MOVING AMERICA FORWARD:
Bill Richardson's Vision to Build the Hispanic-Latino Vote
Going into the 2004 General Election, there was no question that the Hispanic
and Latino vote across the U.S. would decide the outcome
of elections up and down the ballot, and potentially
the Presidency itself. In the key states of Florida,
Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, the Latino
vote had historically lagged behind population estimates,
greatly under representing an important and ever-growing voice on Election Day.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson hired Burnside & Associates to design and lead a multi state voter registration drive to register Hispanics
in key states, and provide a bilingual get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaign encompassing vote by mail, early vote and
Election Day education to consequently, influence the
Burnside & Associates identified key Hispanic and Latino precincts
in five states where the number of eligible Latino
voters were greater than the number of registered Latino
voters. The program would impact state and federal
races by increasing Hispanic voter participation in
the areas Democratic candidates needed it most. In
addition to targeting new citizens and eligible Latinos
for registration, Moving America Forward (MAF) also focused considerable time and resources on contacting
Hispanic voters who had previously registered to vote
but had an occasional voting history.
The end goal was clear, MAF would need to register
214,293 new Hispanic voters and target an additional 923,392 sporadic Latino voters for GOTV efforts.
To reach this goal, Burnside & Associates:
Developed and implemented a comprehensive voter registration
program, utilizing door to door contact, site registration
and mail to engage potential voters. As the program progressed, an astounding 50% of all newly registered Latino voters signed up to
vote by mail as they registered. In all,, 223,717 new Hispanic voters were registered to vote - of which 115,902 also signed up to vote by mail at the time of registration.
Utilizing well-trained, bilingual, and highly targeted field organizers,
Burnside & Associates contacted roughly 1million additional occasional Hispanic voters by phone, mail and canvass in the hopes of increasing
turnout in the Hispanic community and increasing the
Latino voice in the political process. Vote by mail was the primary tool - some 289,292Hispanics were signed up to vote by mail by October
And 860,991homes were canvassed the weekend prior to Election
Day in the five key states.
Conducted workshops across the country for Latino elected
officials, volunteers and activists in order to empower
members of the community with the tools to organize
their own GOTV and voter registration activities. Training
tools included English and Spanish "how to" manuals,
grassroots advocacy speakers , bilingual media talking
points on the importance of a unified Latino vote,
GOTV tactics and ways to influence the political process.
Designed a paid media campaign featuring billboard,
and print advertisements to augment the field efforts
in each of the five states. Burnside & Associates handled all aspects of the advertisement
production and placement.
Hispanics were instrumental in key Democratic wins.
By mobilizing Latino voters to the polls, Burnside & Associates helped to elect two new members of Congress,
U.S. Senator Salazar, four state house members, and
flipped both chambers of the Colorado State House and
The paid canvasses and field efforts reinforced MAF's
message of empowerment and maintained the organization's
visibility, while the trainings and earned media campaign
consistently generated favorable coverage for the organization
and established a real movement in the Hispanic community.