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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Recent Voting Trends Among Chicanos
Program #

Linda Fregoso
Bill Calderon
Sep 15, 1981

Recent Voting Trends among Chicanos

Bill Calderon of the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project (SVREP) discusses Chicano Voting patterns and the recent increase in Chicano voter turn-out. In spite of the general decline in voter turn-out, Chicano voting has increased by 64% in 4 years. While some of this increase can be attributed to the high Chicano birth rate, Calderon believes that grassroots organizing has played a more significant role in getting out the vote. He explains that organizations like the SVREP have worked to increase minority participation in elections by increasing awareness of political processes. These groups try to educate potential voters and have found that door to door organizing increases voter turn out.

Calderon also believes that the growing number of Chicano elected officials has encouraged Chicano electoral participation. Chicano officials in Texas and California have brought significant services to their community, but as host Linda Fregoso points out there is little evidence of actual economic improvements. Calderon also points out that there are still barriers to minority electoral participation, and he discusses a study on gerrymandering in Texas counties with significant Chicano populations. He says that the Voting Rights Act is an important step towards ensuring equitable districts and safeguarding minority voting rights. His own research has found that discrimination continues at the polls, and the project is now trying to distribute information about the Voting Rights Act and aid communities who are encountering electoral discrimination.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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