National and local officials with Hispanic organizations on Tuesday urged Latinos who are registered in Kansas to go to the polls and vote in the Nov. 4 election. Their participation at the ballot box won’t be insignificant.
They can make a difference in the outcome of the elections, said Janet Murguia, president and chief executive of the National Council of La Raza. She was joined at the South Branch Library in Kansas City, Kan., by Irene Caudillo, president and chief executive of El Centro Inc., and Rep. Louis Ruiz.
A prepared release said Latinos constitute 5.5 percent of the state’s electorate, or about 120,000 voters. That can swing the election if Latino voters go to the polls.
“In these especially close races, Kansas’ Hispanic electorate is not an afterthought; it’s a kingmaker,” said Murguia, who in July will bring the National Council of La Raza’s annual conference to Kansas City. It is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, working to improve opportunities for Latinos in the United States.
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Close races where the Latino vote may matter most include those for governor, secretary of state, U.S. Senate and House seats. Hard-line Republican stands on immigration won’t likely win GOP candidates the Latino vote.
“The Hispanic population may still be relatively small in Kansas, but we are politically powerful,” Caudillo said. “In November, we will be the difference and send a clear message to Kansas’ politicians that the issues that matter to our community cannot be ignored.”
That’s a great goal.