The National Council of La Raza on Tuesday launched the Florida operation of its national Mobilize to Vote, or M2V, campaign to promote voter registration among about 800,000 Hispanics in a state that is considered to be key for the November elections.

The campaign, which kicked off in Orlando, consists of advising Hispanics about the registration process and making them aware of the importance of their participation in the elections through chats or in door-to-door visits.

"The Latino community has grown in many parts of the country and the I-4 corridor is one of them. We're interested in having the electoral and civic participation numbers get on a par with those we have in the general population so that that voice is heard more," Clarisa Martínez, the coordinator of M2V on the national level, told Efe.

The corridor, a stretch of Interstate 4 that links Orlando and Tampa, is home to some 900,000 Hispanics, according to the figures of the NCLR.

"Increasing the participation will in turn increase the influence of that Latino voice in what is a very important area of the state of Florida," Martinez emphasized.

Hispanics comprise 23 percent of Florida's population and represent 13.1 percent of the state's 11.2 million registered voters.

Yanidsi Velez, the regional coordinator of M2V, said that her objective is to get to the 800,000 Florida Hispanics who are eligible to vote but who still have not registered.

"They are the people we're interested in getting to. Our goal is to create a culture of civic participation in the Hispanic community. For our community to take account that if we don't participate in the process, if we don't vote, we don't have a voice in the decisions that affect our families and our communities," she said.

The M2V campaign will also be carried out in Las Vegas; Denver and Pueblo, Colorado; and Philadelphia, as well as in other cities around the country where a large number of Hispanics live who qualify to register to vote.

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