Latinos in New York State have no reason to fear going out to vote on Tuesday. Many words have been spoken, many threats uttered, but this is the moment to make our voices heard in a calm and safe manner.
Do not let the message of hatred of Republican nominee Donald Trump and his followers intimidate you: We must come out and defeat them, and there will be security at voting sites to ensure it.
For a while now, Trump has been saying that elections are rigged against him, that minorities and undocumented people are part of an electoral fraud. For that reason, he called on his followers to watch voting sites.
The video that emerged some time ago which showed Alan Schulkin, a Democratic commissioner from the New York City Board of Elections, talking about how frauds are made could also motivate spontaneous vigilantes who may want to harass Latinos, African-Americans and Muslims.
No plans to harass voters are known, but we do know about preparations to protect the right to vote.
On the one hand, the New York City Police Department says that they will have a couple thousand officers assigned to the 1,205 polling sites to keep the peace.
On the other, organizations such as LatinoJustice and Common Cause New York will have observers to guarantee people’s right to vote. The Latino civil rights group will have nearly 50 lawyers and law students in predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhoods such as Washington Heights and Park Slope. Common Cause expects to send 200 watchers to areas such as Jackson Heights and Flushing.
Activists from other organizations will also be overseeing the integrity of the process.
Many precautions are being taken to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their origin, race or religion are able to vote without problems. This is the basic right that must be fulfilled in order to maintain our representative democracy.
Not voting means remaining silent, letting others speak for you. Do not allow this. Our community needs to defend its interests and fight for its priorities, and the only way to do that is by voting. Many people are working for voters to be safe. Do your part: Get out and vote.