The Latino population in the United States reached a record 59.9 million , according to recent Census data. This represents 1.2 million more Latinos than More than half of Latinos may be eligible to vote, more than twice as many as in This means that one in 10 voters in the United States is Latino. Despite this, the level of electoral participation is one of the lowest compared to other communities. What is the reason for this?

First, it is important to review some data. According to an analysis published in January by the Pew Research Center, for the first time Latinos are on their way to becoming the largest racial or ethnic minority group of potential voters who will participate in a presidential election. By some 32 million Latinos will be eligible to vote, more than the 30 million African-American voters or the 11 million Asian voters.

Pew projects that Latinos will make up approximately 13.3 of the entire electorate . Latinos made up 11.9 of the electorate.

White voters will continue to be the majority of the electorate with 66.7, but Latino and Asian growth means that by the approximately one third of eligible voters will be non-white.

However, having a larger number of potential voters does not mean they will go to the polls. In recent elections, African-American voters were more likely than Latinos to vote, according to the Pew report.

The number of Latinos who did not vote, in fact, is more than the number of those who did vote in every presidential election 40.4 of all Latino voters cast their vote in during the midterm elections, which was progress if we consider that only 27 of all Latino voters participated. However, the reality is that six out of 10 Latinos did not go to the polls. In contrast, 57.5 of all white voters cast their vote in while in the African-American community this figure was 51.4.

The growing number of Latinos eligible to vote are mainly young people born in the United States who have turned 18. This is a blessing and a curse, since historically young people have very low rates of voter registration and participation.

It is understandable that there is a certain distrust of the political class, but what should never be justified is apathy. Many young people think that the future is in someone else’s hands, and they prefer to engage in other activities or distractions. If you have a young voter in your home, it is your duty to educate this person about his or her civic duties. If you do not know how the system works, visit the Carolina Board of Elections website . There you will find a complete guide on to register and the dates to vote.

There is great potential, especially in our region. In terms of population growth, the South has experienced the largest increase in Latino population compared to any other region in the United States. The Latino population in the South grew by 33% to 22.7 million in which is 5.6 million more than in This has multiple implications, including a powerful electorate in this part of the country. Today, more than ever, we need every vote. We need our voice to be heard once and for all. It is time to awaken the Latino vote.

Diego Barahona A.

Periodista, editor, asesor, y presentador. De 2016 a 2019 el periodista más galardonado en Estados Unidos por los Premios José Martí. Autor del best seller: ¿Cómo leer a las personas?

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