MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. -- Newly released statistics from the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections show Hispanic voter turnout nearly tripled in the 2018 primary election compared to previous elections.

  • The Latino voter turnout was four percent in May
  • It was less than one percent in 2014
  • Community activists say 287g possibly played a role in turnout

This past May, Latino voter turnout was four percent compared to less than one percent in 2014.

Community activists say they hosted more political forums in East Charlotte and collectively rallied against 287g, a federal program that flags county jail inmates for deportation proceedings. The controversial program also became an election issue in the hotly contested sheriff’s race.

RELATED: New Mecklenburg County sheriff wants to end 287g program

UNC-Charlotte political science professor Greg Weeks believes that combination could lead to similar results in future elections.        

“Because if you can get this kind of increase in a primary, well then you might be able to get an even bigger one for elections that people feel have more impact,” said Dr. Weeks.

Moving forward, Jose Hernandez- Paris with the Latin American Coalition said their goal is to motivate younger voters to the polls.      

“As a community, empower the youth to let them know they have a responsibility to vote that their voice is not just their own voice, but the voice of a community,” said Hernandez- Paris.

Hernandez- Paris said he also want to see more Latino candidates running for office and potentially form a Latino Political Caucus.

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