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VIDEO: Immigration Issues Galvanize Hispanic Voters

 

Only 51 percent of Latino registered voters across the nation said they're planning on going to the polls -- that's compared to 70 percent of registered voters.

But a recent Pew Hispanic Center poll suggests that while voter motivation across the nation might be weak, Latinos in Arizona are gearing up for Nov. 2 election.

Mi Familia Vota says they've registered nearly 20,000 new voters.
When Governor Brewer signed the tough immigration bill into law, members of the Hispanic community converged on the State Capitol to show their opposition.

But will those strong feelings translate into a real impact at the polls? Hispanic community organizers say yes.

"This midterm election we will see an increase," says Lydia Guzman with Somos America. "There have been so many different groups promoting the Hispanic vote, there is also a lot of participation when it comes to folks registering to vote."

But an ASU political scientist who studies Hispanic voting patterns doubts there will be a big impact next Tuesday.

"A few years ago there was talk of increasing Hispanic registration… part of it is explained through history. Not a strong history of Hispanic civil rights organizations in Arizona," says ASU Assistant Professor Rodolfo Espino.

Individual voters will have to decide just how engaged they want to be with the political process. Community leaders hope momentum built during the midterm elections leads to a massive turnout in 2012, the next presidential election.

Democratic State Representative David Lugan and Republican State Representative Steve Montenegro are joining us live to discuss what impact the Hispanic vote might have on the election, and other issues besides immigration that are important to the ethnic community.

This story was filed by Steve Krafft for KSAZ in Arizona. For more information visit myfoxphoenix.com.