Latino voters hope to make a difference in election

With a jump in Latino registration and early voting, Hispanic voters hope to make a difference in United States election.

WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 08, 2016) (REUTERS) – Latino voters in the Washington D.C. area were hoping their voices would make a difference on Election Day in the United States.

“I think so because there are many of us Latinos in the United States and the Latino vote will count a lot,” said first time voter 19-year-old Juan Guevara, who was originally from El Salvador.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has polled much stronger among Latino voters nationwide: a Washington Post/Univision poll released last week gave her 67 percent of the Hispanic vote to Republican Donald Trump’s 19 percent. Trump has fared poorly with America’s largest minority voting group, having repeatedly angered Hispanics with disparaging comments about their communities.

“Hopefully it (Latino vote) puts Hillary Clinton in and shows Donald Trump and all his supporters that we don’t need that kind of mindset in our country,” said Connie Ariga-Oliver.

Early voting data may portend a jump in the number of Hispanic voters this year, especially in the key swing states of Nevada and Florida, and Clinton would likely be the biggest beneficiary.

“It (Latino community) is receiving the power that they didn’t have in their own countries. And it is realizing that you have to march, you have to unite, you have to move forward, you have to elect the people that have our voice, not only to speak our language but to have our hearts in theirs,” said Liliana Tatum, who works as a therapist at a community organization that serves the Latino community.

The former president of Costa Rica and Chief of the Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) Laura Chinchilla, said the Latino community has seen “important gains” in their participation in the electoral process.

“The reports that we have that there have been important gains in registration of Hispanics and their participation in early voting, and it looks like as a consequence their participation in the general voting will increase. That is a good thing because part of what we are observing is the participation of minorities in the political process. Let’s remember the Hispanic vote, the Hispanic voter, has had the least amount of participation in this country,” she said after visiting a polling place in Arlington, Virginia.

Trump kicked off his maverick campaign last year by describing Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, and made a tough stance on immigration a signature part of his vision for America. He called for a wall to be built on the border and said an American-born federal judge could not do his job because of his Mexican heritage.