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Last Minute Voter Registration Drive Courts Hispanic Community

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campaign 2012 new2 Last Minute Voter Registration Drive Courts Hispanic Community

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy group, along with Project Vote, held a final push voter-registration event Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote in the November election.

“We’ve completed a little over 33 or 34,000 voter registrations,” said Natalia Carlier, the South Florida Coordinator for NCLR.

Voters at Saturday’s event at Jimmy’z Kitchen in Wynwood learned how to check registration status, identified their polling location, learned what to bring to the polls and were educated on their rights as voters.

While all eligible voters were invited to register, the focus was on the Hispanic community.

“As far as registering to vote is concerned, only half of eligible Latinos are registered to vote,” Viviana Hurtado with Project Vote said. “That’s compared to 65% of white Americans and 62% of African Americans.”

Gabriella Iglesias will be voting in her second presidential election next month. She said she waited 5 hours to vote in 2008. She hopes it doesn’t take as long this year, but she still wants to see high voter turnout.

“I will admit that I’m not very political, but my generation needs to get our act together and get involved,” 21-year-old Iglesias said.

The Florida Department of State confirmed Friday it forwarded complaints about alleged voter registration fraud against the Florida Democratic Party, the Florida New Majority Education Fund, and the National Council of La Raza.

The South Florida Regional Coordinator for NCLR, Natalie Carlier, said they were never directly contact by the FDLE regarding the very small fraction of registrations.

“As soon as we found out about this through the press, we were proactive and we went to the supervisors of elections to find out exactly what happened,” Carlier said. “Everything is double, triple, quadruple checked before we turn it in to the Department of Elections.”

Carlier says the arduous verification process is worth it.

“The reason why I do this work is because I think its important that we make our voice count,” she explained.

Contact the county Supervisor of Elections Office to register before the Tuesday deadline.

Election Day is November 6th.

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