POLITICS

With deadline looming, Latinos make last-minute push to register to vote

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 05:  Voters go to the polls for Super Tuesday primaries in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Boyle Heights on February 5, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. Latinos are an increasingly important factor in California where they are expected to account for 14 percent of the vote and tend to favor presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) over rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). At 44 million, Latinos make up15 percent of the US population, the nation's largest minority group according to the latest Census Bureau estimates.   (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 05: Voters go to the polls for Super Tuesday primaries in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Boyle Heights on February 5, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. Latinos are an increasingly important factor in California where they are expected to account for 14 percent of the vote and tend to favor presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) over rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). At 44 million, Latinos make up15 percent of the US population, the nation's largest minority group according to the latest Census Bureau estimates. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)  (2008 Getty Images)

Just days before South Carolina’s deadline for registering to vote, state election officials report that Latino registration is up more than 40 percent from the 2012 presidential race.

The sharp rise is yet another indication of the keen interest in this year’s election among Latinos, who have found themselves, either directly or indirectly, a centerpiece of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign.

In 2012, 31,295 Latinos were registered to vote in South Carolina. By last week, that number had jumped to 43,550, according to the Independent Mail.

Asian-Americans have also registered in greater numbers, although their jump was not as large. Asian registration rose 10 percent since 2012, from 21,961 to 26,421.

The registration level in South Carolina is up by 8 percent overall from 2012, the news outlet said.

The jump in Latino and Asian-American voters is expected to benefit Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, as people in those ethnic groups tend to vote Democratic.

The Washington Post indicated that Democrats have been aiming to boost Latino registration rates in states that are not seen as tradition Latino hubs but where the ethnic population has been growing, believing that in a close presidential race this increase can make the difference.

Voto Latino, a nonpartisan voter registration group, reports that there have been more than 101,000 new Latino voter registrations in several states since November.

The group set out to register 3,000 people a day, but in recent weeks has seen that number reach about 5,000, the Post reported.

The states accounting for the four highest registration increases are Texas with 20,483 new voters, California with 13,394 and Florida with 10,565.

The New York Times recently reported that the regions that accounted for the most online searches for how to “register to vote” had large Latino populations. They included areas in Texas, California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida, the newspaper said.

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