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Power of Latino and minority votes in Arizona

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Posted at 3:00 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 01:32:36-04

With primaries weeks away, an organization in the Valley is doing its part to make sure Latinos and communities of color have a voice this election.

Mi Familia Vota tells ABC15 their votes are powerful and could be decisive this upcoming election.

Arisbeth Valenzuela, a canvass lead at Mi Familia Vota, says she knows what it’s like to live in America and not be able to vote at 18.

So, she's made it her mission to make sure those who are eligible have the resources to do what she couldn’t: to vote.

“Hi ladies, how are you doing?” she could be heard saying, outside of a Phoenix library.

Valenzuela is doing her part to educate folks ahead of election day on August 2.

“We’ll just go to public areas, engage with individuals who one...are not registered to vote, they need to update any of their voter registration, trying to get them on the permanent early voting list,” she told ABC15.

Valenzuela says she is helping others through this because she knows what it’s like not to have a voice.

“I was originally born in Mexico. I immigrated here. Recently became a citizen in 2019,” she added.

So, she voted for the first time in 2020, when she was 20 years old.

“I’m giving them the resources for me not to speak on behalf of them but for them to reclaim their own voices,” she said with pride.

Pretty soon, Valenzuela came up to a woman walking out of the library.

“Have you registered to vote?” Valenzuela asked Raychel Adreani.

Adreani explained to Valenzuela that she moved to Arizona from Boston, where she was currently registered to vote.

She needed help updating her address to be eligible to vote in Arizona.

“Had she not been here, do you think you would have registered this quickly?” ABC15 asked Adreani.

“Probably not,” she responded.

"And why is that?” we asked.

“Just because I didn’t know how easy it would be,” said Adreani.

“That’s one more voice,” Valenzuela said with excitement.

Carolina Rodriguez-Greer, the state Director for Mi Familia Vota Arizona, says this is what it’s all about; getting people to vote, especially in the Latino community and communities of color.

“There is a new American majority that’s looking very colorful. That has a lot of different points of views. That has a lot of hope in what democracy can look like,” Rodriguez-Greer told ABC15.

Rodriguez-Greer says a new census report shows there’s 30,000 Latinos turning 18 every year in Arizona.

Our vote absolutely matters because we are a part of this community and we want to be represented in the laws that represent us and we want a seat at the table,” added the Director of Mi Familia Vota Arizona.

She says she’s confident the Latino vote in Arizona can be a decisive one.

“Arizona is now a battleground state because of the efforts of our organization and other organizations registering over 100,000 voters just in the last 10 years,” added Rodriguez-Greer.

So, they’ll continue making voter information and resources accessible to everyone.

Valenzuela tells ABC15, they will uplift voices, one registration at a time.

“Voting is going to make a difference,” said Valenzuela.