This book provides an understanding of the role that Latino communities play in American politics. In a country marked by arbitrary and exclusionary electoral practices, minority political participation is central to remedying the inequity of the electoral process. The 1993 National Voter Registration act (NVRA) was enacted to compensate for past exclusionary electoral practices and was designed to equalize the political playing field so that disenfranchised groups could achieve parity. The author contends that, as a result, Latino communities are in a unique position to seize political clout. First, the growing numbers of Latino families in strategic electoral states are a significant proportion of the states' population. Second, the young Latino segment is in search of community reassurance. Third, the ever-increasing non-citizen population is demanding the political resources to become a voice for Latino community interests. Finally, Latino special interest groups are effectively conducting grass roots community-based voter registration strategies, including NVRA mail-in voter registration methods.
Elaine Rodriquez, Ph.D., is a visiting Associate Professor at New Mexico Highlands University. She is the primary investigator on a project examining the civic and political levels of engagement of "soon-to-be" naturalized citizens.
Chapter 1 American Political Participation: Internation Election Procedures and Voter Turnout; Election-Day Turnout in the United States; Election Day Turnout in Arizona; Arizona Compared to Other Western States; The Enfranchised Public; Who are the Voters?; Explan Chapter 2 Latino Political Participation: Latino's Millenary Population; Latino Voter Turnout; Latino Political Clout; Latino Socioeconomic Characteristics; Latino Suffrage; The Enfranchised Latino: A Profile of "Likely" and "Unlikely" Voters; The Latino Population Chapter 3 The Struggle to Reform Election Law in Arizona: The Impact of Reforms on the Minority Community; Moving Toward Freedom; The Legislature Takes Action; Mail-in Registration; Motor-Voter Program; Suspending Purging for Not Voting; Complying with the NVRA Chapter 4 The Impact of the NVRA: NVRA: State and County Agency Perspectives; The Impact of NVRA on Latino Communities; Statewide Perspectives; Latinos and NVRA-type Reforms; NVRA-type methods and Voter Turnout Chapter 5 Conclusion: NVRA as an Election Reform Strategy: NVRA Reforms in Arizona; Latinos and Two-tiered Pluralism; NVRA and the Disenfranchised; NVRA as an Election-Reform Strategy; Implications for the Latino Community