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Local group works to get more young Colorado Latinos to vote

Latinos make up nearly 16 percent of all voters in Colorado. Many of them are young, and one group hopes to mobilize them in the upcoming election.

KUSA — In Colorado, 15.7 percent of eligible voters are Latinos.

The pool of eligible Latino voters has grown in recent years, according to data from the Pew Research Center. Much of the growth is driven by young U.S.-born Latinos turning 18.

About 43.5 percent of all Hispanic eligible voters in 2018 are 18 to 35 years old, the data shows. Colorado has 637,000 Latino voters.

Latino voter turnout in the U.S. has declined since 2006, Pew's research shows. The turnout rate in 2014 dropped to a record low of 27 percent, with 16 percent of eligible Latinos voting, compared to 36.2 percent of Latinos 36 and older.

But Salvador Hernandez with Mi Familia Vota said his group recognizes the power of young voters, and that’s why they focus a big part of their efforts in high schools.

Mi Familia Vota has partnered with different organizations to register students to vote. Salvador said a big chunk of their staff are millennials.

“People will definitely vote on their values,” Salvador said.

Latinos are interested in a lot of different issues, from immigration to jobs, he said, but the vote ultimately falls along their values.

Salvador was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. when he was 15 years old. He is not allowed to vote, but he has dedicated his life to register others to vote.

“It’s a way for me to make sure I’m making a difference another way,” he said.

While Salvador recognizes the value of the Latino vote, he said candidates running for office haven’t.

“I feel like this year candidates from different races, from both parties, have not paid particular attention to Latinos, at least in the state of the Colorado," he said.

As the numbers of eligible Latino voters continues to grow, Salvador said he hopes candidates give the community more attention.

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