Pushing Latinos to vote before Election Day may not be the traditional way to celebrate Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), but a coalition of progressive Latino groups believes the two go hand in hand given the political climate of 2016.
According to The Hill, Latino activists will stand at the frontline of an early voting campaign that will coincide with the Mexican holiday on Tuesday (Nov. 1) in Florida, Nevada and Texas.
“This Day of the Dead, we are encouraging everyone to vote early and help us end the political careers of those who stand against us,” said César Blanco, interim director of Latino Victory Project. “Day of the Dead is a day for us to honor our legacy and the memory of those who have passed, as that it’s a day for us to remember that Latinos and all Americans deserve dignity and respect, and we won’t stand for politicians who attack our heritage and who speak out of both sides of their mouth and try to court us while standing with [Donald] Trump and his hateful campaign.”
The initiative joins a list of several Latino voting campaigns that have seen tangible results throughout the year. According to a poll released by the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) on Monday (Oct. 31), nearly half of Latino voters across the nation plan to cast their vote before Nov. 8.
While Jimmy Carter was the last Democrat to win Texas over in 1976, Latinos are realizing their ability to tighten election results in the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump–a far cry from traditional reluctance to vote in the red state, where “they are widely viewed as uncompetitive” despite the fact that the Latino population in Texas is the second largest in the nation, after California.
“Enthusiasm to vote has been incredible in our community, and we’ve already seen record numbers of Latino voters in Florida, Texas and Nevada take a stand against hatred and bigotry,” said Maria Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino president and CEO. “Our community understands that there is too much at stake in this election, and we will continue to encourage Latinos to vote early and remind them that our vote is our greatest equalizer.”