Latino voters in North Carolina are facing intimidation and aggression at the polls, but that won’t stop us from making our votes count and our voices heard.
On the first day of early voting in North Carolina, Latinos in Greensboro experienced voter intimidation and discriminatory profiling after speaking Spanish while waiting in line to vote. This is nothing new to Black and Brown folks in the South -- Black voters, on average, wait 45 percent longer to vote than white voters; Latino voters wait 46 percent longer. In North Carolina in particular GOP leaders have a track record of pushing for voter suppression laws and of using ICE to create fear in immigrant communities.
We know that, when engaged, Latino voters have the power to tip a close race and determine the outcome. Yet, many local and state level candidates have left the needs and contributions of our community out of the conversation. For the buen-vivir of our gente we need that to change now.
We’re in this work because we can’t wait on the political parties or politicians - we have to build the political power of our gente to care for ourselves and to claim our stake in this country.
That’s why the team in NC has been working hard, through a global pandemic, to get our gente registered to vote, informed on absentee voting, and out to the Early Vote polls. When critical voter documents aren’t in Spanish, we work to translate them. When naturalized citizens are falsely told that they can’t vote, we correct misinformation. When voters say they face barriers to get to the polls, we make a way.
For too long, many of our gente were taught to take up less space, because doing so would keep them safe. This tactic has kept us out of the places where decisions are made, away from taking positions of leadership and ultimately, positioned us more often than not, to give up our collective power. It’s time to change that.
That's why we're getting out the NC Latino vote in a big way this year, and you can help.
When our gente say their voices don’t matter or that change is impossible, we remind them: as more of us come together to say Fuera Trump and elect leaders who listen to our demands, our voices get louder and stronger. Aquí estamos y no nos vamos.