Get Out the Vote Initiative Targets Latina Voters

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With less than two weeks until the presidential election, a get-out-the-vote initiative is targeting Latina voters in North Texas.

Women wearing pink shirts with ‘LATINA VOTER’ in white letters united outside the Oak Cliff Sub-Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon for a 'Meet Us at the Polls - Latinas Vote' event.

It is a sisterhood of local Hispanic female leaders.

“We ignited a campaign to say ‘hey girl, we see you. We want you to come out. We want to be here with you,’” said Veronica Torres Hazley, founder of Hey Chica! Movement. “We’re not picking parties. We just want you to come out and vote and show up. We want to have fun doing it. Sort of bringing sexy back to voting.”

Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia was among the group of women encouraging Latinas to vote.

T-Shirts Handed Out to Latina Voters in Oak Cliff

“It’s about education for our children,” said Garcia of the issues important to voters. “It’s about jobs. It’s about healthcare. It’s about equity in pay.”

While early voting numbers are surging across the nation and in North Texas, it’s not yet clear how decisive the Hispanic vote will be.

“In Latino precincts, numbers have been going up too. That’s all we know right now,” said Garcia when asked about the number of Latinos turning out to vote.

Political data firm TargetSmart shows its data collection analysis found 700,000 Hispanic Texans have voted so far this election, compared to 100,000 at this point in 2016; a 600% increase.

“That would be absolutely extraordinary,” said SMU political science professor Cal Jillson of these figures. “I would be suspicious.”

Jillson explains that although Hispanics account for 40% of the population in Texas, not all are U.S. citizens and not all Hispanic U.S. citizens vote. Only about 25% cast a ballot.

The ethnic group as a whole is also not a monolithic voting group.

Hispanics in California, he said, tend to lean liberal while Hispanics in Florida tend to lean Republican given the large Cuban population.

Texans he said, “tend to vote two to one Democrat because most Hispanics in Texas are of Mexican extraction.”

And even within the Latino community, voters can also vary.

“Hispanic women, like Black women, lean heavily to the Democrats,” said Jillson. “Some Black men and more Hispanic men lean more toward Trump and the Republicans.”

While people may think the border and immigration is top of mind for Latinos, “that’s not usually first on Hispanic minds,” said Jillson. “It’s education and healthcare.”

Especially among this group comprising a large percentage of “essential workers” and hardest hit by COVID-19.

Whatever the issue, this group of women says ‘su voto es su voz.’  Your vote is your voice.

The next stop for the ‘Meet Us at the Polls’ event for Latina voters is Friday at 5 p.m. at Eastfield College in Pleasant Grove.

Early Voting Wait Times

Voting locations are open at different times on different days. Click here to see a schedule by county. Anyone standing in line at when the polling location closes will be allowed to vote.

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