New Citizens Prepare to Vote on November 4th
There has been a lot of buzz around the Latino vote during the upcoming election. As I've mentioned a number of times, community organizations are hitting neighborhoods and precincts, registering Latinos and new citizens to vote in record numbers. From the LA Times:
In an effort to get new citizens registered and to the polls, community groups are walking precincts, conducting phone banks, holding forums and distributing multilingual voter guides.
The Ya es Hora, ¡Ve y Vota!, (It's Time, Go Vote!) campaign aims to involve Latino immigrants in the electoral process and force politicians to listen. But first, many of the new citizens need help with the logistics, such as filling out registration forms and finding polling places.
But, it is not just the immigrant Latino vote that is being mobilized; Asian American communities are also registering many new voters and engaging in the political process like never before.Asian American groups are also reaching out to new citizens in their community. They are distributing "easy voter guides" in various languages, including Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean and are calling registered voters in their own languages.
"To get a personal phone call in their language is rare for them," said Eugene Lee, voting right project director at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. "It makes a difference."
Eun Sook Lee, who works with Korean Americans, said new citizens are attending voter presentations about the political process and the current ballot initiatives. She said they are concerned about many of the same issues, including the economy and healthcare, as other Americans.
"There is a lot of heightened interest in our community," she said.
Not only will these new voters have an impact in the upcoming November 4th elections, but they will change the way immigrant communities approach civic and political engagement across the country. Their voices will be heard in a way that is unprecendented.