Countywide : Los Amigos Urging More Latinos to Vote

In an effort to get more Latinos who are registered to vote to cast their ballots, Los Amigos of Orange County has launched Proyecto Sufragio Efectivo (Effective Suffrage Project).

The project involves the publication of a bilingual application for an absentee voter ballot in Orange County-based Spanish-language newspapers.

"The hope is to get more of the registered Latino citizens to cast their votes," said Galal Kernahan, a Los Amigos spokesman.

Kernahan said many Latinos do not vote because they have no time to go to the polls. So "voting by mail is a blessing for households in which hard-working adults cannot" cut their jobs to go to their polling places, he added.

Union Hispana, a weekly Spanish language newspaper, last week devoted a third of a page to print the absentee voter application. The application, boxed in broken lines as an easy cut-out guide, explains in Spanish and English how to vote by mail, where to send ballots and who is eligible to vote.

Azteca News and MINIONDAS will print the same application this week, Kernahan said.

May 31 is the last day people can request to vote by mail to cast their ballots in the June 7 primary election.

Kernahan said Los Amigos will again urge Spanish language newspapers to print the applications before the Nov. 8 general election. "This is a way to be proactive."

He said members of Los Amigos, a group of Latino community leaders who address concerns facing Latinos, also are handing out absentee ballot applications to encourage more people to vote by mail.

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