SAN ANTONIO – After analyzing data from 2018 and 2020, the nation’s oldest and largest Latino voter registration nonprofit projects that 3.5 million more Latinos nationally will vote in the November midterms, including one million more in Texas.
Lydia Camarillo, president of the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project, said its predictions are based on its data analysis of almost 700,000 new Texas Latino voters from the 2018 to 2020 midterm elections.
“Latino voter registration grew extraordinarily,” Camarillo said. “It’s huge. It’s phenomenal.”
As a result, she said SVREP is predicting the Latino turnout numbers will increase by one million more voters in the 2022 midterm general elections, compared to those in 2018.
“I think it’s a result of what we’re calling the ‘Trump effect,’ and also a response to all the voter suppression bills that passed and continue to be part of Texas history,” Camarillo said.
Still, she said there will be continued growth, despite SB1111 that would prevent those without proof of a permanent address from registering to vote, such as students or people experiencing homelessness.
Camarillo said a federal judge agreed this week, “We can’t have people who don’t have a home not having the right to vote.”
However, she said the decision will likely be appealed and end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Camarillo said its fate before the high court is uncertain given its 6-3 conservative majority.
She expects the record number of Latino voters will remain largely Democratic like others have in the past at the presidential and congressional levels.
Camarillo said she acknowledges Republican inroads in South Texas, especially the Rio Grande Valley, and the GOP’s push to get more Latino support this year.
However, she said, “I reject the notion that it’s more Latinos becoming Republican, given the ‘Trump effect.’”
Camarillo said SVREP is analyzing what factors were at play, such as immigration, given their proximity to the border, the dependence on the oil and gas industry for jobs, as well as those working for ICE, Border Patrol and other Homeland Security agencies.
“I think that it’s important for people to remember now what happened in the Valley,” Camarillo said.
She said she understands and appreciates a voter’s right to choose how they want to vote.
“Latinos will vote for those candidates and that party that is working in their interests,” she said.
Camarillo said it is crucial for all voters to know their vote counts and their vote is their voice, “Su voto si cuenta. Su voto es su voz.”