Hispanic Voters in Arizona

First let me quickly point out that my eBook, Running for President, can be downloaded free from Amazon today and tomorrow (March 22 and 23). Click on the book’s cover in the left sidebar for more information. The books’ protagonist is a typical, slimy Arizona politician, which leads me to the subject of today’s blog entry.

Arizona has one of the most anti-Hispanic state governments in the United States. The center of the state’s anti-Hispanic feeling is here in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county, where Phoenix, the state capitol, is located.

It’s difficult to understand how anti-Hispanic politicians get elected to the governorship, state legislature, and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office over and over, given that our state has a large Hispanic population. I suppose it’s no secret that our sheriff, Joe Arpaio, has been found by federal courts to have conducted racial profiling against Hispanics and is facing contempt of court charges for continuing to profile after the courts ordered him to stop. Nevertheless, Joe Arpaio has been elected over and over.

Arizona’s legislature also passed the infamous Senate Bill (SB) 1070 law, which effectively gave law enforcement the power to stop people who were driving while brown and question their immigration status. The law has had a high economic cost in Arizona and has given the state a redneck reputation. Fortunately, the courts have overturned most of SB1070, but only after much of the damage to the State had been done.

According to Pew Research, Arizona had just short of two million Hispanic residents in 2012, just over 30 percent of the population. The number has likely increased since then.

Such a large group should easily have the political clout to vote its declared enemies out of office, but for some reason, that doesn’t happen. Just over 45 percent of Arizona’s Hispanics are eligible to vote. Why don’t they vote in large enough numbers to toss these rascals out of office?

I can only make some educated guesses at the answer. Hispanic immigrants tend to become citizens at a lower rate than immigrants in general, and those who do become citizens are less likely to register to vote. Hispanics who are registered tend to vote in smaller numbers than registered voters in general.

Another reason may be the youth of Arizona’s Hispanic population. Thirty-five percent of Arizona’s Hispanic population is under 30 years of age, compared to 17 percent of non-Hispanic white residents. Among the retired population, Hispanics have low representation. Only 10 percent of Arizona’s Hispanics are 65 and older compared to 26 percent of the white non-Hispanic population. Younger people are less likely to vote that their elders.

A message to those Arizona’ residents who are opposed to the anti-Hispanic attitude of many of our politicians: Only you can change the situation, and the way to change it is not by marching through the streets. The way to change it is by going to the polls and voting.

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