Twitter Party: Celebs reach out to Latino voters

Rosario Dawson, Wilmer Valderrama and America Ferrera are just a few of the celebrities planning to join an Election Day-eve “Twitter party” to discuss politics and help answer any last-minute questions, according to a Latino advocacy group.

The event, sponsored by Voto Latino, was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, and is best followed by using hashtag #ivotebecause, organizers said.

The so-called Twitter party is meant to encourage mobile and smart phone-dependent, social media-hooked adults to cast a ballot in very tight national and regional elections.

“We’re trying to create a better awareness of what’s going to happen, how to best prepare,” said Voto Latino chief of staff Adrian Garcia.

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The group leverages its celebrity connections — it was found by Dawson in 2004 — to connect with voters.

“When you start getting these tweets from (celebrities) … it’s a great way to really captivate an audience through an interesting platform,” said Garcia.

According to the LA-based NALEO Educational Fund, the Latino voting bloc is significant, especially in swing states such as Nevada, Florida and Colorado where — like California — Latinos make up more than 10 percent of the electorate.

“If either candidate fails to fully engage Latino, eligible Latino voters in those states, they will not be able to win,” said Evan Bacalao, NALEO Educational Fund’s Senior Director of Civic Engagement.

“Making them not just a secondary component to your strategy, but really one of the most key and fundamental pieces of your strategy is absolutely vital,” Bacalao said.

The group estimates 4 million Latinos will vote in California this year, a 32 percent increase from the 2008 presidential election.

“We’ve seen historically that Latinos are a swing electorate: they really aren’t wedded to one party or another,” Bacalao said.

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