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Voting hotline encourages local Latinos to register

Political experts say the Latino vote will help influence who will be the next President of the United States, and with the election less than 50 days away, the Latino community has turned into a much sought after group.

According to the last U.S. Census, around 12 percent of Bonneville County is of Hispanic origin, making them the largest minority group in the area.

“When a community votes, leaders have to pay attention,” said Jim Francis, a Bonneville County Democrat volunteer. “You can’t leave them out if they’re voting.”

The Bonneville County Democrats have set up a bilingual hotline to make it easier for Hispanics looking to cast their ballots.

“I think it’ll be huge, especially in the congressional races here in Idaho,” said Fernando Sandoval, hotline volunteer. “It’s the largest minority group in Idaho.”

Sandoval is part of the voter support task force. He answers phones, sends out registration forms and helps out those looking to vote anyway that he can.

“It would be huge for the state, to show that they’re active and they’re part of Idaho politics,” said Sandoval.

And not only Idaho politics, but issues facing our nation as well.

“It’s the individual’s voice, but also the community’s voice and you can’t underestimate how strong that can be,” said Francis.

Volunteers with the hotline said just because they’re also affiliated with the Bonneville County Democrats, doesn’t mean they’ll only help democrats. Their goal is just to get more people registered to vote.

“It takes you past cynicism, it takes you past anger and makes you part of a larger process which is essential to democracy. I really believe in that,” said Mark Hatch, volunteer.

If you are planning on voting and register before October 12, all you need to bring to register is proof of residence. However, if you register after October 12, then you must register at the polls, show proof of residence and have a state-issued photo I.D.

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