133,000 Florida Latinos Already Cast Ballots
2016 GOTV and canvassing operations and pro-immigrant energy and enthusiasm are helping to bolster candidates who support pro-immigrant policies in key Latino-heavy states, including Florida. Reportedly, 133,000 Florida Latinos have already cast their ballots in Florida – a 99% increase compared to 2012.
“There are lot of important issues at stake – from minimum wage to immigration reform,” said Maria Mejia, a first time voter who attended an early vote rally at Jackson Memorial Hospital. “We need to come out so that we can send a strong message that we don’t want Donald Trump as our next President.”
A new battleground state study from Latino Decisions and commissioned by NALEO highlights the Trump-effect across Florida, as 68% of Florida Latino voters believe that the Republican Party doesn’t “care too much” or is “hostile” towards the Hispanic community. And, as Politico’s Marc Caputo outlines in a new piece, the Clinton campaign is seizing on this opportunity to lean into and turn out the Hispanic vote:
“From the complexion of Florida’s electorate to absentee-voting trends, Hillary Clinton’s campaign boasts in a national memo that it’s in prime position to deliver the Sunshine State to the Democrat as in-person early voting begins today in most large counties
‘…Democrats successfully outpaced Republicans in registering new voters, therefore expanding our electorate,’ [Clinton’s Florida state director, Simone] Ward wrote. ‘In this year alone, nearly 754,000 new voters were added to the rolls, of which 259,000 were Democrats and 206,000 Republicans.’
The voter rolls are also less white. And, polls show, a blacker and browner electorate increases the chances the state turns Democratic blue for the third presidential election in a row.
‘Moreover, Democrats have made significant gains in diversifying the state’s electorate,” Ward writes. ‘In October 2012, Florida’s electorate was 67 percent white versus 64 percent in 2016 — a 3 (point) drop.’”
Elbert Garcia, State Director of Florida’s Voice, said, “Unfortunately for the Republican Party, while they may claim that Latinos “don’t get out and vote,” that is clearly not the case this cycle. After 16 months of the GOP’s racist and bigoted rhetoric and policy proposals, the Latino community and our allies are fighting back across the country. They know the stakes are just too high to sit this one out.”
GOTV efforts like the Love Bus Project are helping to get voters to the polls in South Florida