3,000 Latino voters signed up door to door
Seven workers are going door to door in Yuma County to get eligible Latino voters to register for permanent early voting ballots.
“They are going by precinct and talking to folks,” said Francisco Heredia, Arizona state director for Mi Familia Vota and spokesman for One Arizona, the organizations behind the effort.
“It has been mainly Latino voters that we are trying to make sure sign up on the permanent early voter list because we feel that by them being on this list they have ample time to make an informed decision on the candidates and propositions that are going to be on the ballot.”
In just two months, the seven canvassers have gotten more than 3,000 local Hispanics to sign up for the early ballot.
“Our goal was above 3,000 and we've met that goal,” Heredia said.
The group is nonpartisan, and Heredia said it is not their intention to tell voters who to vote for.
“We just tell them to fill it out, sign the envelope and send it back so their vote counts.”
Statewide, Mi Familia Vota and One Vote Arizona have registered 20,000 new voters in four months.
“What is more impressive is we have registered over 43,000 on the permanent early voting list,” Heredia said, adding that many Hispanics don't vote regularly.
“That's been the recent history of Latinos — that they are the sleeping giant and never show up. Through our work we hope to change that and hopefully provide a consistent message of participating in the civic life of this country — not just by voting, but by participating in their community and maybe becoming future politicians by running for office.”
Getting Hispanics to register for the permanent early ballot will ensure their involvement in the political process, Heredia said.
“The permanent early voting list is important because not only will they receive a ballot for this election, but for every future election.”
The group's work will not be over with the Nov. 2 election, Heredia said.
“We will keep on working. This doesn't stop here. One Arizona and our efforts will continue after the election. Our goal is to keep the momentum going so people are becoming citizens — if they are eligible — registering to vote, registering on the permanent early voter list and turning out to vote in local elections.”
For more information, log on to onearizona.org.
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.