Anna Sheffer
June 26, 2019 11:53 am

With so much at stake in the upcoming elections, getting out the vote is more important than ever. And it seems like everyone from celebrities to youth activists are working to increase voter registration. Recently, one Texas teen decided to make her quinceañera extra special by including a voter registration booth for her guests.

NBC News reports that when Aleida Ramos held her 15th birthday celebration in Houston, she invited the Latino youth advocacy group Jolt Initiative to help get out the vote. According to NBC, Ramos and her father gave a speech during the party encouraging guests to visit the booth.

Ramos invited the Jolt Initiative to her quinceañera as part of the organization’s Poder Quince campaign. Through this movement, girls who are turning 15 in Dallas, Houston, and Austin can host on-site voter registration at their birthday celebrations. The Poder Quince team also offers perks like photo booths and Snapchat filters to those who participate. In an Instagram post, Jolt shared that Ramos was the first person to host a Poder Quince in the Houston area.

Ramos told NBC News that Jolt showed her photos of a protest they conducted in 2017, when young Latinx demonstrators wore their quinceañera gowns outside the Texas Capitol to protest an anti-immigration bill. The pictures helped her decide to host a Poder Quince.

The Pew Research Center notes that voter turnout was at a record high in the 2018 elections for all ethnic groups. Among the Latinx community, turnout increased from about 27% in the 2014 midterms to 40%—a huge jump in participation. The Texas Tribune notes that within the state, turnout was 18% higher in 2018 than in 2014. But while these results point to a more engaged electorate in 2020, it’s still important to encourage friends and family to register to vote. We admire Ramos’s willingness to open her special day to this crucial initiative, and we’re hopeful that more will follow her lead.

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