Group petitions Latinos to head to the polls to ‘tip the balance’

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The National Council of La Raza is in town Tuesday urging Latinos to vote in next month's election.

With the races for the U.S. Senate and Governor both considered tight in the Sunflower State, the National Council of La Raza believes the Hispanic vote could be a determining factor in the elections.

But to be a force in politics, the group says more Latinos must vote. La Raza estimates that there are more than 120,000 eligible Hispanic voters in Kansas. And the margin of victory in both the U.S. Senate race and gubernatorial campaign is expected to be less than that. So this group truly believes Latinos can make a difference, if they turn out at the polls.

"In a race that could be razor thin, any one of these races, just think what 50,000 or 100,000 votes could mean in the outcome of any one given race," said Janet Murguia, president and CEO of the NCLR. "Guess who can tip the balance? Latino voters in Kansas! What a headline! So we need you all to make sure you understand your own power."

The KCK social service agency El Centro is helping La Raza get out the Latino vote. The group says Kansas makes it difficult to register and vote, citing about 22,000 people currently on suspension. With the election only two weeks from now, a strong showing at the polls would demonstrate the political power of Hispanics.

La Raza is the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy group in the nation. The group believes the vote will open more opportunities for Hispanic Americans.