Nevada Developing Political Power

In 1998 an effort backed by Spanish-language media to increase Latino voters resulted in the registering of 3,000 new Mexican American voters in Clark County. From March to September, 2,000 volunteers with the Project 2000 Voter Registration Campaign worked feverishly going door-to-door to register Latino voters for the November presidential election with the slogan Su voto es su voz (Your vote is your voice). Voter registration efforts by the Mexican American community and other Latino groups in Nevada are expected to continue for future elections.

Furthermore, the involvement of young Latinos in Clark County’s political arena appears to be increasing. The organizations Hispanics in Politics (HIP) the political arm of the Latin Chamber of Commerce and Alianza Latina deserve some credit for this increased involvement. Both organizations encourage Latino youth to become involved in every aspect of political life through registering voters, doing campaign volunteer work, and even running for political office.

Historically, Latinos in Nevada have had a very low voter registration rate. In the case of Mexican Americans this is explained by a number of factors: (1) many are not U.S. citizens; therefore, they are not allowed to vote; (2) many are not proficient in English; (3) discrimination discourages their voting; and (4) many are more concerned with daily survival. However, as the Latino population grows and registers to vote, getting Latinos elected is becoming easier.

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