THE COVID ELECTIONS

José López Zamorano | La Red Hispana 
Photo Credit: La Red Hispana

Less than 100 days after the crucial presidential elections on November 3, it has become clear that health issues related to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and popular protests against racial injustices have been central to the concerns of American voters in general, but Latino voters in particular.

This is a logical emphasis since it is documented that minorities in general, and Latinos in particular, have been disproportionately decimated by the COVID-19 crisis. In the same way, we are the minorities most affected by the pernicious effect of prejudice and discrimination that are most dramatically expressed in the unequal rates of incarceration, but also in the daily interaction with the forces of law and order.

A recent poll by the Latino Decisions organization produces worrying conclusions: Latinos, especially the youngest, currently show less enthusiasm about the 2020 electoral process than the beginning of the year and regarding the same period in the electoral process of the 2016.

The poll also found that Latino voters show low levels of information about voting by mail options and how the COVID-19 pandemic could affect their access to the polls on November 3. On the issue of racial injustice, Latino voters, especially youth, support the Black Lives Matter movement, as they view police violence as systemic.

All of which confirms that both partisan, social, community organizations and traditional and digital media have to do a better role in filling the remaining information deficits among our community, as well as looking for innovative ways to touch the conscience and the heart of Latino voters.

Fortunately there is good news. The organization Latino Vote reported that in June alone, it managed to register more than 97,000 people, 80% of whom are under 33 years of age and 75% of them women, according to its leader María Teresa Kumar. Her message is clear: Vote for your future, vote for your community, vote for those who cannot and vote because if they don’t, others will do it for you.

Other organizations have taken a different approach, appealing to our nature as social animals, where keeping our word, with your sense of individual responsibility and with commitments to your community, are the main arguments to encourage our community to give the first step to register to vote, and attend the polls.

On November 3, Latinos will be the largest racial or ethnic group to vote, with a record 32 million eligible voters, or 13.3% of all eligible voters. Beyond that if you have been contacted by campaigns or by politicians or groups – if you are eligible, vote.

Few times have there been so many alternatives to register to vote. With La Red Hispana you can do it by sending a text message with the word VOTE to 52886. It is the first step to claim your right to define your future.

For more information visit www.laredhispana.com.

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Opinion

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