|AZ Latino Voting Gets Huge Boost from Outreach Campaign|
|Border Action In The News|
|Friday, June 24 2011 15:30|
June 24, 2011
PHOENIX - An extra 90,000 infrequent Latino voters cast ballots in last year's Arizona mid-term elections as the result of an aggressive voter outreach drive. The nonpartisan "One Arizona" campaign involved 10 statewide nonprofit groups.
Arizona's Latino voter turnout historically has been low, but Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation director Linda Brown says those days have ended.
"Over and over again, we have heard the excuse, 'Latinos don't vote in Arizona.' This project proves that has come to an end, that that is false."
Brown says Arizona's controversial SB 1070 immigration law was a catalyst for the voter drive, which contacted nearly a quarter-million infrequent Latino voters an average of four times apiece in the run-up to the election.
Border Action Network director Jennifer Allen says One Arizona trained hundreds of volunteers who then fanned out last summer in communities across the state.
"Going door-to-door in 100-plus degree temperatures. People were light-headed. People were dehydrated. But people were excited, they were passionate, and they were welcomed by the community who wanted to demonstrate the power of the vote."
The impact of the voter drive should last far longer than one election, according to Arizona Center for Empowerment director Monica Sandschafer. She says that's because so many were signed up for the state's Permanent Early Voting List, where ballots are automatically mailed each election.
"We weren't just thinking about 2010. We were thinking about 2011, 2012, and forever."
Brown says the voter drive's success sends a message to other states considering Arizona-style immigration measures.
"The rest of the nation that is engaged in all of these anti-immigrant, anti-Latino measures at state legislatures and in Congress better take note."
The groups making up One Arizona say they're sticking together and already are making plans to build on last year's accomplishments in coming elections.
Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ
|Last Updated on Friday, August 19 2011 13:12|