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LULAC Leads Successful Grassroots Campaign to Register Latino Voters In Iowa: One Out of Four Iowa Caucus-Goers Will be Latino

Nation’s Oldest & Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization to Discuss Successful Voter Outreach Campaign; 70% of Adult Latinos Are Now Registered to Vote in the Hawkeye State

Latina Voter Engagement

Des Moines, Iowa - Today, January 30th, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) announced the results of the organization’s successful Latino voter outreach efforts in Iowa. During a press conference at the Iowa State Capitol, LULAC National President, Domingo García, was joined by LULAC Iowa leaders and newly registered first-time Latino voters to discuss the importance of the powerful Latino electorate in Iowa and the implications for the 2020 Caucuses.

According to the State of Iowa, the Latino population in Iowa increased by 135.8% from 2000-2018. LULAC has a long record of defending voting rights for Latinos in Iowa. In 2016, LULAC initiated a successful voter registration campaign during the presidential election. The impressive ground operation executed by LULAC Iowa’s eighteen councils-- which included the LULAC Vote Van that traveled over 5,000 miles across the state-- ensured that Latinos represented one out of eight Iowa caucus-goers in 2016.

LULAC continued its voter outreach following the 2016 election and this cycle, 70% of adult Latinos are currently registered to vote in Iowa, meaning Latinos will represent one out of every four Caucus goers in 2020. In a state with a smaller population, LULAC’s grassroots work means that Iowa’s Latinos will finally have a big seat at the caucus table.

LULAC has been at the forefront of protecting voter rights in the Hawkeye State. In October 2019, LULAC celebrated a victory when District Court Judge Scott D. Rosenberg ruled in favor of the organization in a lawsuit that challenged Iowa’s voter ID law. The ruling resulted in the court rejecting a controversial rule that would have allowed state voter records to be compared to the federal immigration database known as SAVE. As a result of the unlawful rule, certain voters would have been identified as ineligible to vote and removed from Iowa’s voter lists. The ruling held that Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz acted outside his authority in creating the rule.

“Underestimating the Latino vote in Iowa could cost the Democratic primary candidates the Iowa Caucus this year,” said Domingo García, LULAC National President. “We know this because our local LULAC councils spent years throughout the state doing outreach, talking to our neighbors, hitting the phones, holding community meetings, and getting Latinos registered to vote. One of every four voters that will participate in the Iowa Caucus on Monday will be Latino. If that doesn’t encourage candidates to care about what matters to our community, it’s unclear what will.”

“The Latino community has become the largest minority voting block as we head into the 2020 elections. Every 30 seconds, a Latino turns 18 in this country,” said LULAC CEO Sindy Benavides. “These statistics matter even more in states with smaller populations like Iowa, which sets the tone for the rest of the Democratic presidential primary. LULAC’s eighteen Iowa councils organized on the ground, resulting in more than 50,000 registered Latino voters because of their tremendous efforts.”

Under the leadership of Joe Henry and Nick Salazar of Council 307 and 371, LULAC worked diligently to identify and register Latino voters, especially young voters. The majority of the Latinos who were registered are under the age of 35. Other key efforts LULAC Iowa did to empower and mobilize the Latino vote this cycle included:

  • Caucus training and mock caucus workshops to educate members of the community about the caucus process;
  • Hosted a LULAC Democratic Candidate Forum in Des Moines where members of the local community got an opportunity to hear from and ask candidates questions;
  • Organized satellite caucus locations in the largest Latino communities where the entire caucus process will be held in Spanish for the first time ever.

“The current political climate of hate and xenophobia has been felt in our Hispanic communities across the state. As a result, our community registered to vote for the caucuses in large numbers, and will continue to register for the general election,” said Nick Salazar, LULAC Iowa State Director and President of LULAC Council 371. “We owe the success of LULAC’s voter outreach campaign to hundreds of Latino from across the state who put in the work to make sure our voices are heard loud and clear in 2020.”

“Our local LULAC councils knocked on doors, made countless calls, put up hundreds of flyers in towns across Iowa’s 99 counties, and leveraged social media to ask every person in our network to engage in this election. The results speak for themselves,” said Joe Henry, LULAC Advisor to the President for Civic Engagement and Elections and President of Latinos United of Iowa LULAC Council 307. “We are thrilled to be a powerful force in the 2020 Iowa Caucuses and are proud of every single LULAC council member who helped boost the number of Latinos registered to vote.”

For more information, please go to www.LatinoVoteIowa.org | www.lulac.org/, or follow #Latin@sInIowa on social media.

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, DC, 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, visit https://lulac.org/