‘Democracy depends on participation:’ Advocates push voter registration

Advocates hold a banner at a rally for National Voter Registration Day at the state Capitol in Phoenix on Tuesday. The last day to register to vote in Arizona is Oct. 11. (Photo by Alexia Faith/Cronkite News)

Jolyana Begay-Kroupa, CEO of the Phoenix Indian Center, middle, poses with registered voters at the Power of the Native Vote event at the center in central Phoenix on National Voter Registration Day. (Photo by Jimena Vera/Cronkite News)

Mi Familia Vota urges members of every community to register to vote in the midterm elections on Nov. 8. With the voter deadline approaching on Oct. 11, the organization held a rally Tuesday with Chicanos Por La Causa in front of the state Capitol. (Photo by Alexia Faith/Cronkite News)

Carolina Rodriguez-Greer, state director for Mi Familia Vota, speaks at a National Voter Registration Day event at the Arizona Capitol. “It’s important to inform people about the last day to register to vote in the midterm election,” she says, noting that it’s Oct. 11 in Arizona. (Photo by Alexia Faith/Cronkite News)

Mi Familia Vota, which has been registering people to vote in Arizona for the past 12 years, celebrates National Voter Registration Day alongside Chicanos Por La Causa at the state Capitol. (Photo by Alexia Faith/Cronkite News)

Jeamy Ramirez, interim director for Mi Familia Vota in Nevada, left, and Edith Betancourt, also of the organization, distribute free T-shirts at a National Voter Registration Day rally at the state Capitol. The shirts read “¡Sí Se Vota!” (Yes, we vote!) and “Latino Loud.” (Photo by Alexia Faith/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 8 midterm election is three weeks away. Chicanos Por La Causa, Mi Familia Vota and other groups working to register voters capitalized on National Voter Registration Day to continue their push.

“We know that people are procrastinating,” Joseph Garcia, executive director of Chicanos Por La Causa Action Fund, said Tuesday at an event at the Arizona Capitol. The voter-registration deadline in Arizona is Oct. 11, and these groups are trying to spread their message: “Your vote, your voice.”

Garcia called registering to vote “a love letter to the people you love.”

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“If you don’t do anything else today, you need to register to vote and make sure someone else is registered to vote,” he said. “That is a love letter in itself: to democracy, to our future, to our community, to our state, to our neighbors, to our co-workers, to our children, the list goes on. … Our democracy depends on participation, and it begins at the ballot box.”

Advocacy groups work year-round to register voters and motivate them to go to the polls, but on National Voter Registration Day, they focus on “voter education, registration and expand the (electorate) through citizenship workshops,” said Carolina Rodriguez-Greer, state director for Mi Familia Vota.

Other groups, including Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, the Phoenix Indian Center and Glendale Community College’s Student Leadership Center, held events around the Phoenix area.

“There’s so much riding on this election; we have a lot to win or lose in this election,” said Lydia Guzman, director of advocacy and civic engagement for Chicanos Por La Causa.

Arizona voters can register or update their voter information at servicearizona.com. As of the August primary, there were 4,156,067 registered voters in Arizona, according to the secretary of state.

(Video by Mikenzie Hammel and Jimena Vera/Cronkite News)
Alexia Faith uh-lex-see-uh faith (she/her/hers)
News Visual Journalist, Phoenix

Alexia Faith expects to graduate in May 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. Faith, who has interned as a videographer with Arizona Highways Magazine, has her own videography and photography company.

Mikenzie Hammel mih-ken-zee ham-mel (she/her/hers)
News Broadcast Reporter, Phoenix

Mikenzie Hammel expects to graduate in May 2023 with a master’s degree in mass communication. Hammel is the executive editor of Downtown Devil and has interned with PHXTV.

Jimena Vera him-me-nah ver-uh (she/her)
News Broadcast Reporter, Phoenix

Jimena Vera expects to graduate in December 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in Spanish. Vera is a bilingual reporter for The State Press.

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