Advocates, Candidates Targeting Latino Voters Days Before Electi - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Advocates, Candidates Targeting Latino Voters Days Before Election

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

PERMIAN BASIN - 25 million. That's the number of Latinos that are eligible to vote this year. But there is worry about low voter turnout for this election.

Why? Partly because of inaction from lawmakers on immigration reform.

"In West Texas, especially Ector County, historically, the turnout for Hispanic voters has been low," Art Leal, President and Chairman for Una Voz Unida, said.

In the last few days before the November fourth election, advocates are taking the streets to get more Hispanics to rock the vote. Especially with the number of eligible Latino voters reaching an all-time high.

"That's where we really need to do a lot of work is those that are eligible, getting them in to register to vote, when you have thousands of Hispanics who are turning 18 every year," Leal said.

To learn about the Latino vote in our community, Una Voz Unida did some research. They found that in 2010, out of 20,500 Hispanics registered to vote, 3,100 cast their ballot. The majority of these voters were women.

Advocates say the two main reasons Latino's don't vote are the lack of information on candidates and being a young, inexperienced voter.

"There's not enough information getting to them about the candidates or what the issues are in the community," Leal said.

In possibly the most anticipated race this election, the race for Texas Governor, candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis have made the Hispanic community a priority, like creating special ads catered to Hispanics and even starting Twitter pages in Spanish.

In a statement provided by the Abbott campaign, they say, "Being married into the Hispanic community for over 33 years, Greg Abbott's approach to communicating with Hispanic voters is rooted in the common ground he has found with his blended family, like their shared values of faith, community, and economic opportunity. Greg Abbott's vision resonates with the Hispanic community and our campaign is ensuring they know about his plan to build a better future for all Texans by visiting the Rio Grande Valley over a dozen times, running Spanish television and radio ads across the state and engaging the Spanish-speaking community online."

The Davis campaign says, "This campaign has launched an unprecedented field operation in Hispanic communities to ensure that voters know the clear difference between Wendy Davis' commitment to all Texas families by investing more in our schools so that children are better prepared for the future and Greg Abbott who continues to defend education cuts that led to overcrowded classrooms and teacher layoffs."

For more information on the voting outreach efforts by Una Voz Unida, head to their Facebook page or website.

For a complete list of places to vote in Midland and Ector counties, click here.
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