ORLANDO, Fla. -- Are you registered to vote? That's a question you might get asked often in the next couple of months.
- Organization launches new voter registration campaign
- UnidosUS plans to register 50,000 new voters
Organizations that advocate for Latinos, such as UnidosUS, are out on the streets of Central registering future voters before upcoming elections.
There's a big focus to reach out to young voters and Puerto Ricans who just came from the island who are eligible to vote once they declare Florida their home residence.
"You need to express yourself because voting is raising your voice,” said Derrick Ortiz at a press conference. “Voting is speaking up against everything you think is wrong or everything that you think is right, and making a statement."
Ortiz is a senior at Colonial High School who can’t wait to turn 18 to vote.
At the press conference, UnidosUS launched a voter’s registration campaign called Power of 18.
"We try to get people to register to vote and also make record update, because so many people change address, so many people change names, so many people just come to Florida, or to move to Florida so they need to register to vote," said Johanna Lopez, who is registering voters around Orange and Osceola counties.
A group of about 10 women meet at the UnidosUS office every day to get maps, papers and a plan for the evening.
Carolina Wassmer is in charge of the organization’s civic engagement programs in Central Florida.
"Here in the state of Florida, we're registering 50,000 new voters," said Wassmer.
Fifty thousand eligible Latinos is the goal, including young voters, because Florida has the third largest Hispanic population in the nation.
Many, including Lopez, say Latinos play a pivotal role in these upcoming elections.
"We have so much power right here, especially in Orlando and Osceola County. It's why we're working hard in these kind of places," said Lopez.
The deadline to register to vote is 29 days prior to each election, and it applies to new registrations and political party affiliation changes.