vote

Voting is the most important way to exercise democracy. Supporting a candidate or a ballot initiative at the polls is making your voice heard and expressing your opinion on matters you consider important. Doing otherwise is remaining silent and letting others speak up. Whether or not you vote has consequences.

National Voter Registration Day, held yesterday throughout the country, has been growing for the past three years thanks to the work of nonprofit organizations and the private sector.

The goal is simple: dedicate the date to register to vote the largest amount of people eligible to vote. What is most important, in addition to the people who registered yesterday, is that there are many days left to do it. In California, the deadline to register to vote is 15 days before November 4.

That is more than a month away, but don’t delay. Particularly this year, when many Latinos—frustrated with the immigration issue—are not eager to participate in the upcoming election. Very little is directly connected to immigration during a midterm election, where what is at stake are positions in state governments and the U.S. Congress.

In that case, it is very important to vote in favor or against (for the opponent) of a lawmaker who has an anti-immigrant record.

Voting is a personal, private action, but its collective results can be surprising. The best example is the Latino vote, whose impact would be transformative if potential voters registered and voted.

A case in point is Texas. If the 2.1 million Latinos who are eligible to vote registered—and voted—many results would be different in that state. The same would happen in California (2 million potential Latino voters not registered), Florida (608,000) and Arizona (405,000). These are the differences that decide elections.

Electoral apathy is a serious problem in the U.S. Many immigrants come from countries where people have fought and died because they wanted to vote and express themselves politically. Let’s not adopt the bad habit of not voting. Just the opposite: in an environment with few voters, the power of those who do vote multiplies. If you are able to, register and vote