Decades after UFW’s early voter registration drives, and key amendments to the Voting Rights Act, activists continue to work to raise turnout and registration among Latinos voters in Southern California.
The eastern Coachella Valley’s immigrant population, for one, is made up of both citizens and non-citizens, many of whom have lived in the area for decades as legal permanent residents. But because such non-citizen residents don’t have the right to vote, coupled with the remote location of the area, those communities have sometimes been overlooked all together by canvassers and candidates, Leal-Gutierrez said.
One organization now trying to fill that gap is Alianza. The group’s get-out-the-vote campaigns typically run on election years from March to November, and feature door-to-door canvassers who live in the area or close by. Those canvassers share election updates, details about polling places (or, in this year’s case, mail-in voting), upcoming candidate forums and more. Information is provided in both Spanish and English. Because of coronavirus, Alianza’s work this year, much like that of other groups, focuses heavily on phone banking.