Registration Efforts Focus on Minority Voters - 8 News NOW

Registration Efforts Focus on Minority Voters

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LAS VEGAS -- Scoring the support of minority voters is a primary focus this general election season.

A recent Businessweek report revealed that minorities in Nevada eligible to vote in November has increased 9 percentage points over the 2008 general election.

Nevada, recently visited by President Barack Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is considered a swing state and has chosen the winner in the last eight presidential elections.

With a growing minority population, both candidates are working hard to score that support.

As Antwan Newell takes the time to register to vote, he said he will only be thinking of his 4-year-old daughter, Shahadah, when he heads into the polling booth. 

"I think (elected officials) can do a lot better with money-managing and to make schools better," he said. "Supply better teachers, better utensils, books -- everything that the kids have to use."

Newell's ballot counts the same as any other, but because he is a minority, local voter registration groups said both candidates are working extra hard to earn his support.

A recent visit to the Las Vegas valley shows how hard Obama is working to court Nevada, a key swing state that helped him win the White House in 2008.

The president has already spent millions of dollars with polls showing him in a tight race with Romney.

The republican hopeful also paid a visit to the valley earlier this month.

Voter registration group Mi Familia Vota is out in front of the Henderson Department of Motor Vehicles every day.

The group has already surpassed its goal of registering 11,000 in Clark County and has seen very high interest among Latinos, a fast-growing population throughout the valley, said Andres Ramirez, of Mi Familia Vota. With the first goal met, Ramirez said he would like to register another 5,000 voters.

He said both candidates have found the demographic difficult to ignore.

"Many of these people who are registering are first time (U.S.) citizens," Ramirez said. "They've just become a citizen, they've just worked so hard to get through that process and to be able to vote -- to register and vote -- in a presidential election for your first time. It's an incredible, rewarding experience."

Newell said he has already decided who will receive his vote this November. No matter the outcome, he said he's excited about making the United States a better place for Shahadah.

According to Mi Familia Vota, more minority groups, especially Latinos, are registering to vote because the election is so competitive and is generating more interest.

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