There’s a possibility that many Latino voters will stay home and not vote at all during the November midterm elections, because they’ve lost faith in the political system.
That’s the message that several experts expressed at a panel discussion about the Latino vote held Wednesday during the last day of the American Latino National Summit, which was organized by the New America Alliance Institute and held in San Antonio.
“One of the things that we’re learning is that many Latinos don’t believe in our political system anymore,” Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) said during the panel discussion. “They don’t think candidates really are true to their promises when they campaign. They don’t think their votes make a difference.”
&amp;lt;img src=”https://ionevoxxi.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/optimized-img_6069.jpg?w=300&amp;amp;#038;h=200″ alt=”Arturo Vargas” width=”300″ height=”200″ /&amp;gt;NALEO is projecting that more than 7.8 million Latino voters will head to the polls this November and will account for nearly 8 percent of the nation’s voters.
But Vargas and other Latino leaders pointed out during Wednesday’s panel discussion that if more Latinos turned out to vote, those numbers would be higher.
Currently, 25 million Latinos are eligible to vote in the United States but less than half of them actually turn out to vote during elections. And an estimated 900,000 Latinos U.S. citizens turn 18 every year.
Vargas also insisted that more needed to be done to reengage Latino voters “because otherwise we will continue to be underperforming to our potential.” He said one way to do that is by telling Latinos how the political process really works and convincing them to trust the process.
“We need to stop lying to our voters and telling them that if you vote this one time or if you vote for this one candidate or this one campaign, your life is going to change forever. It’s not,” he said. “It’s not about one election. It’s about your constant engagement in the political process.”
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