Ahead of next month’s election, voter organizations are promoting registration in ways that are catered to the Latino electorate and their proclivities. One such group is Phone2Action, a civic engagement platform that launched an app on Voter Registration Day, September 27, that capitalizes on Latinos’ dependency on mobile devices. A Pew Research Center survey released in July found that 94 percent of Latinos said they access the Internet through a mobile device—a higher percentage than among white users—and a 2015 Nielsen report found that Latinos use “more mobile minutes than average device users.”
The Phone2Action tool, also available on desktop, allows users to check their registration, find information about early voting and polling locations, and learn more about presidential and down-ballot candidates. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Consumer Technology Association, and National Association of Manufacturers are among those who have partnered with Phone2Action to offer the app on their websites. Recent data seems to affirm Phone2Action’s strategy: Since National Voter Registration Day—which was heavily promoted on Google, Facebook, and the nation’s largest Spanish-language network, Univision—searches for “registrarse para votar” have been largely conducted on mobile. According to Google trends data, 87 percent of searches were on a mobile device, compared with 13 percent of searches on a desktop computer. Meanwhile, search interest for “register to vote” stood at 76 percent on mobile and 24 percent on desktop.
Other voter organizations are also working to mobilize Latinos. Voto Latino, a nonpartisan group that focuses on engaging young Latinos, announced this month that its outreach efforts have so far resulted in 101,720 voter registrations. President and CEO Maria Teresa Kumar said in a statement that the group’s “digital-first strategy of engaging young Latinos has led to more than 5,000 voter registrations per day in the last weeks.” National Council of La Raza and Mi Familia Vota, two organizations that focus on Latino voter participation, are also deploying efforts to increase turnout.
Latino outreach efforts could have a lopsided benefit for Hillary Clinton, whose opponent has used inflammatory language about Latinos and proposed policies that would directly impact the immigrant community.
Donald Trump launched his campaign calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. More than a year later, after the first debate, he doubled-down on his past criticisms of Venezuelan-born Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe. Trump’s campaign has ostensibly tried to land Latino voters through his National Hispanic Advisory Council, but even that effort has come with its hiccups. Following his recent speech on immigration in Phoenix, Arizona—where he demonstrated a continuing hardline stance on deportations and border security—some members decided to leave the group.