Latino advocacy groups push for voter registration - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Latino advocacy groups push for voter registration

Latino advocates say there is a great need to register Hispanic voters in the state. Latino advocates say there is a great need to register Hispanic voters in the state.
MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

Next weekend, Decatur will have its first ever Hispanic Heritage Festival at Wilson Morgan Park.

In the middle of all the food and fun, there will also be a voter registration drive happening.

Latino advocates say there is a great need to register Hispanic voters in the state. Less than half of the roughly 40,000 eligible Hispanic voters in Alabama are registered to vote, and only 10 percent of those eligible actually voted in 2010.

Juanita Mendoza, who is with the North Alabama Committee for Immigrant Justice, said her group and others are going to Hispanic-based businesses and churches to register Latinos.

They are also getting the word out over local Spanish speaking radio stations, including WYAM 890 AM out of Hartselle.

"It's very important to voice your opinion. We have immigration, we have health care issues, we have economic issues. All that ties into U.S. citizens regardless of if you're Hispanic, if you're Asian, or whatever the case may be," Mendoza said.

The Hispanic Heritage Festival coincides with national Hispanic Heritage Month. It happens on Saturday, October 13th from 4 to 8 p.m. There will be music, authentic Hispanic food, folk dancing, games and other activities.

Admission is free to the event, and residents to not have to be Hispanic to register to vote there.

For more information about services for Hispanics in Alabama, log on to the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice website at http://www.acij.net/.

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