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Community advocates push voter registration ahead of November election

A red and white sign with an arrow pointing towards doors that says "Polling Place"
Roman Battaglia
Delaware Public Media

‘Your vote counts’ was the message leaders of several local nonprofit and civic organizations conveyed on National Voter Registration Day Tuesday. 

The Votamos/We Vote coalition, which includes the Universalist Delaware Advocacy Network, the Wilmington NAACP, Network Delaware, and the Office of the Delaware Lt. Governor, focuses on helping members of underrepresented communities register to vote. The group held a webinar about the importance of voting Tuesday. 

Charito Calvachi-Mateyko, co-chair of the Delaware Hispanic Commission, which leads the Votamos coalition, says she'd like to see more direct outreach from the state to Spanish-speaking voters and potential voters. In the meantime, the coalition is working to get information out by text and WhatsApp. And they encourage undocumented immigrants, who can’t vote, to ask friends and relatives who are citizens to register and share their vote. 

“Those US citizens that vote are the voice of those who do not have a voice in this election,” said Calvachi-Mateyko. “We are the voice of the undocumented people, the DACA recipients and those who eventually will become US citizens.”

Maria Matos, president and CEO of the Latin American Community Center in Wilmington, said she was “saddened” that only 32 percent of registered voters turned out for the state primary earlier this month. 

“Come on, people!” she said. “You’re registered to vote, vote! It doesn’t take that much. I’m not going out. I’ve been in my apartment since March 13. You know how I voted? By mail. By mail, it’s that easy. So register!”

ACLU of Delaware director Mike Brickner says the pandemic has made it harder for organizations to do their usual third-party voter registration drives. 

The deadline to register to vote in November’s General Election is Oct. 10. 

All polling places will be open, and voters have the option of voting by mail without excuse. Election officials recommend requesting and returning mail-in ballots as soon as possible. 


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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