The number of eligible Latino voters has never been as high as it is now. According to a Pew Research study 32 million Latinos could cast a ballot in this election.
However, there is a sentiment among many Latino voters that their vote won’t make a difference. Dora Ramirez, of El Paso, Texas, tells me she is sick and tired of issues facing the Latino community not being addressed by politicians.
“We bring money into the economy, we work in the economy. People would not have strawberries or lettuce or avocados if people did not go out and work, and yet they are dismissing us as if we are nothing," said Ramirez.
In an effort to engage voters, volunteers were out at a local food pantry. Every person driving up for food is asked if they are registered to vote and if they know where to drop off their ballot.
Many have described the Latino vote as a “sleeping giant." A Pew Research study is showing the “sleeping giant” could come to life during this election showing there are 5.6 million registered Latino voters in Texas, 7.9 million in California, 3.1 million in Florida, 2 million in New York and more than a million in Arizona. Latino voters in Texas could potentially turn it into a swing state.
Beto O’Rourke and his team from Powered By The People are ramping up their efforts to get people to register to vote. O’Rourke says he has heard from many Latino voters that they don’t feel included by political parties and will not vote, but a group that he is seeing become quite active is the younger Latino community.
“Those young people, I believe, are not only going to vote in record numbers, but they are getting their folks and their grandparents and the people in their lives to vote as well," said O’Rourke.
Miranda Escobar Gregory is one of those young Latinos. At 20 years old, this will be her first time voting.
“I know that I now have more of a voice than I did 2 years ago," said Escobar Gregory.
Born and raised in El Paso, as a first-generation Mexican American she faces some unique challenges in adapting her own political believes and still respecting those of her conservative upbringing.
“If we have a strong presence in this country, why are we not using our voice to represent us and letting other people do it for us," said Escobar Gregory.
Escobar Gregory is one of the more than 3 million registered young Latino voters, a group many believe will show up in record numbers during this election.