Politics

Does greater Latino participation in midterms mean voters have turned a corner?

FILE: Residents in Los Angeles' Boyle Heights neighborhood vote in the primary election on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.
FILE: Residents in Los Angeles' Boyle Heights neighborhood vote in the primary election on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.
Signe Larsen/KPCC

Listen to story

00:57
Download this story 0.0MB

A new UCLA study suggests that turnout among Southern California's Latino voters jumped in this midterm election, with more voters in majority-Latino precincts casting ballots this year than in 2014 midterm election.

The researchers say in nearly 40 percent of precincts where Latinos make up the majority of registered voters, the number of ballots cast jumped by at least 70 percent. That’s in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties compared to the last midterms in 2014.

If the numbers bear up, it could signal an improvement in Latino voter turnout, which has been low historically.

In California and nationwide, early-voter data also suggests an increase in Latino turnout this election over the last midterm. 

But there is still room for improvement: early vote data from California suggests many of Latino registered voters still didn't make it to the polls.