Evidence of Latino Voter Intimidation in California, Colorado, Virginia and Arizona

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


The letter sent to 14,000 voters with Spanish surnames in California’s 47th district last month wasn’t the only episode of voter intimidation targeting Latino voters this election cycle.

In Colorado, Latino voters received phone calls on Monday (similar to calls in Virginia), where callers told them they that if they voted they would go to jail, prompting Democratic senator Ken Salazar to make a call of his own own telling them that they could.

In Tucson, legal observers with the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund witnessed Latino voters being targeted outside a polling station. Staff attorney Diego Bernal told the Arizona Republic:

“As one man was going up to the voter with the clipboard, another man was videotaping the interaction. At the same time, the third man was walking around with a gun on his waist. They were being provocative. They would have conversations with each other, where they were using mock Spanish accents. It was upsetting.”

Clearly things are getting worse for Latinos in Arizona, where voters yesterday overwhelmingly passed four anti-immigration propositions. But in California there was at least some justice yesterday. Tan Nugyen, whose campaign was behind that now infamous letter (and who is also an immigrant, yeah, go figure) got trounced at the polls, losing 62% to 38% to Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

—Amaya Rivera

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest