Ana Castro and Norma Chavez-Peterson talk to NBC 7 reporter Diana Guevara about an uptick in voter registration among Latinos.
For the past two months an intense voter outreach campaign has swept across Escondido.
“We’ve been going around to the houses and leaving wave after wave of materials to remind people to vote,” said Ana Castro, a campaign volunteer.
The “Nuestro Voto, Nuestro Futuro” or “Our Vote, Our Future” campaign has been targeting 40 densely Latino populated precincts. The bilingual non-partisan campaign has reached out to nearly 30,000 Latinos, with fliers to a phone bank, urging them to register to vote.
“Out of that, [we have received] 6,000 pledges to vote,” said Norma Chavez-Peterson the campaign’s coordinator.
According to the San Diego County Registrar, of voters the push has been a success. Since February, more than 40,000 new Latino voters have registered countywide.
Averaging 5,000 registrants a month, while setting a new record for Latino registered voters in San Diego County.
"We’re participating in the process," explained Chavez-Peterson. "We’re saying we want to make this country stronger and we’re proud of it."
Castro added, “It’s important because in Escondido there has been low Latino voter turnout.”
But after a series of workshops and a registration drive, campaign volunteers not only want to make sure voters are well informed, but that their rights are also protected at the polls.
“Some people don’t even know that they have the right to ask for the ballot in their language that they feel the most comfortable with. So that’s just basic know your rights,” said Chavez-Peterson.
Whether republican or democrat, the message is simple. “Exercise your right to vote this is what makes the democracy strong,”Said Chavez-Peterson.“If you don’t vote, don’t complain.”
The campaign is also partnering with the ACLU to make sure voters know their rights. Tuesday the ACLU will have volunteers at polls across the county to answer any questions voters may have. You can call the campaign office at: 760-624-VOTO(8686)
The ACLU has also set up a voter hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) and in Spanish 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682).