Decision 2020

Non-Profit Says the Latino Vote Continues to Be Critical

The 2020 election brought out a historic amount of voters, including young Latinos

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Election Day has come and gone, but the analysis of the data has just begun. As experts break down the numbers, many are looking at how the Latino vote played a role in the 2020 election.

"Most Latinos in the state of Texas are under the age of 18 and so understanding that the 400,000 estimated young people who turned 18, just in time to vote in this election, really did make an impact and we're going to see that breakdown," said LIz Magallanes, the Dallas coordinator for Mi Familia Vota.

The non-profit works to engage Latino communities in civic engagement.

Magallanes said they noticed more people took advantage of early voting, especially because of the pandemic.

As to who Latinos voted for, she said those numbers are starting to come in. For the most part, the trends remain true for Texas, rural communities tend to lean red while urban communities leaning blue, but she said the margin is starting to get closer.

"In the border regions and also obviously in large urban counties, we saw an increase in voters and some of those margins getting smaller, which again, I think we're breaking records also in terms of how competitive Texas counties are. And so hopefully the message I think is very clear for campaigns and candidates. If anyone wants to seriously be considered in the state of Texas, right, we need to invest and not just two weeks before the election, right, but really have some real, authentic and grassroots efforts to really reach out to voters because we want to be heard as well," said Magallanes.

She said older Latinos tend to vote for conservative candidates, while younger Latinos lean towards progressives, but Latinos are not a monolith.

Voters like Ginny Martinez, 18, who voted in her first presidential election said, political parties and candidates shouldn't assume how Latinos will vote, but rather be on the ground listening to their concerns.

"Obviously we need to go out to vote, but I think it's more important politicians need to understand that they need to come to us, instead of them thinking that they own our vote just because of our color, just because we're minorities," said Marinez.

“We're seeing more Latinos run for office, which I think is a good sign that in a healthy democracy right that we create that pipeline, we create that next generation of the electorate, but also young leaders who are ready to step up, who know their communities best, who are the ones who are knocking on these doors and ultimately will be the ones representing us," said Magallanes.

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