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Organizations push for larger minority turnout on Election Day

Posted at 8:07 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 21:07:32-05

Election Day will drive people to the polls throughout Central Texas, and many community leaders are making sure minorities make their voices heard.

Whether it be free rides to polling places or bringing resources to voters, groups have been busy making sure the minority turnout is the largest one yet.

A record 9.7 million people hit the polls during early voting in the Lone Star State.

"To see the numbers actually there, to see people actually go out makes me feel really good," said Lauren Vo, a representative of Baylor's Coalition of Asian Students.

Minority groups hope momentum continues on Election Night as nearly 43% of registered voters in Texas have yet to cast their ballot.

"Early voting has been through the roof this political season, and I think a big portion of that are Latino voters," said Hector Sabido with Waco City Council.

In McLennan County an additional voting center was added in north Waco as even more Hispanic voters are expected to turn up at the polls.

"I think people of color are realizing the power that we have, especially as Latinos, the power that we have in our vote. Now is the time to really push, to make sure we're going to the voting polls," said Sabido.

According to research from the Pew Institute, a projected 32 million Hispanics are eligible to vote, compared to 30 million Black or African Americans and an estimated 11 million Asians.

All three minority groups add up to about one third of all eligible voters.

"I think a lot of time, Asian Americans don't voice the concerns that they have, but this year they're galvanized. They're ready. They're charged and really waiting to see change," said Vo.

The Coalition of Asian Students at Baylor has been working one-on-one with Asian students to get them registered and will be carpooling students to and from the polls.

"I think this election cycle, I'm seeing a lot of Black voters wanting to get out and get educated as well," said Terris Goodwin with Wake Up Temple.

Wake Up Temple has helped provide resources and held multiple voter registration events. The group even created a mobile registration van to reach low income communities who were without transportation or with odd work schedules.

"I'm not in the business in telling people who to vote for, but I really believe it's time for us to wake up and do the research and be active in the process, because if we're not, then we're gonna continue to see the same things that we've been seeing, which unfortunately boils down to minorities not being heard or not being represented," said Goodwin. "Your vote matters, and when you do come together and let your voice be heard, we will be the change that you wish to see."