Latino voters set to have major impact in Colorado

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DENVER -- Colorado is shaping up to be an important swing state in the presidential election, and the growing Latino population could prove to be the difference.

"The Latino vote accounted for about 7 percent of Obama's margin in Colorado in 2012 and we expect it to account for about the same amount this year," said Robert Preuhs, a professor of political science at Metro State University of Denver.

The Hispanic population in Colorado is the eighth largest in the nation. It represents 21 percent of the state's population and 555,000 registered voters, according to Pew Research.

Those numbers equate to about 10 percent to 15 percent of Colorado's electoral vote.

Nonpartisan organization Mi Familia Vota registered more than 10,000 Latino voters in Colorado this year.

"We believe if people participate in the political process, we can join social and political justice for our community," said Salvador Hernandez, civic engagement coordinator for Mi Familia Vota in Denver.

Denver County is making it easier for Latino voters as the ballot is bilingual.

The candidates are well aware the Latino vote will have a major impact in Colorado.

During a rally Tuesday in Colorado Springs, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said, "Nobody will do more for the Latino Community than Donald Trump."

And Hillary Clinton made a strategic choice in her vice president candidate, Tim Kaine, who is fluent in Spanish and recently gave an entire speech in Spanish.

Voters in Denver, Cotilla and Rio Grande counties will receive bilingual ballots. For any other county, or if you speak any other language than English, you have the right to have a translator.

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