As a Latinx Voter, Here’s What the Polls Get Wrong About Me

The Latinx population is constantly overlooked, unless it’s an election year. Despite the vast amount of heritage, feats, and culture brought about by the Latinx community, America cannot seem to grasp a complete understanding of who we are and the impact that we have. This lack of understanding fuels the fire of misconceptions that surround the Latinx voter.

In 2016, the turnout for Latinx voters was substantially lower than the turnout for this year’s election. This stark contrast contributes to the false stereotype that Latinxs “do not vote.” People underestimate the power that Latinxs’ votes have to alter the political landscape. Here are the common misconceptions that the polls have about me and the millions of my peers across the country.

We are a monolithic group.

Being Latinx is not a fixed identity. There are many different components that make up the definition of being Latinx. There is a spectrum of identity in which a person falls on. This spectrum ranges from a person’s places of origin, religious beliefs, to their race, socioeconomic status, and immigration experiences. No one is uniform. We are not people who can just be tossed into one category.

Latinxs are naturally inclined to vote for a particular party.

People love to presume that Latinx voters are more likely to vote left or vote right. Contrary to popular belief, we do not have the natural inclination to vote for a specific party. Let me reiterate my previous point: There are many variations in the Latinx community. We are not a monolith. Therefore, we are not more likely to be in favor of a specific political party.

Latinxs do not vote.

We do vote, and in pretty large numbers, actually. It was projected that 14.6 million Latinx voters would cast a ballot this election year. Although the general Latinx population is larger than the amount of eligible and active voters in it, we need to consider the plight of voter suppression across the country that creates this disparity. Voter suppression tactics (strict voting rules, elections on workdays, lack of awareness) stray us away from the ballot, leading others to think that we do not care.

Latinx voters are more likely to be in favor of a Latinx candidate.

I am not going to deny that representation matters to our community and every community. I love to see people like me in positions that people would never expect us to be in. However, I want to emphasize that we pay close attention to the issues that candidates plan to address. There are many concerns that Latinxs consider far more important than the race and ethnicity of a candidate.

The Latinx population is making great strides in their impact and representation across America. We are not limited to the misconceptions and stereotypes that others confine us to. Although the voting period for this election is at its end, I cannot stress enough how important our vote is for the many elections to come. As a Latinx voter, my voice matters. Your voice matters. All of our voices matter. That’s what the polls get wrong about us.