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2020 Election: The Voting Power Of Latino Youth

Maria Elena Romero
The World
Clockwise, starting from the top left. Adela Diaz, Izcan Ordaz, Yaneilys Ayuso, Brayan Guevara, Marlene Herrera, Jacob Cuenca, Michelle Aguilar Ramirez and Leticia Arcila will vote for US president for the first time in the 2020 elections.

Eight young Latino first-time voters tell The World about their politics, priorities and concerns leading to the Nov. 3 presidential election.

The world’s attention is on the 2020 presidential election in the United States. And this year, there is one particular group that may help decide who wins: Latinos, one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in the US. Approximately every 30 seconds, a Latino in the US turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote.

2020 Election: The voting power of Latino youth

A record 32 million people who identify as Latino will be eligible to vote in the 2020 presidential election, according to Pew Research Center. That’s just over 13% of the electorate — surpassing eligible Black voters for the first time and making Latinos the nation’s largest voter group after whites.

But will they come out to vote?

Young Latino voters have similar priority issues as other young Americans: health care, the economy, climate change and how to afford college, among others. But they also have different interests and nuances connected to their family backgrounds, along with their social and economic statuses.

All of these things — combined with a pandemic and a racial reckoning — have upended their lives and are shaping their politics.

Through “Every 30 Seconds,” a collaborative public media reporting project, The World has been tracing the stories of eight young Latinos ahead of the 2020 presidential election and beyond. The project was launched in February and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

“Every 30 Seconds” is a collaborative public media reporting project bringing together diverse perspectives from across the country. Stations contributing to “Every 30 Seconds” include KERA in Dallas, Texas; KJZZ in Phoenix, Arizona; KPBS in San Diego, California; KUOW in Seattle, Washington; WABE in Atlanta, Georgia; WLRN in Miami, Florida; and WUNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The World