Group pushing to get more Latinos in Houston out to the polls

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In Houston, we have seen record turnout already at the polls for the 2020 election, but we have not seen a lot of Latino voters. A group is working hard with hopes to get more Latinos out to vote this election.

"Tell your tias your tios, your nephews, your family," an excited voter, Tony Diaz shouted on a chilly Wednesday. "Tell them about the seven sisters!"

Diaz, a long-time community activist, was trying to drum up support for seven Latina women judicial candidates on Harris County's ballot. However, he knows well that Hispanics overall do not show up at the polls at the same rate as Caucasian and Black voters do.

"We need more Latinos represented, we are the majority," lamented Judge Julia Maldonado, who implored that more Latinos need to get to the polls. "We need to have representation."

SEE ALSO: Eva Longoria urges Texans to vote: 'As Texas goes, so goes the nation'

An ABC13 analysis of the first two weeks of early voting shows that so far, there's an average of 32% registered voter turnout in precincts where more than half of the 20 and older population is white, versus an average of 22.6% registered voter turnout in precincts where more than half the 20 and older population is a non-white majority.

The numbers do not surprise Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, who runs a statewide organization focused on increasing Hispanic turnout.

"The number one reason that Latinos don't vote, is because no candidate or party goes and speaks to them," said Tzintzun Ramirez.

SEE ALSO: Fort Bend County sees record early voting turnout, surpassing 2018 total votes

In Harris County, though, there are signs the tide could be turning. With early voting more accessible than ever, and more efforts by a variety of organizations, Tzintzun Ramirez is hopeful.

"We're seeing record-breaking turnout amongst voters in Texas and we know Latinos are a big part of that. When you spend time talking to Latinos, they turn out. That's especially for Latinas, who are leading the way."

Follow Miya Shay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.