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Monday, August 12, 2013 - 1:00am

Georgia Latino Electorate Grows

A new study shows Georgia's Latino voting block is growing.

But a smaller percentage of Latinos are choosing to use their voting power.

The county-by-county analysis shows similar voting patterns throughout Georgia.

The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials conducted the study.

It found the state's Latino electorate grew by about 40,000 voters since 2008 -- a 26% increase.

But it also showed a nearly 7% decline in Latino voter participation rates.

Savannah Democratic Party organizer Mariela Orellana says many Latino voters are choosing to disengage from politics because they don't hear clear differences between parties.

"One of the things that I hear very often is, 'What difference does it make? Both parties are the same,'" Orellana says.

The report says voters are less likely to participate when candidates don't address their needs.

"They get into a long discussion defending their point of view on why they're not participating," Orellana says. "That's when the conversation turns a little sour. It's kind of sad and disappointing to me."

Overall, the percentage of Latino voters in Georgia remains around 3%.

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