Voter Registration Critical for Communities of Color

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Voter registration form with flag of United States of America

IT News Wire

2020 Voter Registration coverage must include the voices and perspectives of communities of color, informed by data and practical GOTV information, the following are resources and story threads to be used to increase awareness of Voter Registration in LA County.

Communities of color comprise over 60% of  Los Angeles County’s 10 million residents, and Latinos are the fastest-growing group in the County and the state. With over 15 million Latino residents in California and nearly 5 million in Los Angeles County alone, Latinos are projected to have a tremendous impact on the November 3rd election. However, nearly 58% of unregistered eligible voters in California are Latino, compared to 22% being white, 15% Asian Americans, and 3% African Americans. Across the country, voter suppression tactics and intentional barriers have been increasingly threatening to communities of color, in Los Angeles the registrar and community based organizations have been working to combat misinformation and increase voter turnout. 

According to the July 3rd report from the office of the Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, over a half million eligible voters in LA County have not yet registered to vote. The November 3, 2020 election is not only a crucial presidential election with the potential to reshape the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts, but includes all local candidates and dozens of critical ballot measures that will impact our communities. With so much at stake, it is urgent that all eligible voters register and cast their ballot in this important election.

Given the importance of this election, and the largely negative role many social media platforms played in the 2016 election, some social media platforms have stepped up their civic engagement efforts. The popular social media platforms Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat have made it easy to register to vote online. Snapchat is popular with people under the age of 30 which could mean that primarily young people are likely to register to vote in the coming weeks. Facebook began pinning voter information at the top of users’ news feeds in July to register 4 million eligible voters this year between Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger.

Naomi Gleit, VP Product and Social Impact at Facebook wrote about their Voting Information Center which launched in August:

“People can access the Voting Information Center directly from the menu on Facebook and Instagram. They can use it to check if they’re registered to vote – and if they’re not, easily register through a link that takes them directly to their state website or our nonpartisan partner. They can see if their state has expanded vote-by-mail options and request absentee or mail-in ballots from their state if it’s available. And we’ll help people know if a deadline is approaching so they don’t miss it.”

The Voting Information Resource boasts an array of resources, such as registering online to vote, accessing the information on voting by mail, checking registration status, and applying to serve as a poll worker. They also easily link to the Secretary of State’s office and the myriad of resources in different languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.

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