CA nonprofits push to educate 730K new voters in state ahead of upcoming midterm election

KOREATOWN, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — On Wednesday, advocates celebrated the announcement of the New American Voters Report, ahead of the upcoming midterm election. According to the report, there are more than 730,000 newly naturalized citizens in California who are eligible to vote. Most in the state live in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Anaheim and more than half in the state are women.

“When we become citizens, we do it for our family, for the people that are not eligible to vote. We do it for our community,” said Beatriz Iniguez Castellanos. “I am excited to vote for the first time in the upcoming election.”

The University of California, San Diego partnered with nonprofits like the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, CHIRLA, to write the report which is based on government data. The new voters mostly come from Asia and the Americas. The new voter in the state was naturalized between 2016 and 2020. The report breaks down demographics like age and location.

According to experts, many of them live in districts with races that can significantly impact the outcome of the election.

“It’s really important that we know and that elected officials and that all of our community understand and know who new American voters are so that we can reach them,” said Nicole Melaku, executive director of the National Partnership of New Americans.

CHIRLA also announced they will have a flex voting center at their site in Koreatown. CHIRLA is also working to educate the new voters, like walking them through a demonstration of what it would be like at the polls. Plus, they are making sure new voters don’t become targets of misinformation.

“For us it’s getting ahead of this information, but also sharing that information with our communities in language,” said Fatima Flores, political director at CHIRLA. “So that they know that the information they can rely (on) and is accurate.”

CHIRLA will have its flex voting site open Saturday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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