Sheriff Deputies, Poll Worker Harass Latinos in Swing State Colorado

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Although both presidential candidates stopped their visits to Colorado days ago, it remains a crucial swing state in this election. With just nine electoral votes, and its distance from the eastern part of the country, the Centennial State has lost its spot in the national media, but may prove important in this tight race.

That’s why canvassers have been busy encouraging people to vote here. But it hasn’t necessarily been easy to either canvas or show up to the polling station for some Latinos. One canvasser, who works with a coalition of groups leading a get out the vote initiative told me that, during her training, she was told, “And watch out for police. They don’t always think people who look like us should be out in the street.”

Not many job descriptions include a warning that the work may entail police harassment, but this is Colorado, where demographics are changing. In 2010, the Latino population hit one million—accounting for every one in five Coloradans. As more and more Latinos turn 18, it’s that younger generation that may hold the key to sway this election. The Latino vote here is expected to increase 15 percent over the last presidential election, accounting for nearly 9 percent of the state’s electorate.
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