One in five Arizona voters are Latino, and estimates predict the majority of them plan to vote in November.
As Arizonans gear up for a heated election season, signs increasingly point to a record-breaking number of Latino voters making their way to the ballot box this fall.
A new report by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials estimates that 644,600 Latino voters will vote in the 2022 midterm elections in Arizona this year.
Their projection is based on trends in voter turnout in the past five midterm congressional elections. Between 2014 and 2018, there was a dramatic increase of 61.5 percent in turnout.
Here’s a brief breakdown:
- 2014: 364,000 Latinos voted in the midterm elections
- 2018: 588,000 Latinos voted in the midterm elections
- 2022: 644,600 projected Latino voters in the midterm elections
By the Numbers
So why are so many Latinos becoming civically involved?
For starters, the Latino population is expanding. Between 2010 and 2020, Arizona’s population grew from 6.4 million to 7.2 million, an increase of 11.9 percent.
During the same period, the state’s Latino population grew from 1.9 million to 2.2 million, increasing by 15.7 percent.
According to Pew Research, Latinos in Arizona make up nearly 30% of the state’s population. Of that 30%, 24% of Latinos are eligible voters.
By comparison, the state’s non-Latino population increased by 10.3 percent. The increase in Arizona’s Latino population accounted for 39.1 percent of the state’s population growth during the past decade.
Strong Community Ties
Secondly, more Latino organizations are engaging with the community, informing them about what’s at stake during election cycles and working with them year-round on various issues important to Latino voters.
“There’s definitely been growth in the community,” said Vianey De Anda, Civic Engagement Communications Director at Progress Arizona, to Copper Courier. “Our partners provide direct services from can drives and providing food to low-income communities, even immigration services like civic classes for those who would just become citizens or for them to become citizens.”
She added, “And even DACA recipient clinics—although obviously, they can’t vote. However, those services exist. And through that, many of these communities are also of mixed status. So some of them may not be able to vote, but maybe a sibling or a partner can. And really, it’s all this intersectionality that’s also bringing people together and engaging them.”
Latino organizations are proactive about registering voters as soon as they reach the legal age to vote and when they become US citizens. Groups including Lucha AZ, Mi Familia Vota, and the Arizona Center for Empowerment help Latinos navigate the process from gaining citizenship to registering to vote on the spot.
“Right then and there, as soon as an individual becomes a citizen, they can approach those volunteers and register to vote right then and there,” De Anda said.
A Growing Grassroots Movement
Another aspect that is helping more Latinos register to vote is that these organizations are going door-to-door, talking one-one with potential voters, something that they say politicians never do, especially in rural areas.
“Our efforts are to focus on rural communities that are often forgotten,” said Alan Gonzalez of Rural Arizona Action to Copper Courier. “We focus on rural communities that otherwise wouldn’t be reached to educate them about voting, registering them to vote, try to make plans to vote, and helping get to know who their elected officials are, amongst other things.”
Gonzalez added that Rural Arizona Action informs the public on the issues that affect them personally rather than speaking about the national issues.
“The way we frame it is the issues that affect you down the street, in your block, or in your neighborhood that are often lost in the shadow of whatever national issue is going around,” Gonzalez said.
Enough to Change the Tide
The increase in Latino voters isn’t just due to population growth—it’s also because they can see their vote is actually making a significant difference.
President Biden won Arizona because of the Latino turnout. The size and turnout of the Latino electorate helped Biden become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since Bill Clinton in 1996, according to a report published by the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative.
“The report makes it clear that Latino voters are a swing electorate,” said Rodrigo Dominguez-Villegas, one of the report’s authors and the research director for the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative. “That means that future campaigns seeking to capture their vote must engage in meaningful outreach and engagement.”
Click below to learn more about how you can get involved with local Latino Arizona organizations near you.
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