Voter turnout ‘ex­plodes’ among His­pan­ics and blacks

The Myanmar Times - - World -

VOTER turnout among African Amer­i­cans and His­pan­ics is surg­ing, and this swell of mi­nor­ity par­tic­i­pa­tion could spell trou­ble for Don­ald Trump’s White House hopes.

On Novem­ber 6, hun­dreds of peo­ple at­tended “Souls to the Polls” events, aimed at en­cour­ag­ing church­go­ers to vote across the key swing state of Florida.

Some came straight from morn­ing wor­ship, wear­ing three-piece suits and dresses as they made their way past dozens of cam­paign­ers hoist­ing signs for lo­cal can­di­dates and urg­ing sup­port for so­lar en­ergy and ed­u­ca­tion is­sues.

At one event in cen­tral Mi­ami, peo­ple held hands and prayed out­side an early vot­ing site, while at another in Mi­ami-Dade County, about 20 African Amer­i­can men rolled in to­gether on mo­tor­cy­cles.

For some, the vote they cast was as much for Demo­crat Hillary Clin­ton as it was against her Re­pub­li­can bil­lion­aire chal­lenger.

His­pan­ics make up a pow­er­ful vot­ing bloc in the bat­tle­ground state of Florida, and are widely ex­pected to lean to­ward Ms Clin­ton, par­tic­u­larly since Mr Trump has de­scribed Mex­i­cans as rapists, re­peat­edly vowed to build a bor­der wall and promised to de­port masses of il­le­gal im­mi­grants.

As of Novem­ber 5, 565,000 His­pan­ics have voted in per­son in Florida, a 100 per­cent in­crease over the close of early vot­ing in 2012.

In another sign of voter en­thu­si­asm, of the 911,000 His­pan­ics who have al­ready voted – whether in per­son or by mail – 36pc did not vote in the last pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Na­tion­wide, about 12pc of vot­ers are His­panic, or about 27.3 mil­lion peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to Pew Re­search Cen­tre pro­jec­tions.

Four mil­lion more His­pan­ics are el­i­gi­ble to vote this year com­pared to 2012, and high turnout has been seen in other states such as Ne­vada.

Early last week, the black turnout was lack­lus­tre – at about 14pc of early vot­ers - com­pared to 26pc in 2012, the last time Pres­i­dent Barack Obama was elected.

But that changed, af­ter Mr Obama made a se­ries of ap­peals for black vot­ers to sup­port Ms Clin­ton, who her­self ap­peared at a cam­paign event with Bey­once and Jay-Z.

A to­tal of 777,000 blacks have al­ready voted in Florida. And more are com­ing to vote in per­son – 25,000 more as of Novem­ber 5, com­pared to all eight days of early vot­ing in 2012. –

Photo: AFP

Peo­ple at­tend an event in Cutler Bay, Florida, on Novem­ber 6 which aimed to en­cour­age mi­nor­ity voter turnout in the key swing state.

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