Delaware voting registration campaign gives voice to undocumented (video)

    The Be Our Voice campaign targets Sussex County’s Latino community educating people about the importance of voting.

    Immigration remains one of the hot button issues of the November election.

    Earlier this summer, the Supreme Court blocked President Obama’s Immigration Plan that would have protected 5 million unauthorized immigrants who are the parents of citizens or of legal permanent residents from being deported and allowed them to work legally in the United States.

    In Sussex County, a voting registration campaign is underway to give voice to the undocumented. It’s called Be Our Voice. The effort is spearheaded by the League of Women Voters of Sussex County with the Delaware Hispanic Commission and La Esperanza as partners in this endeavor.

    “The fact that you’re bringing the undocumented into the fold to be part of this whole process of helping people vote was just a novel idea,” league member Connie Jones said.

    Be Our Voice targets Sussex County’s Latino community. The goal is two-fold. First, register eligible Latinos. Second, get those Latinos living legally and illegally in the U.S. to encourage people they know who are registered voters to think of the undocumented when they cast their ballots.

    “We are 12-million undocumented people and we can say to our worker, to our com-padre, to our neighbor, ‘Are you registered to vote? May I ask you to be my voice in this year? Go and vote because I need somebody to be my voice,'” is the message Charito Calvachi-Mateyko of the Delaware Hispanic Commission shares with anyone who will lend her an ear.

    Calvachi-Mateyko, along with Delaware Technical student Jennifer Lopez and Jones, have been crisscrossing the county spreading the word about Be Our Voice.

    Lopez got involved with the campaign because it resonated with her on a personal level. “My 12-million is focused on one person. It’s my husband now and I’m a citizen,” Lopez, who is a first-time voter and excited about voting in the November election, said. The 20-year-old Lewes resident got her first chance to vote during Delaware’s Primary Election.

    Once the deadline to register voters in Delaware passes, the campaign will move into another phrase.

    Volunteers will be calling people they’ve registered to make sure they can make it to the polls in November. And no excuse will keep this team of volunteers from getting their registered voters to the polls. Calvachi-Mateyko said she’s willing to take care of children, cook food and drive them there if necessary.

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