Hispanic participation up by more than 400,000 votes

ORLANDO, Fla. - Early voting wrapped up over the weekend. Election supervisors can continue to accept mailed in ballots.

More than 42.4 million people have already voted and roughly half the states with advance voting are reporting record levels, including states with booming Hispanic populations, a possible good sign for Hillary Clinton.

In Florida, Hispanic participation is up by more than 453,000 votes, nearly double the 2012 level. Black turnout is up compared to 2012, but that share of the total vote is lower due to bigger jumps among Latinos and whites, according to University of Florida professor Daniel Smith.

Michelle Alvarez has been helping to get Puerto Ricans to the polls.

“There's a lot of people that just moved here and don't know where to go,” said Alvarez.

People from the organization Que Vote Mi Gente were singing, “Que vote mi gente.” That rally cry is a remake of a classic song. The words were changed to say "Que vote mi gente" or "Vote, my people."

“We took over neighborhoods in Puerto Rican communities. People would come out of their homes dancing and waving their flags and getting excited because a piece of home was connecting with them,” representative for Que Vote Mi Gente Christina Hernandez said.

Hernandez said the high turnout among Latino voters so far is tied to a historic migration from Puerto Rico.  New numbers from the island show 96 people leaving per day, and mostly to Central Florida.

“Puerto Ricans have double the impact with their vote. They can impact the lives they're building here with their families and the ones they left behind on the island,” said Hernandez.

Political analyst Maria Padilla said the Puerto Rican vote could swing either way.

“There is a large tendency to be Democrat, but also a tendency to register as no party affiliation or NPA,” said Padilla.

Hernandez said the election has given Puerto Ricans a voice.

“This does not end on Tuesday or Wednesday. This continues into the future. So our concerns as Latinos and Puerto Ricans become priorities,” said Hernandez.

Source: WFTV Channel 9