$10M campaign looks to make Latinos ‘the must-have vote’ in Arizona midterm elections

Apr 18, 2022, 4:45 AM

(File Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)...

(File Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

(File Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — A new campaign launched last week to get more Latinos throughout Arizona to vote and ensure they’re looked at as “the must-have vote” during the November midterm elections.

Chicanos Por La Causa will invest $10 million in this non-partisan Get Out The Vote campaign.

“Part of it is to get more Latinos to register to vote and also to get people who are already on the voters rolls — that perhaps haven’t voted in the last general election or the one before that — to get them energized to vote,” said Joe Garcia, vice president of public policy at Chicanos Por La Causa and executive director of the organization’s Action Fund.

As part of the campaign, Chicanos Por La Causa will partner with other organizations that for years have already been working on Latino voter registration efforts. Those groups include Mi Familia Vota and Promise Arizona.

Garcia pointed out Latinos make up about a quarter of Arizona’s eligible voter population, but only 14% of the total votes cast in the last midterm elections were from Latinos.

“We’re looking to increase that percentage to 16% or better,” he said. “We believe that would be enough to change the political landscape in Arizona.”

To accomplish that goal, they’ll need to get at least 52,000 more Latinos to vote.

Their efforts will include focus groups that help identify the most effective messages that resonate with specific populations, including younger and older Latinos. Those messages will then be delivered through multiple formats, including digital ads, events and door-to-door canvassing.

“We’re not going to have a general ad that says ‘vote’ because we know that’s limited in the effectiveness,” Garcia emphasized. “It’s going to be very targeted on what motivates people to vote.”

Garcia said the economy, education, housing and healthcare are among the issues that Latino voters care about and will likely motivate them to turn out to vote.

He also thinks a measure on this year’s ballot asking voters if undocumented students should be allowed to pay in-state tuition will also motivate Latinos to turn out to vote.

Garcia stresses there’s a reason why the campaign will be non-partisan. He said he doesn’t believe the two major political parties have looked at Latinos as an important voter bloc.

“We’re almost an afterthought,” he said. “We’re going to change that so that Latinos are the must-have vote.”

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$10M campaign looks to make Latinos ‘the must-have vote’ in Arizona midterm elections