Local News

Cumberland County Hispanics Help One Another Head to the Polls

Posted November 1, 1999

— Cumberland County continues to have one of the fastest growing Hispanic population in the state. An estimated 23,000 hispanics and latinos now call Cumberland County home. But many of them are not registered to vote.

Latino leaders are going from migrant camps to Mexican stores encouraging their peers to register to vote.

"I think its just a matter of education. We have to get out there, and we have to talk to the people, and and we have to tell them why they have to participate in the elections," said Flora Santor, president of the Hispanic/Latino Center.

Santor says increasing voter registration is one of the center's biggest challenges. Along with registration drives, the center hosted a candidates' forum.

"Health, jobs, insurance, education, all those programs are affected by voter registration," Santor said.

Just over 5,000 of the city and county's 131,000 registered voters are hispanic or asian. Ines McCabe is one of them.

McCabe has been a U.S. citizen for four years. She only registered to vote last year.

By voting, McCabe says, "we can send a strong message that we care about ourselves and our community."

The Hispanic/Latino Center has a service available that will assist Spanish-speaking voters at the polls. But leaders say no one has every asked to use it.

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