2012 Election Outcomes

2012 Election Outcomes

As the results flow in from the 2012 elections, one thing is clear:  the road to the White House travels through Hispanic neighborhoods.  It is anticipated that approximately 12 million Latinos cast a vote on November 6, naming jobs and economy, immigration, and education as the top three issues important to their community.  Our community cares deeply about restoring the American Dream for all, expanding economic opportunity, and resolving immigration once and for all.  The real work on common-sense solutions begins now, and Latinos will be a powerful ally in moving the nation forward together.


Check out the Latino share of votes and party support as compared to the 2004 and 2008 elections.  


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How did NCLR contribute to this record turnout? 
NCLR proudly registered more 97,000 voters in 2012 through our diverse program including an online program; canvassing operations in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Pennsylvania; and our Latino Empowerment and Advocacy Program with NCLR Affiliates in California, Idaho, New York, North Carolina, and Texas.  We also worked hard to make sure Latinos showed up to the polls on Election Day. 

NCLR hosted a ya es hora campaign call center in our headquarters on Election Day to help voters find their polling places, verify their registrations, and report any problems at the polls.  In partnership with other call centers in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Denver, Orlando, Las Vegas, New York, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Houston, and under the leadership of the NALEO Educational Fund, the coalition assisted nearly 4,000 callers.

In addition to the election protection hotline, NCLR implemented a massive Get Out the Vote campaign in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.  Altogether we knocked on 113,016 doors, called 233,897 voters, and helped 12,612 people fill out plan-to-vote forms.  NCLR Affiliates partners reached an additional 32,538 people through phone calls, canvassing, mailings, billboards, and block parties. NCLR sent more than 257,000 emails and 90,780 text messages reminding voters to cast their ballots early where possible and informing them of their rights on Election Day.  NCLR also ran a series of English and Spanish Facebook ads resulting in more than 10.6 million impressions and 4,272 clicks.  The ads asked Latinos to pledge to vote and informed them of their voting rights.  Finally, a series of mobile ads in Pennsylvania and Florida, resulting in more than 1.1 million impressions and 5,086 clicks, patched potential voters through to the ya es hora hotline for assistance.


Stories from NCLR staff on Election Day

Jesus Altamirano—Colorado
As goes Jefferson County so goes Colorado…at least that is what folks around here kept saying.

In the early morning, things seemed quiet.  There were reports of long lines and long wait times but people kept their energy and patience in order to do their civic duty—vote.  I saw an array of voters from youth to older generations, men, women and even families!  Latinos made a point to go out, stand in line, and cast their ballots.

I heard from a several first-time young Latino voters about why they took time to vote.  Nineteen-year-old Phillip called it his “moral obligation” and cited education as his issue—others simply wanted to participate in the electoral process.

One young woman said she was looking forward to receiving equal pay for equal work.  A first-time voter born in 1962 verified his registration status online at 6:30 p.m., and a volunteer with CIRC-Action Fund drove him to the polls and made it with 15 minutes to spare!  

Why did Ricardo vote?  He wants to see more attention given to local infrastructure—fixing the potholes in his neighborhood.  Another older voter, Semon, cited the rising cost of healthcare as the main issue elected officials need to fix.  

At the end, there were two Latino plumbers who ran from their work van to get in line, just a few minutes before the polls closed at Lumburg Elementary.  They understood that they were not in their precinct but wanted to have the opportunity to cast a ballot.  Even if it was a provisional ballot, they were exercising their right to vote.  

All this demonstrates that Latinos are not a single-minded or one-party electorate—Latinos went out to the polls, stood in long lines, kept warm toward the end, but they did it because they wanted their voices heard.

…I’m sure the weather helped some too! 

Natalie Carlier—Miami, Florida
Here in South Florida, Latinos were plentiful at the polls.  Election Day started with long lines early in the morning.  The biggest polling location I went to in West Kendall had people forming lines by 6:00 a.m.  Midday seemed to have more reasonable wait times of 45 minutes to an hour-and-a-half. 

The lines were longest in the evening, but it felt like those folks were “ride-or-die” voters willing to stick it out even through four-hour lines.  Within two hours of the polls closing, waves of people just kept coming.  My impression?  Latinos work best under pressure!

Rafael Collazo—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
We have never seen the buy-in to the importance of the political process and the enthusiasm to vote that we saw in this election.  During our two-week Get-Out-The-Vote effort, we encountered only a fraction of voters who were not “definitely voting.”  Latino voters simply needed accurate information delivered in a culturally competent manner about the voting process.  They greatly appreciated NCLR’s effort to visit their homes to provide this information.

Latino voters also understand that they are voting as part of a national movement to elevate Hispanics in the political process and within the larger society.  We got questions from voters about turnout and our work in other states, particularly Central Florida, due to the cultural similarities with our communities.  Latino voters locally also feel more comfortable expressing their opinions on issues and seem ripe to engage in follow-up issue-based campaigns.

Locally, we had a lot of small fires we had to put out, from switched polling locations, to some election officials implementing the Voter ID law incorrectly, to simply missing Latino voters on the rolls, but, for the most part, Latino voters were determined to vote no matter what and persevered with NCLR’s help.  Our assistance was especially appreciated because NCLR is a national nonpartisan organization focused on Hispanic civil rights and provided voter education and assistance without a candidate or party agenda.


Yanidsi Velez – Orlando, Florida

The state of Florida announced that nearly 4.5 million Floridians voted either through absentee ballot or early voting. In Central Florida, around 400,000 people voted early. However, what should have been an easy process turned into a major ordeal for many people.

Winter Park, one of the Orange County’s poll locations, opened for extended early voting hours on Sunday after being closed for several hours on Saturday due to a suspicious package that was found outside and later investigated by a local bomb squad. This caused a lot of confusion for voters, and NCLR Action Fund surrogates saw more than a dozen people leave Winter Park without voting because they feared their votes would be cast as provisional ballots. Instead, they opted to cast them directly with the Orange County Supervisor of Elections on Monday, an option for voters in Orange and Osceola counties. I also took advantage of this option.

On Election Day there were fewer polling precincts this year than in 2008 due to redistricting and budget limitations. This caused problems with accessibility and traffic in several precincts of Kissimmee and Orlando. Florida faced record waiting times this year, even during early voting, when lines ran long day and night. People indeed went out to vote, but many heavily Latino precincts faced three- to five-hour waits. Students at the University of Central Florida stood on line while writing essays, eating pizza, and drinking water donated by several grassroots volunteers.

In Osceola and Orange counties, the Puerto Rican population turned out to vote in an impressive way. It was exciting to see people committed to casting their votes, especially parents who brought their kids. I also talked with lots of first-time voters like Lucy, a 64-year-old U.S.-born resident of Osceola County. She said she came out to vote because this election has pulled at her heart strings. She voted to secure her present and leave behind a better future for her granddaughters.

Victor, 29, of Saint Cloud, Florida, voted for the second time. He said he voted for jobs, for small business support, and for a candidate that can relate to the people who want a better future for every citizen.

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