Eds: corrects omitted word in headline.
A group of professionals has launched a bilingual Web site that is aimed at spurring Hispanics to vote in the November election and increasing their participation in politics.
"The idea came up to try and connect and unite the experience of social networks with Hispanics. That is, how to involve Latinos in politics through those networks," the executive director of latinosavotar.com, Ana Maria Jaramillo, told Efe on Monday.
She emphasized that although 24 million Hispanics are eligible to vote, scarcely half of them are expected to cast ballots in November.
"We Latinos who are eligible to vote are not very involved in what's happening in the country and the objective is to motivate them to participate more, convince them that events in the United States are also related to them," she said.
As a result the nonpartisan initiative to create this Web site was born, and the effort also seeks to take advantage of the use of social networks because "the experience of 2008 on that subject was very positive for the campaign of (Barack) Obama," Jaramillo said.
The Web site contains a section that explains how the electoral process works, what the requirements are to register to vote, when the primaries and caucuses are, who the contenders are and what their campaign platforms are.
It also offers recent news about the election campaigns and issues that affect or interest the Hispanic community, the country's largest and fastest-growing minority, as well as supplying current figures about Latin Americans who live in this country.
The site also includes an electoral map, surveys, videos of campaign ads and the section "Barrio latino" (Latino neighborhood) where people can ask questions about the elections.
"In the question and answer section we've tried to explain how the electoral system works, because it's complicated, and in the suggestions section we try to diagram the platforms of the candidates and make them very simple, so that anybody can see the difference in a very clear way," Jaramillo said.
She said that they are recruiting artists and famous Latinos to help on the project of encouraging Hispanics to vote and to date they have been joined by singers Fonseca and Nelly Furtado, composer Kike Santander and Spanish journalist Marian de la Fuente.
"They've recorded videos exclusively for us and we also have on the site videos by other famous people who have already made their vote known and which we obtained via the Internet. We're gaining a lot of support with that because they are artists who people follow," she said. EFE