The impact of Latino voters in Illinois is less than the national average. This is according to an analysis by the National Association of Latino Elected Officials. It’s projected that Latinos will make up 6.9 percent of the Illinois electorate. Nationally it’ll be 7.8 percent.
Laurence Benito, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, says he’s working on turning out this vote. “We’re gonna continue to say there are things that matter, because there are. Elections do matter and there are issues at the state level that are important, and there are key elections here, but candidates are going to have to work harder to earn the vote and respect of Latino and immigrant voters,” he said.
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Benito says U.S. Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline), Bill Foster (D-Naperville) and Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) were all elected in 2012 with the support of Latino voters.
The number of projected Latino voters in Illinois this year is 280,000, which would be a 16.2 percent increase over 2010. That is below the national average of 17.8 percent.
Illinois has more than 2 million Latinos, but many are immigrants who are not naturalized, and of those born here, a disproportionate share is under 18