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Politics

More Than Half Of LA’s Latino Voters Say They Haven't Received Ballot Information For June 7 Primary

A man wearing glasses with a young boy standing next to him tries out a new ballot marking device.
Voters try out new ballot marking devices at the L.A. County mock election at Salazar Park in East L.A. on September 28, 2019.
(Al Kamalizad
/
LAist)
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Latinos make up nearly half of Los Angeles' population and 35% of registered voters in the city. But a recent survey by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) finds that more than half of the city's registered Latino voters said they had not received information on how to cast their ballot for the June 7 primary.

The report from NALEO, a nonprofit that promotes Latino civic participation, also shows that half of the respondents were unaware of upcoming local elections.

The poll of 1,100 Latino registered voters was taken from April 20-May 3. Since then, the L.A. County Registrar has mailed ballots to all registered voters.

NALEO CEO Arturo Vargas says Latino voters must not be taken for granted and that more outreach needs to be done to reach them.

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"Latinos understand the importance of voting, but the lack of information about how to vote, information about candidates, can discourage Latinos from voting," Vargas said.

NALEO's survey showed that Latino voters care about the same issues most Angelenos worry about: the homelessness crisis, the rising cost of living, inflation and the lack of affordable housing.

But issues surrounding crime, community safety, immigrants' rights and the fear of being forced out of the city due to the rising cost of living are also on the top of their concerns.

"[Registered] Latino voters expressed that it is important to vote in elections even if they don't like politics," he said. "It's important to vote because of the impact that who wins elections will have on their lives."

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Vargas says many Latino voters indicated they'll vote only on races with which they're familiar and outreach should include information about various political offices so people will understand the impact these races can have on their community.

"Latinos want to get more information," Vargas said. "They want to be contacted, and they're going to have to make up their minds by early June about who they'd like to support for Mayor, so there's an opportunity here for candidates and campaigns."