The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Why is there an absence of Latino presence at the polls?

Parker-Johnson-Unsplash
Parker-Johnson-Unsplash

IRENE DOMINGUEZ
campus editor
irene.dominguez370@my.tccd.edu

Latinos are the largest minority voting group, but you won’t see that reflected at the polls. 

As a first generation Mexican-American this bothers me. Texas has a very large Latino population but our vote is lagging. Not becoming engaged in politics means we are letting other people make decisions for our communites. 

Low voter turnout from the Latino population leads to policy being created that does not serve us.  

There are unique barriers we need to overcome to improve turnout at the polls. Until then, we will remain underserved by these politicians. 

For first-time voters the process can seem confusing and scary. Understanding what leads us to disengagement is perhaps the first step. 

Becoming a citizen is a lengthy process, leaving a lot of Latinos without the ability to vote. This was the reality for a lot of our parents or grandparents. 

This causes Latino children to grow up in a household where voting doesn’t exist. Without an example of that civic engagement, it can be difficult to know where to start. 

Having more political conversations in the household is a necessity for Latinos. We can’t shy away from these issues that affect us. 

Another thing we don’t see enough is candidates that look like us, leaving us wondering if these politicians really understand our issues. 

Disillusionment with the government we have in place is also a factor. Politicians can seem sketchy and their motives are never clear. 

 We already feel so neglected by the system. This has caused serious trust issues. It can make voting seem like a hopeless act. 

 Latinos are purposefully alienated by the system. It is hard to take up space in places that have not been historically welcome to Latinos. Texas, unfortunately has the most strict voting laws

Mexican immigrants have been singled out specifically by a certain former president and this has affected Latino views on engaging in politics. 

 I still shudder when I hear someone talk about building a wall. Or when I see immigrants being shuttled around and used as political pawns. 

For those of us who have undocumented family members we should be aware of any laws being passed that might affect them. Immigration is a hot topic all over the world, but these issues can hit home for Latinos. 

 There is definitely not always a solution for every problem affecting our community. That being said, by voting we can do our best to take care of our families. 

 We don’t have to accept things the way they are. There is so much power in  democracy. Take ownership of the Latino vote. Every vote is a win. 

The window to get registered is closing and I want us all to make it. Let’s pretend it’s a Bad Bunny concert and swarm the polls! 

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