Georgetown, Del. — The League of Women Voters of Sussex County and the Delaware Hispanic Commission are partnering to reach out to the Latino community to encourage voter registration and turnout.
The voter turnout campaign, called “Be Our Voice,” is already on the move with teams visiting neighborhoods, events and college campuses to register new citizens and create enthusiasm for the 2016 Election. Connie Jones, LWVSC Co-Chair for the Latino Get-Out-The-Vote Program, identifies the Latino communities in Sussex County as a promising opportunity to bring a significant number of new voters to the voting booth.
In addition, Latinos who cannot vote are being enlisted to influence their relatives and peers toward greater participation in democracy. Delaware Hispanic Commission Co-chair, Charito Calvachi-Mateyko, explained that when members of the League interact with Latinos in their own backyards, it shows Latino voters that U.S. citizens care for them and want them to express their voice. “They, in turn, will make sure that every eligible person they know is registered to vote. And days in advance of Election Day, they will contact their relatives, friends and neighbors to remind them to go to the polls,” she said.
Calvachi-Mateyko said the idea is that if a prospective voter says, “I can’t vote (or register) because I must take care of my children,” Latinos will offer to watch the children for a few hours. Or if the voter says, “I don’t have a car,” Latinos will volunteer to provide a ride to the polls. “Our community is composed of strong, hardworking people eager to help increase the number of people who vote,” she added.
Jennifer Lopez, a Delaware Technical Community College student and new Latino voter, is a volunteer with the “Be Our Voice” campaign. “I want to help everyone to register, but mostly, I wish that the young new citizens register to vote because voting is our right and we should exercise it,” she says.
Teams of volunteers are visiting and canvassing the Latino community in Sussex County. Volunteers are needed. To participate, visit www.sussexlwv.org.
Student enthusiasm for the 2016 Election was high at the Voter Registration table at International Day at Del Tech. Jennifer Lopez (I), Del Tech Student and volunteer, was dressed in traditional Ecuadorian fashion as she registered students with Connie Jones (c), LWVSC and Charito Calvachi-Mateyko (r), DE Hispanic Commission.