MacKenzie Scott
The philanthropist donated $6 million to Voto Latino AFP

Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated $6 million to the Voto Latino Foundation, an organization dedicated to educating and empowering voters from this demographic, especially younger people.

Voto Latino founder and president María Teresa Kumar said the group was "profoundly grateful" to Scott and that the sum was "a significant step toward our goal of investing $50 million in the 2024 election cycle," according to NBC News.

Scott's "donation reflects her understanding that 2024 is bigger than politics; it's about a thriving democracy that demands nurture and that by activating Americans to take ownership of their futures, our nation is richer and more resilient," Kumar said in a statement. "Civic engagement has never been more critical."

The donation is part of Scott's broader philanthropic activities. Last week, the ef-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos detailed the 360 recipients of donations amounting to $2.1 billion throughout this year. Scott generally declines to comment about the reasons behind the donations.

"Excited to call attention to these 360 outstanding organizations, every one of whom could use more allies. Inspired by all the ways people work together to offer each other goodwill and support," Scott said this year.

Voto Latino seeks to increase the amount of registered voters from this demographic, especially considering that data from the Pew Research center showed that 47 percent of Latinos didn't vote in any of the last three elections (2018, 2020 and 2022), a much higher figure than the country average, 30 percent.

Latinos have a much lower turnout rate than other ethnicities
Almost half of all Latinos didn't vote in the past three elections Pew Research Center

In a recent interview with The Latin Times, Ameer Patel, Managing Director of Civic Engagement for the organization, explained that turnout among Latinos tends to be lower because they are more likely to be first generation voters in their household.

"Another reason is that the average Latino voter is significantly younger than Black, Asian and White voters. And we know that young people tend to vote less than older people. That is something we believe might change," Patel said.

When appealing to these prospective voters, Voto Latino identified some of the topics they care about the most: immigration, racial justice and climate change. Moreover, another issue all Latino demographics care about is reproductive rights.

Patel explained that the organization is focusing its efforts on five states: Arizona, Nevada, Texas, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. "We believe that if we make the proper investments there then Latino voters can vote on behalf of their communities and change electoral outcomes," he said.

To reach out to them, Voto Latino is implementing what they call a "digital first" strategy to meet voters where they are. That is, on online platforms. "They spend more time on their phones, on YouTube, on social media and streaming content. So we advertise where they are across the country and meet them there. If it's on their phone and they are on TikTok, that's how we're going to meet them," Patel explained.

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