Historic 1.4 Million Increase in Hispanic Voters Already Casting Ballots in Midterm Election
By: María Teresa Kumar, President & CEO of Voto Latino
This is not only the year of the Latinx, the Millenial, the LGBTQ candidate, and fierce women. This is the year that the people of this country stood up and together declared that we will not stand for the hate and racist rhetoric that has been used against us. It is the year that together we made our voices heard, organized our hearts out, and showed the power of our people at the ballot box.
This year, before Election Day even started, more than 35 million Americans had already voted in the 2018 midterm elections — a 76 percent increase over the 20 million people who had voted at this point in 2014. Young people have cast 125 percent more ballots than they cast in 2014 and women have substantially increased their early vote turnout in key states, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Nevada. And nationwide, 3 million Hispanic voters have already cast ballots, a whopping increase of 1.4 million more than those who voted early in 2014. These numbers are historic — and they are not by accident.
Despite all the efforts by Trump and alt-right leaders to denigrate the Latino vote, Voto Latino and our partners remained squarely focused on registering more people to vote and getting them to the polls before the midterm elections. That’s why earlier this year we launched Somos Más, a three-year effort to organize, register and mobilize a new generation of American voters. Along with over 80 diverse partners across the country, Voto Latino worked tirelessly to turn the energy of our Latinx community into votes.
For over a decade, Voto Latino has been investing in and growing a base of local young Latinx leaders through civic and digital engagement in states like California, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, New Mexico and Nevada. And it has worked. We’re seeing that organizing 365 days a year is effective and digital engagement pays off. This full-on engagement has resulted in unprecedented voter registration numbers and early vote numbers of both Latinx and millenials. Through collaborative efforts with partners, local volunteer chapters, and celebrity platforms we were able to make incredible gains. Together we:
- Registered 202,339 voters this year in time for the 2018 midterm elections, using a combination of digital engagement, community outreach, earned media and via Voterpal — an app Voto Latino launched to ease voter registration. Over 90% of voters registered live in 11 critical states for 2018, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Texas;
- Hosted over 70 grassroots events, across 10 states, and made over 1,663,000 GOTV touches through email and text;
- Trained over 600 young people in Texas and Central Valley California alone;
- Partnered with Lyft, Steve Madden & Johnny Walker to offer 8,000 free Lyft rides in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Floria New Mexico, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin; and
- Advanced the message of the Latinx vote through the Somos Más campaign on shows like Ellen and media outlets including Univision, Telemundo, MSNBC, Texas Tribune and more, along with with dozens of celebrity influencers including Hillary & Chelsea Clinton, Natalie Portman, Rosario Dawson, Alicia Keys, Liza Koshy, Chelsea Handler, Mark Cuban, Wilmer Valderrama, America Ferrera, and John Lewis.
We don’t know what the results of today’s elections will be, but we know with certainty that so many of us poured everything we had into building a democracy that represents all the people that make this country beautiful. Really, we have already won in so many ways.