Category Archives: Elections

Anti-Immigrant Measures FAIL in Oregon

causaCongratulations to our partners at CAUSA Oregon! Thanks to their great work and the great work of other community organizations across the state, two anti-immigrant ballot measure failed to pass during Tuesday’s election.

Ballot Measure 58 would have prohibited teaching a public school student in a language other than English for more than two years. Ballot Measure 60 would have placed unfair requirements on teachers and their salaries.

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New American Voters: This Election’s Soccer Moms

vote-aquiReports are pouring in from all over about the impact of the immigrant and Latino vote on yesterday’s elections.

From CNN:

Latinos are responsible for Obama’s victory in New Mexico and contributed strongly to his margins in Nevada and Colorado. In New Mexico, Latinos constituted 41 percent of the electorate and voted for Obama by a 69 percent to 30 percent margin; white voters in New Mexico supported McCain 56 percent to 42 percent.

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Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Doesn’t Win Elections

Another reflection for this post-election morning is this: the nativist tactic of using hate speech and language of division to promote immigration as a wedge issue is officially a FAILURE. From ImmigrationProf Blog (and because I couldn’t have put it any better myself):

594px-lady_liberty_cracked_-_julio_aguileraElection 2008 is history.  Barack Obama wins.  The effort at an October surprise with the “news” of his “illegal alien” aunt fails.  And candidates with anti-immigrant platforms lost in races for the U.S. Congress.

A year ago, with the relatively recent demise of comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. Congress, it looked like immigration might dominate the 2008 Presidential election.  However, with the Wall Street cataclysm hitting its peak weeks before the election, that is not how it worked out.

Immigration was a non-issue in the Obama-McCain presidential debates and was rarely mentioned on the campaign trail by the candidates or the voters.  It most definitely was not the issue that gripped Joe the Plumber on election day.

And candidates who tried to play the anti-immigration card failed to get much traction on the issue. 

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Barack Obama is the President-Elect

Congratulations to Mr. Obama and his family on his overwhelming win last night. Regardless of who you are or where you stand, you have to admit: today marks a new era for our country. There is much work left to do, but today, all I will say is congratulations, Mr. President Obama.


Even when its about uniting, ICE continues to divide

Today is Election Day. A day when unprecented numbers of new voters and new Americans are participating directly in democracy. A day where our Nation unites around one idea – get out and VOTE! But, as usual, ICE proves to be out of step and morally bankrupt.

Today, of all days, ICE followed up on May’s horrifying raid of Agriprocessors in Postville Iowa. So far, reports are only confirming one arrests, but the message is clear – ICE is not down with Postville.

Agriprocessors was the site of one of the largest single-site immigration raids in May. Federal agents detained 389 illegal immigrant workers in an investigation that spurred the national debate over immigration and led to criminal charges against a top executive.

One woman who arrived at the church said agents arrested her husband at the plant, said the Rev. Steve Brackett. Brackett said Postville’s streets emptied quickly as word spread that federal agents had arrived.

“We only have one confirmed report of an arrest right now,” Brackett said. “The assumption is, they’re here for additional people.”

Hasn’t this community suffered enough? Doesn’t the government have a better message to send on Election Day? Our next administration will be inhereting the burden of some serious damage control. First and foremost, stop destroying our communities. Stop the raids.

An advocate for immigration reform criticized the federal action and its timing.

“It’s appalling that the federal agents chose today, Election Day, to spread fear amongst the residents of Postville,” said Marissa Graciosa, director of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement.

Erica Palmer, a community organizer for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, called the action “inhumane and destructive to our community fabric.”

Exit Polls: New American Voters in New York

From the Community Values Vote e-day blog:

Norman Eng with the NY Immigration Coalition shares what his organization is doing on Election Day to monitor the polls:

Exit poll data-entry teams camped out in the NYIC’s conference room.

It’s a busy day at the New York Immigration Coalition, to say the least. In addition to making a final push to get immigrant voters out to the polls today, we’re coordinating the citywide New Americans Exit Poll to track the voting behaviors and opinions of New York City voters, with an emphasis on voters in immigrant communities.

We have more than 120 exit pollsters stationed at 32 sites throughout the city, teams of runners and poll supervisors, and an army of data entry folks camped out in our conference room and cubicles to input the survey results as they roll in.

This is the fifth time we’ve run the exit poll. Past poll results have shown that, in New York City, two out of three first-time voters are foreign-born; in other words, immigrants are the driving force behind the expanding electorate here.

We expect to be here late into the evening inputing data, and we’re excited to release the findings on Thursday. Thanks to Barnard College, Columbia University, the City University of New York, and the New York Latino Research and Resources Network for sponsoring the poll!

New Immigrant Voter Story: Irma Palacios

Irma Palacios came to the United States from Mexico and last July she became a naturalized citizen of the irma1United States. Like many new citizens, she immediately registered to vote – she was eager to be a part of the democratic process.

This morning she cast her ballot for the first time. The smile on her face speaks to the empowering and joyous experience of first-time voters across the country.

Irma, like so many other immigrants, truly reflects the American Dream.

Yesterday, she marched. Today, she voted.

UPDATE: Community Values Vote


Links and stories from the grassroots at Community Values Vote!

TENNESSEE: ChangeMemphis GOTV Phonebanking

Less than 12 hours before polls open, a committed group of youth is hard at work making sure that their community gets out to vote tomorrow!

These youth, part of a Metropolitan Interfaith Association student program, are making hundreds of calls and fielding dozens of requests for polling information, rides to the polls and other assistance.

Read the full post here.


MASSACHUSETTS: The Alliance to Develop Power Gets Out the Vote

Our friends at the Alliance to Develop Power (ADP) held a massive registration drive and rally last week.

The event brought over 500 ADP leaders, community members and allies together as they energized their base of community values voters heading into the election.

Read the full post here.

NEVADA: Progressive Leadership Alliance Invests in Young Volunteers

Even though Nevada has been considered a bastion of voter and civic apathy, the Progressive Leadership Alliance is getting historically underrepresented communities invested in the promise of social, economic and political change.

“The results have been dramatic,” said Beverly Rodriguez, a PLAN organizer. “We focused on the communities of new citizens, particularly Hispanics, and we’ve turned out thousands of new voters.”

Read the full post here.


How Social Media Tools are Changing this Election

There is a great article up at the PBS Mediashift , about how citizens and the media are using new social media tools to monitor this election. From TwitterVote and the Voter Suppression Wiki (that I posted yesterday) to Video the Vote (featured in the video below), this election is being monitored from the bottom up – starting with folks like you.

In a YouTube video uploaded on October 24, a husband and wife couple from Oregon sit at their kitchen table and fill out their mail-in voting ballots for the 2008 election. The wife explains to the camera that Oregon has had mail-in voting for “about the last 10 years,” and the two walk the viewer through the entire voting process, at one point announcing that Barack Obama was their “candidate of choice.”

The video was created for Video Your Vote, a joint project between PBS and YouTube that encourages citizens across the U.S. to document their own personal experiences at the voting booth by shooting and then uploading the video onto YouTube (not to be confused with Video the Vote, a similar project). The effort is just one of many examples of citizen journalists utilizing crowdsourcing and Web 2.0 tools to monitor the voting practices — and problems — from an on-the-ground perspective. The groups that are monitoring campaigns said they will help create a much more transparent voting process, and in doing so, hopefully target and solve any voting problems before it’s too late to fix them.

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Tomorrow is the Day: Get out and VOTE (Ve y Vota!)

Unless you have already cast your ballot during early voting, you will be hitting the polls tomorrow to engage in the democratic process.

Below are some links to useful resources to make sure your vote counts and to fight voter suppression, from the Voter Suppression Wiki.

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