Latino Vote Update

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Francisco Heredia, with One Arizona talks about early voting data in Arizona.


José Cárdenas: Good evening I'm José Cárdenas. We'll have an update on numbers for Latino voter turnout in Arizona. Plus, learn about a valley organization providing donated medical supplies and equipment to developing countries around the world. And "Hispanic Business" magazine names its 50 most influential Hispanics in the nation. We'll hear from one of the two recognized in Arizona. Straight ahead on "Horizonte."

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José Cárdenas: Thank you for joining us. According to the PEW research center, democrats maintained a large edge along Latinos voting in the federal mid term elections, but in some states Republican candidates won more than 40% of the Latino vote. Francisco Heredia, executive director of Mi Familia Vota, is here to talk about some of the early voting data and voting projections. Welcome back to "Horizonte." We do want to talk about those federal elections, but let's talk about the voting in Arizona, both state and federal. Give us -- I know it's very preliminary, but tell us what we know so far.

Francisco Heredia: From the data we have, and we still have incomplete data as far as folks that voted on election day, that data is coming in in the next couple weeks, but the data we have shows historically low turnout for a mid term, nationally and in Arizona. Currently the secretary of state has it as 47%, so more than half of all voters -- Of all voters did not participate in this year's mid term election. That has an effect with all voters, including Latinos. For Latinos specific, we will see a drop-off from 2010, but as far as -- There's nuggets there, highlights we can take from -- As far as projections, Latino seems like it will be the same as 2010, about 12%, 13% of all votes cast amongst Latinos. We know also Latinos are voting by mail more and more each election cycle. So we will see about a 10% increase for about -- Or about 68, 70% of Latinos who casted a ballot this year, will be voting by mail.

José Cárdenas: So a few pieces of good news, so to speak, amongst what would otherwise be a fairly disappointing -- You said 47%, isn't that higher than what was projected?

Francisco Heredia: Yeah. So we were basing off numbers from 2010, which was not a very good year for turnout. It was 55% in 2010, amongst all voters. So we were base our numbers that we were -- We will be around the same numbers as 2010, but this year it was a drop-off amongst all voters, like I said, 47% amongst all voters, which had an impact amongst Latino voters in this year's mid terms.

José Cárdenas: In terms of parts of the state, any information on how, for example, Maricopa County compared to Pima county?

Francisco Heredia: That's the analysis we're doing right now. I think it's the same as far as low turnout amongst everybody, Latinos, including like I said, there's little nuggets there, highlights that we want to keep on working as far as folks registering on the primarily voting list, making sure they participate by mail, and get all needed information, so as we do that in analysis, we will have more on what happened in this year's election, but various issues, the issues that candidates talked about. The voter apathy, not having the right information as far as polling places, all those things were singles for us that -- Signals that led to the low turnout amongst Latinos and all voters in Arizona.

José Cárdenas: So for those who did turn out, the Latinos who did turn out, any sense of how they voted? I assume predominantly Democratic, but any sense as to whether, for example, some voted for Republicans in some races and democrats in others?

Francisco Heredia: I think there was exit polling from Latino decisions that included Arizona, so they did a survey here. Overwhelmingly democrats received the support of Latinos in this year's mid terms. For instance, superintendent race, David Garcia, who narrowly lost that election, was the closest statewide, received over 80% of the Latino support here in Arizona. From exit polls. And all the other statewides in the 70s through 80% range as well. So for Latinos, they still vote democrat, but I think it's about turning out and ensuring that turnout amongst all voters is the very much needed, instead of making it harder for folks to vote, we need to make the process easier. So that's our work ahead, analyzing the data, where we can recommend improvements for participation amongst our county elections officials, secretary of state, ensuring that all eligible voters are eligible to participate in the process.

José Cárdenas: You talked about the Garcia race against Diane Douglas. He did get the largest number of votes of any of the democrats in the statewide race, but he still lost, very close election. I assume it's safe to say that if Latino turnout had been even as good as it was in 2010, which was a bad year in materials of turnout, he would have won?

Francisco Heredia: Yeah. I think it would have been very much close. It was close now, and the environment was there for conservative candidates, the electorate was medium age, from early voters were 62 years old, very Caucasian, and very conservative. But if we had some similar numbers for the baseline that we were working off, David Garcia could have won this year's election.

José Cárdenas: So in light of that, and just looking back overall and we'll end the interview with this, you've pointed out some of the reasons why the turnout may have been low, people staying home, not turning out, bad year for democrats overall. Is there anything that you think organizations such as yours and other get out the vote efforts could have done differently or should have done differently, or that you will do differently next time around because of what we saw this time?

Francisco Heredia: Yeah. I think more information is needed out there, that's what we keep on hearing. As far as where they go out and vote, how do they vote early, those information, we will keep on doing that. More resources are needed from both the representatives in office to our organizations to do that work, filling that gap of information. So we will keep on doing what we need. There's still a lot of unregistered Latinos there, over 300,000 estimate, so we'll keep working on ensuring all eligible Latinos are on the voting rolls and are participating in our elections.

José Cárdenas: I'm sure as more information develops, you'll be doing more analysis and we'll have you back on the show to see what happened this time around. Thank you so much for joining us on "Horizonte" to talk about this.

Francisco Heredia: Perfect. Thank you for the opportunity.

Francisco Heredia:One Arizona;

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