Record Latino Voter Turnout Expected for AZ Midterms

Alex Gonzalez | Public News Service
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More than 644,000 Arizona Latinos are expected to cast their ballots in November. That’s a 9.6% increase in Latino voter turnout since 2018, and an increase of 77% since 2014. Those estimates are from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials . Dorian Caal, the group’s director of civic engagement research, said the projections are created using trend analysis and historical data – and they don’t take into account factors like outreach efforts which can influence the numbers.

“This number can change depending on what happens leading up the election,” Caal said. “And I think one of the biggest factors certainly could be the engagement of the Latino community – lack thereof, or increased engagement.”

Caal said their data indicates Latinos are paying attention to the upcoming election, but said many Latinos report they had not been contacted by any party, campaign or organization. He recognized some key moments in Arizona history that most likely led to greater voter mobilization and turnout – including S-B 1070 , the so-called “Show Me Your Papers” law that sparked anti-immigrant sentiment across the state. While immigration-related issues have been top of mind for Latino voters, he added it’s important to note that this demographic is not a monolith.

Carolina Rodriguez-Greer, with Mi Familia Vota in Arizona, agreed Latinos are deeply concerned about many issues – from inflation and jobs, to gun safety, crime and abortion rights. She said midterm elections can have a direct local impact. In addition to the highly publicized state and national races, Arizonans will be voting for members of commissions and school boards, and on ballot initiatives. In recent years, her group has had reports of what she termed “somewhat hostile situations” at polling locations. But she remains optimistic.

“This gives me so much hope to expand and broaden the diversity of our state, Rodriguez-Greer said. “Because that means that we have an opportunity to incorporate new voices, new ideas, new perspectives and new solutions to problems that we’re trying to solve here in our state.”

Mi Familia Vota said 83% of the Latinos in its Arizona survey are likely to vote in the 2022 midterms. Rodriguez-Greer said the group’s message is simple: vote, and do so early or by mail. Its website has resources to help people register.