Voter registration encouraged

ROCHESTER — Latino community and political leaders are joining forces to encourage Hispanics to register to vote.

The initiative’s theme is "No Bote Su Voto" ("Don’t Waste Your Vote"), explained Councilwoman Jackie Ortiz.

"The trend in Rochester, as across the country, is one of having a large Latino population but low voter turnout and registrants," said Ortiz, a Democrat who will be up for re-election next year. "The true impact and potential of Latinos’ political strength has still not been realized. The sleeping giant needs to be awakened, so a group of community leaders are taking on the task of voter education and registration, which hopefully yields greater participation."

Mildred Vázquez, whose brother is a Republican running for a state Assembly seat, said that community leaders are putting politics to the side as they strive to ensure as many Latinos as possible register to vote.

"I want people to get engaged — ask questions, get registered, go to rallies," she said. "Listen to people and get involved."

The group will host booths in several locations throughout the month, including at Los Flamboyanes Apartments on July 23 at 6 p.m., St. Michael Church on Aug. 1 at 6 p.m. and the Hispanic Community Center on Aug. 14. Ongoing locations include Centro de Oro and lemonade stands throughout the northeast part of the city.

Potential registrants also can check their registration status at www.monroecounty.gov/etc/voter.

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