Transcript: NALEO press briefing on impact of voting laws on Latino voters in 2012
Transcript: Press briefing remarks by Arturo Vargas, Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials (NALEO), on the impact of recent voting law changes on Latino voters on Oct. 23, 2012:
“One of the things that has been a great concern to us, however, has been the move by many of the states to introduce new requirements to voting, including proof of citizenship to register to vote, voter IDs to vote at the polling place.
“In many states, these have been efforts actually to make voting more difficult in our view rather than more accessible.
“Had all the states that have implemented these types of laws – had all those laws been in effect today, more than a million Latinos would have been directly affected by these proposals.
“Our analysis and the report that we’re releasing today shows that in the states where these laws are in effect today because they have either been pre-cleared by the Department of Justice or upheld by the courts where they have been challenged, approximately 219,000 Latino voters will be directly affected this November.
“An additional 835,000 Latinos could have been affected had these laws been pre-cleared by the Department of Justice or upheld by the federal courts.
“Many of these laws are still in debate. Some of them are being appealed by the states, such as in Texas. Some of them will continue to be scrutinized. And some of them may yet come into effect.
“So these 800,000 Latinos who are not directly affected in November may yet be subjected to the impacts of these laws moving forward…
“The NALEO Educational Fund is doing all we can to meet or surpass our projections of 12.2 million Latino voters. We continue to ensure first that everybody has a free and unfettered access to the franchise. We are a member of the Election Protection Coalition.
“We are staffing the nation’s only live, full-time bilingual hotline – 888-839-8682. Anybody who calls that number can receive information in English or Spanish about the voting requirements in the particular states. They can find out if they are registered to vote. On election day, they can where their polling location is. And if anybody encounters any problems in voting, if anybody is turned away from the ballot box, if anybody’s told they’re not registered to vote when he or she is in fact registered to vote, they can call this number 888-839-8682. We will be working with organizations of attorneys to make sure that we’ll be able to respond immediately to situations where people may be turned away unfairly.
“We want to make sure everybody has a right to be heard on Nov. 6th.”
- NALEO.org: 2012 Briefing on the Latino Vote