On the tails of TIME Magazine's controversial cover that predicts Latinos will decide the 2012 election, three Latino advocacy groups are determined to make the prediction a reality by registering 200,000 new Latino voters in 24 states before November.
The Hispanic Federation, the Labor Council for Latin America Advancement (LCLAA) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), announced in a press conference a coalition project called Movimiento Hispano (or Hispanic Movement, in English). The initiative is to be "a nonpartisan, culturally competent virtual tool that will guide citizens on how to register to vote and engage civically online."
Their hopes to register new voters are in part spurred by the "incendiary rhetoric of the Republicans and conservative groups against legalizing undocumented immigrants," according to a report by Fox News Latino.
Hector Sanchez, the executive director of LCLAA, one of the partner organizations, called the "extremist rhetoric" of some GOP candidates "unacceptable."
"With the community under attack, the vote is one of our best weapons of defense," Sanchez said to Fox News Latino.
The author of TIME Magazine's recent cover story, Michael Sherer, thinks Latinos could determine the results of the November election because of rapid population growth in certain key states. He argues that new voters in the Southwest are largely Latino, and that if Obama is able to win "heavily-Latino Western states like Nevada, Colorado and Arizona," he would be able to afford losing industrial Midwestern states like Ohio and Wisconsin.
The Movimento Hispano website offers resources aimed to increase Latino engagement such as convenient polling places, general voting information, and printable voter registration forms.
Maria Teresa Kumar, executive director and co-founder of Voto Latino, said in a blog for HuffPost LatinoVoices that the "growing influence" of Latino voters is finally starting to "spook a lot of politicians who have neglected the Latino community."
"There's never been a more pivotal moment for Latinos to flex our collective power, and move our community and our country forward," she writes.