Latino Voter Turnout Growing, But Not With Population

Latinos had a higher voter turnout in the 2006 mid-term elections than in 2002, but the vote still falls far behind the growth of the Latino population.

That’s according to an analysis (PDF) from the Pew Hispanic Center of U.S. Census data, which finds that demographic trends have lead to the gap. According to the analysis, Latinos represented almost half of the total population growth in the United States between 2002 and 2006. But new eligible voters were composed of just 20% of individuals identifying as Latino.

The report says the gap could be due to the facts that a high percentage of new Latinos are too young to vote or not eligible due to immigration status.

It’s estimated that 13 percent of the total Latino population voted in 2006, while whites carried 39 percent and African Americans had 27 percent.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at