Latino voters will be key in this election

Latino voters will be key in this election

On Wednesday, President Obama and Mitt Romney will have their first debate.

Time is running out if you need to register to vote.

It is especially important for Latino and African-American voters who have seen a decline in voter registration nationally. According to the Washington Post, voter registration was down among these two groups by 5 percent.

But the potential for new voters, especially Latinos, is very high.

In 2008, there were 19.5 mllion Latinos eligible to vote and in 2012 that number is 23.4 million, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

However only 9.7 million Latinos actually voted in 2008, around 50 percent of those eligible. Non-Hispanic whites and African-Americans had higher percentages of voter turnout in 2008 at 66 percent and 65 percent respectively.

The Hispanic vote will play a key role in battleground states like Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and even Virginia and North Carolina, where the Latino population has grown.

Latinos make up more than 10% of the electorate in 11 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada and Texas, according to Voto Latino, a non-partisan organization encouraging Latinos to vote. Their chairwoman is actress Rosario Dawson.

Still some Latinos are upset that President Obama hasn't accomplished more on immigration reform. But Mitt Romney hasn't offered any solutions beyond self-deportation.

Besides immigration, Hispanic voters also care about the economy, health care and education.

No candidate is perfect. But if you don't vote, you will have no say in the political future of this country.

If you haven't registered to vote yet you have until Oct. 9  if you live in Chicago. Check your the city of Chicago or Cook County  for more details.

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