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Latino Voters’ Election Day Statement: ‘Give My Parents Papers’

Posted: Nov 12, 2012

 Edgar Vanegas was the one who cast his ballot for President Obama last Tuesday—but it’s really Edgar’s mother that the re-elected president ought to thank. It was the Colorado mom, after all, who hounded her son to register to vote, and then urged him to follow through. “I wasn’t really planning on voting because I never voted before,” Vanegas, a 21-year-od Aurora resident, said over the phone. “This year my mom kept on telling me to vote and she convinced me and well, yeah, I did.”

Vanegas’ mom didn’t vote, though, because both his parents are undocumented. “She probably would have been the first one in line,” if she had been able to vote, Vanegas said. Instead, his single vote would have to do for their whole family.

Vanegas’ vote came together with an outpouring of support from a multiracial coalition of voters, and from women of color in particular, to keep Obama in office. Asian American voters supported Obama by a wide margin; a solid 73 percent backed the president. While record numbers of black voters turned out in Florida and Ohio to back Obama despite suppressive voter ID laws, giving him strength in those crucial states. So while Obama’s overall support from white voters across the country declined, he held onto key battleground states like Virginia, Nevada and Vanegas’ home state of Colorado because demographic shifts in the last handful of years made up the difference. Read more here.

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