We’ve Got the (Ballot) Power

HipLatina VoterEvery vote counts. Every single one. This was made evident in the year 2000 when we experienced first-hand the Bush v. Gore’s closest and endless election after a grueling 36-day Florida recount battle. There and then individual votes were being recounted, one by one until it was determined Bush won the race. Will this be the case in 2016?

We hold tremendous power, if we use it. Over the past and coming months, state by state, votes are being tallied determining the fate of millions of Latinos in the primary election. Serious threats loom to deport hard working people, build a wall to keep them out, and in the end, break up families.

Regardless of race, we can use our collective voice to decide the direction of our lives (and our children’s lives) if we show up at the ballot box and vote. By doing so, every citizen engages in preserving his or her rights and asks for fair representation in this country. It’s understandable if mistrust exists towards those in power, especially if the past has shown a repeated history of secrets and lies in your native countries, but now more than ever, much is at stake during this election and the time is now to support our local communities, our humanistic values, individualism, and families. Today, Latinos have the power across the country to imagine a brighter future by putting their foot down and stopping the injustice.

In a PopSugar article by Brinton Parker, Everyone Should Read This Letter Signed by Latino Celebrities About the Election, Zoe Saldana, America Ferrera, Dolores Huerta, and 20 other vocal Latino celebrities have stood up to racism, signing an open letter against all the GOP candidates. Will the 25 million Latino citizens join in and do the same by voting?

The future hangs in the balance. We have seen more Latinos registering to vote than in any past election, and yet, according to the L.A. Times, although the Latino vote is growing, it could be much bigger. Civil rights activist Cesar Chavez said, “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”

It’s too soon to predict the outcome of the 2016 election, but it’s not too soon to cast your primary vote. The presidential race will be close, running neck and neck for party representation until all the votes are in. We must fight for what is right and win using one very powerful weapon: Your vote.

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