U.S. Hispanics Ramp Up Drive to Register Voters

Syantani Chatterjee, Reuters, July 18, 2008

U.S. Hispanic activists laid out plans on Friday to register 2 million new Latino voters to boost the clout of the United States’ fastest-growing voter bloc in the November presidential election.

Organizers representing more than 100 grass-roots Hispanic organizations from a dozen states met in Los Angeles to fine-tune a drive to get Latinos to sign up and vote in the November 4 election.

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Organizers of the initiative say activists will seek to register voters through community-based drives, focused on battleground states such as Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico that they say have been overlooked by both Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama.

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In recent weeks both McCain and Obama have addressed several national Hispanic organizations in their hunt for votes, stressing economic and educational proposals they said would help Latinos as well as reviving plans for a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws.

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The drive to encourage Latinos to vote began in earnest last year after hundreds of thousands of Hispanics marched through the streets of many U.S. cities calling for an overhaul of immigration laws.

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