This Sunday, October 7th, Venezuela will have presidential elections. Venezuelans living abroad have become active participants in the electoral process. Below are three initiatives that are working towards getting the most voters to the voting polls.
The consulate in Miami is currently closed, so in June, registered voters were transferred to New Orleans to cast their ballots. There are 20,000 registered voters in Miami, making it the largest concentration of voters outside of Venezuela. New Orleans is 1800 miles away.
To deal with the logistical challenge presented there are three initiatives in Miami working to help voters get to New Orleans to play an important part in this upcoming election.
Aerovotar- Aerovotar’s mission is to raise funds to charter planes to fly voters to New Orleans that might otherwise not be able to make the trip; either due to cost, health or family commitments. So far they have raised $400,000, which will secure free flights for over 1,500 voters.
Voto Donde Sea – Voto Donde Sea is another non-profit helping get voters to the right place. They have organized massive bus caravans called “votobuses” and travel packages for those that can manage 32 hour journey and have the flexibility of spending the night away from home. Although the travel packages are not free, they are generously subsidized, helping make them affordable to most.
Voto Joven – Voto Joven’s mission is to inspire young voters to participate in elections. They have done a lot of work in Venezuela, but have also been great promoters of democratic engagement internationally in places like Argentina and Australia. In Miami they have organized informative events helping voters find out what their options are for travelling to Louisiana.
I am proud to see the Venezuelan community engaged in the upcoming elections. Keep up the good work!