Local leaders with the ‘Vote Gone Viral’ campaign are bringing registration events to neighborhoods across North Alabama, including Spanish language events to ensure more people can get the information they need.
Awa Melendez, Vote Gone Viral’s Hispanic Outreach Captain, says her role helps to fill a gap in the lack of voting information and assistance available in Spanish locally.
"I started doing this because I was looking for a way to help my husband who does not speak English to vote and I couldn't find information directly. There are many sites, but they are by other states that are a little more prepared, Florida, Texas, California, that have more Latino people and are more prepared to help Latino people vote," Melendez said.
The campaign is a collaborative project of the United Women of Color Huntsville, Vote Huntsville, and Indivisible 5th District. These organizations seek to inform community members on the voting process and help them register and fill out absentee ballots.
Melendez says they focus on communities that often face additional barriers to voting and widespread disinformation, like the Hispanic community.
"There is fear of government in the community, especially of those in power and there is a lot of misinformation that we hope to dispel. While it is true that undocumented people do not have the right to vote, the same is not true of their children over the age of eighteen who were born here in the United States. Many fear that registering to vote puts their families in danger of deportation—that's not true," Melendez said.
Vote Gone Viral will be hosting five more events geared towards the Hispanic community ahead of the Oct. 19 voter registration deadline and the Oct. 29 deadline to submit an absentee ballot for the Nov. 3 election.
Here’s where you can find them:
Friday, October 9, 4 to 7 pm at El Cazador on Triana Blvd and Drake Ave
Sunday, October 11, 11 am to 3 pm at Tienda Guanajuato on Triana Blvd
Sunday, October 11, 3 to 5:30 pm on Bob Wallace Ave and Patton Rd
Friday, October 16, 4 to 7 pm in front of the Gold Scissors Barber Shop on Jordan Ln
Sunday, October 18, 2:30 to 6 pm at the Merrimack Sports Complex on Ivy Ave and Triana Blvd
For more information, visit Vote Gone Viral’s Facebook page or call 256-384-4933.