Two stories today about Hispanics and voting. It seems the catch-phrase “Today we March, Tomorrow we Vote” hasn’t quite materialized.
The AP reviewed new registration numbers over several years in metropolitan areas that include Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.; Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Dallas and Houston; Chicago; Atlanta; Denver; and Jacksonville and St. Petersburg, Fla. The time frames included January-through-July periods dating to 2004 and periods before statewide elections, when registration efforts are most intense.
The data provide a wide-angle look at new registrations, but do have limitations. Any significant shift in registrations overall would stand out, but voters are not specifically identified by race or ethnicity. As a result, an increase in new registrations in Los Angeles County in the 100 days before this June’s primary compared to the months before two prior statewide elections cannot be attributed exclusively to new Hispanic voters, despite extensive registration efforts here.
Gains in new registrations were highest in 2004, when political parties spent lavishly to enroll new voters ahead of the presidential election.
New registrations increased in virtually every city from 2005 to 2006 – but that would be expected because of congressional primaries and elections. The 2006 numbers were below the 2004 numbers in every city.
Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials has joined the effort:
While joining the national effort to register a million new voters by 2008, GALEO has been warning its volunteers to keep their expectations low.
Since many Hispanics are not U.S. citizens and therefore can’t vote, Gonzalez has told his teams to plan on registering one out of 10 people they talk to, adding up to about 1,000 through the end of August. The volunteers are active in Carroll, Chatham, Clark, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Troup and Whitfield counties.