MILWAUKEE – Voces de la Frontera Action (VDLFA) is making its final statewide push to mobilize tens of thousands of first-time Latinx voters, newly naturalized US citizens, and multiracial youth to cast their votes in the final days of the 2020 election. This statewide effort includes over 500 members involved in neighborhood canvassing, car caravans, phone banking and lit drops in Milwaukee, Racine, Madison and Green Bay as well as mobilizing voters in Waukesha, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Whitewater and Lake Geneva.
VDLFA has reached more than 36,000 voters throughout the state with a combination of in-person, COVID-safe door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, and grounded on the work of Voceros Por el Voto, a person-to-person network built on existing relationships. To date, VDLFA members have knocked on more than 28,000 doors and called more than 139,000 registered voters. Additionally, the phone banking team has made hundreds of follow-up calls to voters whose mail-in ballots have been rejected so they have an opportunity to recast their votes in-person.
“We are leaving no stone unturned,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, VDLFA Executive Director. “With a combination of dedicated, tireless volunteers and the national attention we have received as a battleground state, we believe we are poised to have the largest showing of Latinx & multiracial young voters in the state’s history. Young people, especially, the children of undocumented parents, have been volunteering and using their new voting power to protect their families and community. Our “voceros” have built a network of thousands of voters to build the political power needed to defeat the far-right Trump Administration and his enablers at all levels of government.”
Early numbers show that more infrequent voters are voting this year than in 2016. A recent New York Times/Sienna poll found that 56 percent of 2016 non-voters said they had already voted this year.
According to state numbers, mail-in ballots requested this year reached 1.4 million, with 1.2 million returned so far. The number of first-time or infrequent voters who have also cast their ballots is estimated at 480,000, showing a significant increase in the participation of first-time voters as compared to 2016.
VDLFA and its national partners have spent nearly $300,000 in Spanish-language paid media outreach, including television and radio ads, to target rural areas of the state near Walworth County, Manitowoc County, and Trempealeau County, with community-orientated messaging focusing on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on this year’s election. The Spanish-language media outreach has been paired with a robust digital advertising campaign, with VDLFA investing more than $35,000 in online digital and digital billboards.
“We believe in building year round movement power that includes electing officials that will protect Wisconsin’s Black, Brown, immigrant, and working class communities, so we can keep organizing and realize a more just society for all,” Neumann-Ortiz said.
Beyond the national election, canvassers and phone bankers are focusing on mobilizing voters in down-ballot races in districts with large Latinx and immigrant communities in Wisconsin.
Canvassing will continue on Tuesday in Milwaukee and on Monday and Tuesday in Racine, Madison, and Green Bay.