Latino Millennials Looking to Have a Say in This Year’s Presidential Election

This year, there are a record 27 million Hispanics eligible to vote, and almost half of them are millennials.

By Gus ContrerasOctober 11, 2016 9:30 am| ,

From KERA News

It’s lunchtime at El Centro College in downtown Dallas, and people are milling about the cafeteria. At one table, volunteers encourage students to register to vote.

Jocelyn Medrano just signed up. At 18, she’s one of the 3 million Hispanic millennials in Texas. She says she feels pressure to vote since it’s the first time she can, even though she doesn’t trust either candidate.

“It’s kind of between two people that, you know, are so different and I feel like they’re just saying things to get elected,” she said.

This lack of enthusiasm might be one reason why about 2.5 million Hispanics of voting age aren’t registered to vote in Texas.

At El Centro, students say they’re especially concerned about Donald Trump.

“All his ideas don’t correlate to what I need: he’s misogynist and against Hispanics,” 19-year-old Paulina Gonzalez said.

“It makes me concerned for most of my family. I wouldn’t really want to lose them – have them go back to Mexico,” 18-year-old Joel Segura said.

This will be their first time casting a ballot for the president, and they’re part of a growing demographic. Nationally, a projected 12 million Hispanic millennials will be eligible to vote this November.

But in Texas, you can’t vote unless you’re registered. And time’s almost up.

“It’s our experience that most people don’t pay attention to elections until two weeks out,” Lydia Camarillo of the Southwest Voter Education Project, said. “And as you know, the Texas requirements are that you must register 30 days out. So if people aren’t registered when they’re paying attention two weeks before the election they lose an opportunity to vote because they weren’t able to register in time.”

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