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Voto Latino’s Voter Registration and Voter Turnout Rates Hit Historic High in 2018

Contact: press@votolatino.org

With Latinos poised to become the second largest voting bloc in 2020, Voto Latino released today the results of its 2018 voter registration program, showing historic gains in voter registration and voter turnout in the midterm elections.

The results prove: Once registered and engaged, Latinos vote.

Voter participation in the 2018 elections represented the highest turnout in a midterm election in nearly 100 years. Specifically, the Latino electorate turned out and made an incredible impact on the 2018 midterms. For the first time, Latinx midterm participation closely mirrored their presidential levels (76% of registered Latinx voted in 2018 compared to 79% in 2016).

In 2018, Voto Latino registered 202,399 voters leading up to the midterm elections, with an ambitious program targeted to unregistered voters in 11 states with large or growing Latinx population: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin. This number was a 14.2% increase of VL voters registered from 2016 presidential elections. Nearly a quarter of young Latinos who voted in 2018 cast a ballot in a midterm for the first time, according to a Voto Latino / Change Research poll.

But not only did Voto Latino register hundreds of thousands of new voters, but those voters showed up in record numbers to vote, dispelling myths that Latinos are less engaged or politically inactive. Seventy-seven percent of voters registered by Voto Latino cast a ballot in the midterms – higher than the 75% turnout rate for Latinos, according to the US Census.  

“Our numbers prove that myth wrong — if you engage Latinos, we register and we vote,” said President and CEO Maria Teresa Kumar. “Our goal by 2020 is to register a total of one million new voters. We know that our voice at the voting booth can be the decisive factor in the 2020 elections.”

2018 Voter Registration Overview

2018 % General Turnout Rate (Census) data can be found here.

Voto Latino’s 2018 voter registration efforts in 11 key states culminated in Voto Latino’s Somos Más campaign, consisting of a coalition of 80 national partners, grassroots outreach with local Voto Latino chapters, a robust digital ad campaign, and VoterPal — a peer-to-peer app developed to simplify the voter registration process. The Apple App store named VoterPal amongst the top five best political apps of 2018.

Latinos will now be a larger share — an estimated 32 million – of the electorate in 2020, according to the Pew Research Center.  And while Latinx voters are civically engaged, it is also clear that candidates, campaigns and organizations have more work to do when it comes to effectively reaching this constituency early and ensuring they are equipped with information that can help them make informed decisions at the voting booth.  

Ninety-four percent of young Latinx voters in the 2018 midterms, polled by Voto Latino in a post-election survey, plan to continue to vote in local and national elections moving forward, and Voto Latino will continue its efforts to empower Latinx Millennials and Gen Z-ers to be civically engaged and exercise their right to vote in 2020.

For more information on voter registration and turnout results, see our 2018 Voter Registration Impact Report, and to learn more about what is important to young voters, check out Voto Latino most recent surveys, here and here.

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