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Latinos to make up 14 percent of voters in midterm election

PHOENIX — About 14 percent of the voters in Tuesday’s election will be Latino, voting activists said Thursday.

“Latinos could make very much of a difference in these elections,” said Francisco Heredia with One Arizona.

About 300,000 Latinos are on the permanent early voting list. The organization said the number of voters has doubled over the past 10 years for two reasons.

“One (reason) is population, of course,” Heredia said. “We’ve seen a driven increase in population since 1990 — it doubled.”

That growing population is also wielding its political power. Tough immigration laws hit close to home for Latinos, pushing them to the polls.

“Right now, the issues that Latinos are encountering are leading them to participate,” he said.

The Latino vote is expected to be felt in the close-fought battles for Arizona’s 1st, 2nd and 9th Congressional districts. Historically, Latinos tend to vote less conservatively, which would be good news for Democrats.

A report from the organization said 20 percent of Arizona voters in 2016 will be Latino.

KTAR’s Martha Maurer contributed to this report.