Dolores Huerta, a longtime civil rights activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers, spoke to Democratic voters in Georgia on Thursday.
The 90-year-old activist says Latinos in the state can swing the election.
Huerta is on a virtual tour to organize Democrats in states including Arizona, Florida and Pennsylvania. She says Latino voters in Georgia also matter.
“We know that there are a lot of Latino voters in Georgia, that they can actually affect the election,” said Huerta in an interview with WABE. “People don’t often think about Latinos in Georgia, but we know there are a whole bunch of them over there.”
About a million people in Georgia are Latino, according to census estimates. That’s about 10% of the population. Most are of Mexican descent. And the changing demographics of metro Atlanta have turned once solidly red counties like Cobb and Gwinnett to blue.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s efforts to reach Latino voters trailed behind Bernie Sanders’ during the Democratic primary. Huerta hopes those voters will show up for Biden in the general election.
“We just have to say to them, ‘You gotta go out there and take that march to the ballot box’ because that’s where it’s going to make a difference,” Huerta says.
Recent polls show Biden and President Donald Trump are tied in Georgia. Huerta says both the Democrats and Republicans can do better with outreach.
“I think a lot more should be done to reach the Latino voter,” she says. “A lot of times, we are taken for granted, especially by the Democratic Party.”
Trump visited Macon this month. His son, Donald Trump Jr., and Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris visited Atlanta on Friday.
Latinos are set to be the largest voting bloc after white voters. An estimated 32 million Latinos will be eligible to vote this election cycle. About a third of Latino voters in the country vote Republican.