Beginning this week, Nevada Democrats are working toward increasing Latinx voter turnout in the next election by initiating the caucus’s Spanish-language training program. The training is an attempt to increase Latino turnout in the 2020 election through educating potential voters over how to participate in the caucus process, including informing them how to vote early, something that will significantly expand access to voters who may not be able to take time from work to cast their ballots.
“When we started [Spanish-language training] last year, it was 12 weeks before the general election,” Cynthia Jasso-Rotunno, DNC Latinx political director, told NBC News. “We’re starting now … so when one of the Democratic candidates becomes the nominee, they plop into a structure already there.” Becoming a Caucus Day volunteer is as simple as completing a webinar training through the Nevada Democrats homepage. The party also offers the opportunity to volunteer with Telefonazo del Pueblo, the state’s Spanish-language phone bank effort, beginning today.
Nevada was one of the states that Democrats were able to flip in the 2018 midterm elections, in large part because of Latinx voter turnout. “Latino voters showed up in really wonderful numbers in 2018 and helped elect Democrats up and down the ballot,” Shelby Wiltz, the Nevada Democrats’ caucus director, told NBC News. She cited the huge increase in voter turnout specifically in districts with a large Latinx population, something that the caucus hope to reach again with their push for Spanish-language training.. “We know 2020 is going to be a huge year for us, and I think the caucus is the foundation for our success in the general election.” She added that she felt that Nevada, a state whose electorate closely matches that of the nation, may end up being a bellwether for the rest of the country.
At the national level, California Senator Kamala Harris announced a push for Spanish-language caucus education through her campaign as a way to increase Latinx voter turnout, of course, hopefully increase her chances of winning the Democratic primary; Harris’s polling numbers have slipped since June, down to 8 percent where she is trailing far behind the leading pack of Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Bernie Sanders. “Latinos are more committed than ever to changing the course of our country to organizing communities,” one of her senior advisers told Politico. “It’s on us as a campaign to make sure that they know that Kamala Harris is a person who is going to fight.”