Iowa Latinos to play significant role in outcome of today's elections

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For immediate release

Nov. 8, 2016

DES MOINES - The number of registered Latino voters in Iowa has more than doubled since 2008, making the voting bloc play a significant role in the outcome of today’s elections in the state.

While the overall number of votes cast in Iowa is expected to be similar to the past two presidential election years, more than 50,000 Latinos are now registered to vote.

"Latinos are changing the electoral map of the state of Iowa and the country," said Joe Enriquez Henry, vice president of the Midwest for the National League of United Latin American Citizens. "Never before have we had such a large voting bloc in Iowa."

LULAC of Iowa has led the Latino Vote Iowa campaign, the first-ever largescale outreach to the Latino community for a general election. In Iowa, LULAC has raised more than $265,000 toward its Latino vote efforts during the past year to engage and inform Latino voters in the election process. 

The Latino Vote Iowa campaign has covered counties where the highest percentage of Latino voters live, and made contact through door-to-door canvassing, automated and live phone calls, and campaign mailers and fliers. Communities targeted were Polk, Dallas, Johnson, Marshall, Muscatine and Scott counties. 

According to voter files from the Iowa Secretary of State, the majority of Latino voters in the state are registered as "non-party." These voters are not usually measured in polls. The Latino vote in other areas of the nation has shown a strong turnout for early voting.

The Latino vote in Iowa made an impact on the outcome of the 2012 presidential election, according to a report from City University in New York. The report showed the Latino vote may have been responsible for President Obama's margin of victory in 2012. The 2016 race is expected to be even closer in Iowa – separated by only 3 to 4 percentage points.

"With an increase in the number of registered voters, Latinos will help decide the outcome of this race," Enriquez Henry said.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation's largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, D.C. with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC's programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. 

For more information, contact Joe Enriquez Henry at 515.208.7312; or Melissa Walker at 515.681.7731 ormwmediaconsultants@yahoo.com, or visit www.lulaciowa.org

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