The Power of Voting in Our Hands

Each day the elections are getting closer and with an electoral campaign that is very against immigration, the Hispanic community should be aware of the importance of going out to the polls if they are able exercise their right to vote. Just as in the previous presidential elections, the Hispanic community will be a major part in determining who will be the new president of the United States. According to the Census Bureau, about 55 million Hispanics live in the United States. Of these, more than 23 million were eligible to vote in the 2012 presidential election, but only 11 million went to the polls in November of that year.

Even so, in the middle of the close race between the democrats and the republicans, those 11 million that were inclined to Barack Obama were responsible for tipping the scales in his favor to get to the White House on two occasions. It also needs to be taken into account that Hispanics have the highest political power in key states such as New Mexico, Texas, and California; where they make up respectively 40%, 27% and 27% of the voting population.

According to estimates from the Pew Research Center, due to the exponential growth, the Hispanic electorate has been projected to reach the record figure of 11.9% of the total of American voters in 2016, approaching the numbers of the African American population, with 12.4%.

The Number of Hispanics Eligible to Vote vs. the Number That Actually Are Voting

Thus, the total number of voters of this sector of the population that participated in the elections has experienced a steady growth from the 9.7 million who exercised their right in 2008 to 11.2 million in 2012.

However, its impact on the presidential election could be reduced due to the low Latin voter turnout, since only 48 % of Hispanics voted, while the numbers of Caucasians and African Americans amounted to 64.1 and 66.6%, respectively.

In addition, the high presence of voters under 35 years of age in the electorate reduces the impact of the Hispanic vote, as only 38% of young people voted in 2012 versus 53.9% registered among those that exceeded the cited barrier of age.

Minors under the age of 35 years represent 44% of the more than 27 million Hispanic voters who will be able to access the polls in the upcoming us presidential elections of 2016.

This data makes the Hispanic youth born from 1981 onward in the population have a greater presence within its group, in comparison with the representation of minors under the age of 35 years between African Americans and Asians, which does not exceed 35%, and white, which only reaches 27%.

Thus, between 2012 and 2016, nearly 3.2 million Hispanic born individuals in the United States will reach the age of majority required to be be a part of the voting process; a lesser figure in comparison with the 42 million Caucasians under the age of 35 years who also possess this right.

For this reason, different organizations are promoting the Latino vote and, to those who have the right to exercise democracy, get out to the polls. They are also promoting the campaign “Citizenship 1-2-3“, with the end goal of those residents that have the “Green Card“ to become citizens so that they can get out to vote.

It is important to keep in mind that the most effective way to enforce our rights and demand to fulfill the promises made to our community is to have an important electoral weight and that every vote count

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