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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 9, 2005

Contact: Michael Bustamante (916) 425-0839
Antonio Gonzalez (323) 222-2217

New Census Figures for Presidential Election Show
Dramatic Growth in Latino Voting

Latino Vote Grew by 1.7 Million Voters and 1.65 Million Votes Cast

Los Angeles, CA – According to a new census study released May 25 by the U.S. Census Bureau on voting and registration, nearly 7.6 million Latinos went to the polls in the national elections of 2004, increasing their votes cast by more than 1.65 million over the 2000 presidential election. Latinos also significantly increased their registration, adding 1.7 million new voters for a record 9.3 million registered voters.

"Latinos registered and cast their ballots in record numbers," said Antonio Gonzalez, president of WCVI. "This is the first election where more than 9 million Latinos registered to vote, a significant milestone, which translated into nearly 7.6 million votes for the presidential candidates by the Latino community."

In 2004, Latinos accounted for 7.587 million votes cast or 6.0% of the total ballots cast. Importantly, 81.5% of registered Latinos voted in the 2004 election. This rate of turnout represents a significant improvement compared to the 76.8% average rate of Latino turnout in the 1996 - 2000 elections.

Growth in Latino Voter Registration and Votes: 1972 to 2004

(All Numbers in Thousands)

YEAR

LVR

LVC

%TO

(+/-) LVR

(+/-) LVR %

(+/-) LVC

(+/-) LVC %

1972

2,495

2,103

84.3%

1976

2,494

2,098

84.1%

-1

0.0%

-5

-0.2%

1980

2,984

2,453

82.2%

490

19.6%

355

16.9%

1984

3,794

3,092

81.5%

810

27.1%

639

26.0%

1988

4,573

3,710

81.1%

779

20.5%

618

20.0%

1992

5,137

4,238

82.5%

564

12.3%

528

14.2%

1996

6,573

4,928

75.0%

1,436

28.0%

690

16.3%

2000

7,546

5,934

78.6%

973

14.8%

1,006

20.4%

2004

9,308

7,587

81.5%

1,762

23.4%

1,653

27.9%

LVR: Latino Voter Registration; LVC: Latino Votes Cast; TO: Turnout

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Voting and Registration in the Election of 1972 - 2004, Current Population Reports, 1972-2004

About the William C. Velasquez Institute

The William C. Velásquez Institute (WCVI) is a tax-exempt, non-profit, non-partisan organization chartered in 1985. The purpose of WCVI is to conduct research aimed at improving the level of political and economic participation in Latino and other underrepresented communities. Chartered in 1985, the William C. Velasquez Institute is a nonpartisan, non-profit, Latino-oriented research and policy think tank with offices in San Antonio , Texas and Los Angeles , California .

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