Latino voter registration up in Las Vegas

With election day less than 24 hours away in Nevada, Latino participation was up in the Las Vegas region, where concerted get-out-the vote efforts have been under way.

At the small but bustling Nevada headquarters of Mi Familia Vota, a nonpartisan get-out-the-vote organization with offices in the shadow of the Vegas strip, Nevada state director Leo Murrieta eyed data that he said reflected months of effort. Latino voter registration was up by more than 18,067 people, to 120,547, in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, since the 2008 presidential election.

Early voting numbers were up in Clark County too -- by 11,894. Overall, the voters tilted heavily Democratic -- with 65 percent identifying themselves that way, compared to 16.5 percent signing up as Republicans and nearly 18 percent registering as nonpartisan.

"This is the year we're paying attention," he said. "This is the year we're ready to participate. All that's left is election day."

The group had 75 staff and volunteers in Las Vegas working phone banks and knocking on doors across the city, reminding people of their assigned polling places and helping with logistics, including rides. Twenty others were working similarly in the Reno area.

All would keep going, Murrieta said, "until the bell rings."

Donna St. George writes about education, with an emphasis on Montgomery County schools.

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