Latinos make strong showing at the polls

For Latinos in California and the rest of the country, Election Day was tomorrow. Their strong showing at the polls made good on the refrain during massive immigration reform rallies: "Today we march, tomorrow we vote." KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez visited a heavily Latino Santa Ana precinct before polls closed Tuesday.

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: Latinos carrying signs lined up on opposite sides of Flower Street next to a Santa Ana voting precinct. Twenty-year-old Anabel Gil, a U.S.-born daughter of Mexican immigrants, waved a sign opposing a state ban on same-sex marriage.

Anabel Gil: "No on 8" because I think rights are for everyone, not just between a man and a woman, it's between anybody.

Guzman-Lopez: She voted for Barack Obama.

Gil: I think he's more for the Latino community than McCain.

Fernando Ceron: Queremos un cambio tambien para nosotros, para toda la comunidad hispana.

Guzman-Lopez: Across the street Fernando Ceron, a 38-year-old Mexican immigrant who's now a U.S. citizen, said that's also the reason he voted for Obama. A broad ethnic label and a presidential pick united them. Proposition 8 divided them.

Ceron: No podemos permitir que el dia de maƱana anden nuestros hijos con parejas, hombre con hombre agarrados de la mano en la calle.

Guzman-Lopez: Ceron said he doesn't want his children to see gay men and lesbians holding hands. He said Prop 8 organizers approached his Spanish-speaking evangelical church to get out the Yes on 8 vote.

Miguel Martinez, a Mexican-born U.S. citizen, said he's made voting a regular habit. He cast his ballot for Republican John McCain and for Prop 8. He prefers the ethnic label "Mexicano." What role did ethnicity play for him in the polling booth?

Miguel Martinez: Not much, unless the part on values and morals, the way I was raised.
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: What do you mean?
Martinez: I was raised a Christian, the way I voted has a lot to do with it.

Guzman-Lopez: Proposition 8 opponent Anabel Gil said she'd approached Election Day thinking about the marches of a few years ago that united Latinos over immigration reform. The point of those demonstrations was to encourage more Latinos to speak their minds, even if, she conceded, they disagree.

blog comments powered by Disqus