Georgia’s presidential primary was set to take place Tuesday, until it was pushed back to May 19–when the state’s other primary elections are being held– due to coronavirus pandemic. With schools, colleges and universities transitioning to online learning and widespread social distancing dominating daily headlines, many other states also are delaying sending vulnerable communities to the polls.
One plus to this delay is to allow youth Hispanic and Latino voters more time to mobilize, according to CNN Español political reporter Gustavo Valdés.
Since the first Democratic presidential debates in downtown Miami last summer, one group that stood to make a strong showing was the Latino voter.
“That especially with the younger generations, they are the ones doing it with more enthusiasm than the older generations, who seem to be doing it more out of a sense of duty,” Valdés said.
Meanwhile, he noted, rising cases of COVID-19 and lack of access to healthcare could be a driving force in the 2020 elections among Hispanic and Latino voters. Public health experts and immigration attorneys have also expressed concerns for undocumented workers who don’t always have the income to self-isolate or are discouraged from seeking medical care because of Trump administration policies.
A record 32 million Hispanic and Latino voters are projected to be eligible to vote in 2020 nationwide, a dramatic increase from 27.3 million in 2016, according to Pew Research Center. And for the first time in a presidential election, those voters are set to be the largest racial and ethnic minority group in the electorate.
In Georgia, voter registration statistics from the Secretary of State’s office show nearly 300,000 eligible Hispanic voters.
“When I ask, how has your life changed because of Donald Trump, it’s that feeling of being lumped into a group just because of the color of their skin,” Valdés said.
“And that is what they’re telling me is the feeling that’s driving them to the polls.”
“Morning Edition” host Lisa Rayam met up with Valdes at the Plaza Fiesta on Buford Highway to get more perspective.
That was before Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed a 14-day stay-at-home order.