Latinos will make up the largest voting bloc in the US for the first time in next year's presidential election, and voting rights groups want to make sure that doesn't happen again.
"This is both a time of tremendous opportunity and of tremendous danger for American democracy," Arturo Vargas, chief executive officer of the nonprofit NALEO Educational Fund, tells the Los Angeles Times.
"At the same time, local jurisdictions have been putting in place restrictions that make the voting process itself more difficult," he says.
"So, I think there is a real challenge for organizations such as ours and the whole Latino community to translate those numbers into a much more powerful voice at the ballot box."
In Georgia, for example, eligible voters of Central American, Mexican, South American, Caribbean, and Spanish heritage make up almost 10% of the total population, according to GALEO, a nonpartisan organization.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been fighting voter suppression for more than five decades, is partnering with Latinx voting rights groups in the Deep South to help fund their efforts, including the Vote Your Voice initiative, which aims to increase voter registration and participation among communities of color, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The SPLC has pledged $100 million to support Vote Your Voice through
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