Nov 3, 2022 - World

Quinceañeras add voter registration to their celebration

A group of young women in quinceanera dresses stand with their fists in the air

Quinceañeras collaborating with Poder Quince during a recent photo shoot. Photo: Isai Diaz/Poder Quince via Noticias Telemundo

Quinceañeras are not just for dancing — they're also for registering to vote.

Details: Projects like Poder Quince, organized by a progressive Texas organization, are seeking to engage adult Latinos and Latinas — and soon-to-be adults —in the political process at major events like quinceañeras, Noticias Telemundo reports.

  • Volunteers set up next to photo booths at the parties and hand out voter registration forms and information pamphlets. The group has participated in 17 quinceañeras in Texas this year, a spokesperson told Axios.
  • About 50,000 parties for 15-year-olds are held every year just in Texas, says Christine Bolaños, communications director for Jolt Initiative, the group behind Poder Quince.

Why it matters: Latinos have been the fastest-growing eligible voter group since at least 2018, according to the Pew Research Center.

  • But not all of those eligible voters register or turn out at the polls, in part because of fears over voting rights laws or because no candidate appeals to them, studies show.
  • “That's a lot of potential voters that we'll lose out on if no one approaches them," Bolaños tells Noticias Telemundo.

Other groups have launched similar initiatives to attract younger Latinos in the past few years.

  • Among them are Corazón Latino, which commissions reggaeton and cumbia songs extolling the power of the vote, as well as cartoons from artists like Lalo Alcaraz. The organization, established in 2020, works mostly in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada.
  • Groups like Latino Victory have also launched campaigns like "Vote like a madre," calling for Latina moms to register and incentivize their kids to do the same once they're of age.

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