Record Number of Latinos Register to Vote as Midterms Near

David Maas, Al Día, October 3, 2018

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{snip} As the country braces for the upcoming midterm elections in November, more Latinos than ever have registered to vote in Pennsylvania, where, Gov. Tom Wolf and Democratic Sen. Bob Casey are waging critical campaigns for reelection.

According to the president of the Pennsylvania Democratic Latino Caucus, David Rodriguez, while official figures won’t be available until the next census, the state’s Latino population has recently surpassed one million. Well over 500,000 Latinos are now registered to vote, said Rodriguez, compared with 440,000 heading into the 2016 presidential elections.

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Most Latinos in Pennsylvania will likely vote Democrat; Rodriguez estimated that more than 80 percent will do so. In Philadelphia, nearly eight out of nine Latinos have registered as Democrats, according to Pennsylvania Department of State figures.

Serna said she is a Democrat, and she has noticed more Latinos registering and planning to vote, spurred on by the policies hostile to Latino communities and immigrants being enacted by the Trump administration.

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Rodriguez, meanwhile, attributed the spike in registration to aggressive grassroots efforts, in addition to the current occupant of the White House.

“Voter registration drives, being more aggressive reaching out, and a lot of it has to do with Trump too. People are more alert of what’s going on because of him, because of his anti-immigration policies, and trying to treat us unfairly,” he said. “Since it’s an attack on our community directly, it gives people more desire to register to vote to try to get him out in 2020.”

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“Immigration reform is the number one issue I’m hearing out there. And jobs—although jobs have increased, more Latinos are not well employed. And, there are issues with healthcare,” he said, referring in particular to efforts by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Pat Christmas, the Policy Director at the Committee of Seventy, a nonpartisan civic leadership organization in Philadelphia, {snip} also credited online voter registration with easing the enrollment process in Pennsylvania for aspiring voters across the board.

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