BOISE, Idaho — Latinos are the fastest-growing minority group across the U.S. and in the Treasure Valley, and they're set to play a key role in the November 8th elections.
Data from the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs and the 2018 U.S. Census reveal that 72% of Latinos in Idaho are U.S. citizens and 18 years or older. That translates to about 101,000 eligible voters, and local Idaho organizations rely on bilingual staff to reach out.
“So at ACLU, we have different resources that we have been providing for the selections coming up so the Latinx can be informed,” said Rosseli Guerrero, Community Organizer for ACLU of Idaho.
Latinos face many barriers at the ballot box, as some voters may be unfamiliar with the process -- including important deadlines and the necessary ID.
Additionally, many Idaho Hispanic voters are young adults and, in some instances, first-time voters. In many cases they are the only eligible voter in their household.
The non-partisan organization ACLU Idaho is reaching out to young voters through social media with information in both Spanish and English.
“Our Latinx needs to think about and know that their vote really matters this election and the following elections as well,” said Rosseli Guerrero.
PODER of Idaho, run by Hispanic women, is better known for its advocacy on issues like DACA and the push for driver's authorization cards for undocumented people. They're also reaching out to Latino voters through their bilingual staff.
“They vote on all these issues that we work on, so we do try and get them out to the polls hoping in further years we can make Latino voting a priority. Only 7% of eligible Latinos vote,” said Estefania Mondragon, Executive Director for PODER Idaho.
When Latinos head out to the polls, it's essential to know you are allowed to bring someone to help if language is a barrier. Clark County is the only county required to offer Spanish language assistance.