On Monday, Sept. 23, the Latino Community Foundation (LCF), UC Merced and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will join forces to host a region-wide festival with nearly 1,000 youth to kick off National Voter Registration Day and 2020 census.
The National Voter Registration and Census Festival will take place at the UC Merced campus, 5200 N. Lake Rd., and will feature Secretary of State Padilla. He is slated to kick-off the day with a rally at noon.
UC Merced’s Latino students make up nearly 55 percent of the university’s undergraduate population, reflecting the demographics of the Central Valley and the state.
California has the largest Latino voting bloc in the nation with more than 7.7 million eligible voters.
The 2018 midterm elections saw the power of the Latino vote, especially among Latinos ages 18-24 who turned out in record numbers. Places like the Central Valley saw more than 200 percent increase in voter turnout compared to 2014.
Pressing issues such as immigration, student debt, climate change and gun control affect Latino youth, and their participation in next year’s California primary will determine the winner of the Democratic primary.
At the festival, organizers will celebrate their leadership and kick off the “Yo Voy a Votar” campaign. Their collective goal is to register Latino youth voters, ensuring another historic turnout and an accurate census count in 2020.