News Release

NCLR Latino Vote Panel Discusses Influence of Latino Electorate in Shaping 2016 Outcomes

Less than two months from the general election, Latino enthusiasm and voter registration numbers are up

September 8, 2016

Camila Gallardo
(305) 215-4259

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), held a timely roundtable discussion “Dynamics of the Latino Electorate: Shaping the 2016 Elections,” with presentations by Sylvia Manzano, Principal at Latino Decisions; Maria Urbina, Vice President of Politics and National Campaigns at Voto Latino; and NCLR Deputy Vice President Clarissa Martínez-de-Castro. 

The roundtable, moderated by Univision’s Fernando Pizarro, began with remarks from NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía.

“The nation’s Latino community, more than 55 million strong, continues to grow and mature as a political force for good. For anyone who cares about good schools, safe streets, healthy communities, a better economy, sound immigration policies, or a strong and inclusive society, the growth of the Latino electorate should be a welcome development, because those issues move our community,” said Murguía.

Latinos are already an important factor in the political landscape, and despite gaps that still exist in voter registration, they have proven to be a key player in determining the outcome of the presidential election, as well as innumerous state and local races. Latino millennials account for a critical part of the Hispanic vote, as nearly 1 million turn 18 each year and become eligible to vote.

“Candidates matter, positions matter, and meaningful outreach is essential,” said Martínez-de-Castro. “Despite challenges, the Latino vote will continue to grow, and politicians ignore it at their peril. Its national growth means that trends now unfolding in Colorado, Nevada, Florida and Arizona are the sign of things to come in the many states where this electorate is growing, including places like Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and others. Building a relationship with this electorate is sound politics.”

NCLR has registered more than 500,000 voters since beginning its voter registration efforts more than a decade ago, and continues to work with partner organizations like Voto Latino to engage more Hispanics in the electoral process.

“As 44 percent of the Latino electorate, Latino millennials hold in their hands the future of our country. Through our partnerships and initiatives like Hispanic Heritage Month of Action and our new app, VoterPal, we try to engage young Latinos and ensure they have the information and tools they need to participate in their country’s democracy ahead of such a critical election,” said Urbina. 

During the morning discussion, panelists were asked about how the negative and anti-Latino rhetoric this election season has or will affect Latino enthusiasm. Just last week, NCLR surveyed more than 700 members of its National Action Network on voter enthusiasm and motivating factors in voting. Seventy-four percent of respondents (653 of whom are registered voters) expressed they were either somewhat or very enthusiastic. When asked about what the biggest motivating factors were to turnout in November, the vast majority responded with the words “Trump” and “immigration.” 

NCLR is growing Latino participation with both proven traditional methods and innovative tactics. Its Latinos Vote 2016 campaign is reaching prospective voters in person through multistate community canvassing, Affiliates, service providers and small businesses. Online, the groundbreaking Latinos Vote app and web tool put registration at users’ fingertips and allow them to help others register just by sharing their phones. In schools,a newly developed High School Democracy Project provides an easy curriculum to help schools register their eligible high school seniors. NCLR is also engaging potential voters through issue education collaborations with media partners.

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.