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Colorado groups working to get more Latinos registered to vote

Recent data from the Pew Research Center found there are around 659,000 eligible Latino voters in Colorado.

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day, part of the push to get more people registered to vote ahead of the midterm elections.

In Colorado, some races may see a focus on winning the votes of Latinos, with groups around the state taking steps to get more Latinos registered. 

According to the 2020 Census, 21.9% of Colorado's population is Hispanic or Latino. 

Recent data from the Pew Research Center found there are around 659,000 eligible Latino voters. 

A recent survey of more than 1,500 Latino registered voters found that 68% of them were "100% certain" they would vote in November. 

A report from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund (NALEO) projects 280,000 Colorado Latino voters will actually vote in the November election. That projection is based on turnout in past elections, among other factors.

The Latino Coalition of Weld County just moved into an office space in downtown Greeley to help step up their mobilization efforts for voter registration.

Credit: Latino Coalition of Weld County
A meeting of the Latino Coalition of Weld County.

"We wanted a really nice central location where people could come in -- and a popular location -- who would happen to visit the downtown or work downtown," coalition president Stacy Suniga said.

So far, they've trained around 15 volunteers this week, and have plans to train at least 20 more. 

"We will have people canvassing. We also plan to go into schools. You know, in Colorado you can register to vote at 16. We want to get voters active, even at that young age," she said. "And that's why I'm putting my heart and soul into this to make sure that everyone who is eligible to vote registers and gets their voice heard."

She said the formation of the new House District 8 has provided new hope for their efforts.

RELATED: How Colorado primary elections broke down by county

"It's more balanced, and it's around people's communities of interest. So we're spreading the word and hoping to pump that hope back into Latino voters," she said. 

In Colorado Springs, Chuck Montoya chairs Colorado Latinos Vote, a group also working to register more Latinos.

"The history of getting started is we saw in Colorado Springs that there is a fairly significant population of Latinos. And the thing that was concerning us was the lack of participation in any voting that goes on," he said. 

Credit: Latino Coalition of Weld County
A meeting of the Latino Coalition of Weld County.

The first few events the group attended, he said, saw only a handful of people registering, but they have started to see an uptick. 

"And unfortunately, what we're seeing is there's a lot of Latino voters that are just either complacent or they've got apathy or they just disillusioned by the unfulfilled promises made by politicians," he said.

Suniga said burnout may have also added to the hesitation by some. 

Montoya said a recent event provided them the opportunity to talk to hundreds of potential voters. But overall, he believes political engagement could make the difference. 

"I think that the party, either the Republicans or the Democrats that take the time to go out and meet the community, listen to their needs and pursue that, I think they will win the Latino vote, whether it's the progressive Democrats or whether it's a moderate Republican going after those votes and those constituents out there," he said.

RELATED: Survey highlights most important issues for Latino voters in Colorado

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Colorado 2022 elections


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