October 16, 2020
Mi Voto, Mi Futuro: Let's Make our Voices Heard
Categories: BELONGING AND CULTURE: Uniting Community, Giving Circles, Grants, Civic Engagement,
Bella Macias (right) and Leilani Monterde (left) are Student Ambassadors participating in Mi Voto, Mi Futuro, a campaign launched by UnidosNow to support and encourage the Latinx community, especially young voters, to share their voice through voting.
Voting is a fundamental part of our civic duty and with the general election approaching, we all need to participate in electing policymakers that will shape the everyday lives of our community and family. Moreover, it is important to recognize key demographic changes in the upcoming election, such as the rise in Latinx voters, who represent the largest ethnic minority among registered voters at 13.3%. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 32 million people who identify as Latino will be eligible to vote in the 2020 election! This reaffirms the significance of the Latinx community, and how we have the potential to meaningfully impact the future of this country.
However, statistics can only prove so much unless Latinos participate. Florida has 671,000 unregistered Latinos eligible to vote. In Manatee County, Latinos are 19% of the population, but only 7% of registered voters, while in Sarasota County, Latinos are 11% of the population, but only 4% of registered voters. This country has been deemed as the melting pot of different cultures, languages, and peoples; it is then our responsibility, as Latinx voters, to provide an accurate representation of the nation’s opinion by participating in this election. Our diversity is our strength, and by voting for political officials that reflect our values and ideas, we hope to improve our community!
Thanks to the generous support of the Athena Progressive Giving Circle of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, UnidosNow’s Mi Voto, Mi Futuro campaign was launched this summer, with the goal of supporting and encouraging the Latinx community, especially young voters, to come out to the polls. The campaign’s Student Ambassador team has dedicated its time to providing crucial information on voting deadlines and aid in the process of registering. For information about the campaign, check out our website and sign the Pledge to Vote.
Important deadlines for the upcoming general election in Florida include:
- Early Voting from October 19th to November 1st
- Vote by Mail Request by October 24th
- Election Day on November 3rd
Early voting in person or voting by mail are the safest and easiest ways to cast your ballot for this election, especially in light of the pandemic. You have until October 24th to request your vote by mail ballot from your Supervisor of Elections, but don’t wait to do so; request your mail in ballot today!
If you prefer to early vote in person, between October 19th and November 1st, you don’t have to go to a designated polling location, like on Election Day but, rather, there are various sites that you can choose from. Manatee County has six early voting locations and Sarasota County has eight. All are open from 8:30am to 6:30pm. Check your Supervisor of Elections website for specific location information or vote by mail details:
- For Manatee: VoteManatee.com
- For Sarasota: SarasotaVotes.com
If you already requested a Vote by Mail (VBM) ballot from your Supervisor of Elections, you can also drop off your completed ballot (with your signature and date in the designated sections of the envelope) at any of the early voting locations in your county during early voting. If you are mailing in your VBM ballot, remember to place TWO stamps on the envelope.
If you miss the vote by mail and early voting dates, you can always cast your ballot at your local polling location on November 3rd, Election Day. But with all the early options available, why wait?
Latinx voters will have a notable impact in this election, playing a key part in the outcome in local races and the presidential race. Use your civic superpower and get your voice heard this election: Vote!