Two million Latinos in Texas alone are eligible to vote but are not registered, which is why the state is one of seven that two major Latino groups are targeting in a voter registration campaign launched six months earlier than usual.
The National Council of La Raza and Mi Familia Vota Education Fund leaders said Thursday they plan to send voter registration cards to 2.5 million potential Latino voters and follow up to make sure the cards were mailed.Their goal: at least 250,000 registrations for 2014, the groups' leaders said.
"We know the more our community participates, the more our voices are going to be heard," said Ben Monterroso, Mi Familia Vota executive director.
Other states targeted in the $5 million campaign are Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Oklahoma and Utah.
In 2012, 14.7 million Latinos were registered to vote, but only 12.2 million showed up at the polls, NCLR President Janet Murguia said. Another 8.6 million Latinos who were eligible to vote that year, did not register, totaling 11.1 million Lations who did not particpate in elections because they were not registered or didn't vote.
The groups call that "the gap" and want to close it, particularly because it could widen because an estimated 900,000 Latino citizens are turning 18 each year.