Latin Vote: Dispatches from the Battleground
Premieres Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 9 p.m.
Directed by Bernardo Ruiz (Harvest Season, Reportero) and produced by Ruiz and Andrea Cordoba, “Latino Vote: Dispatches from the Battleground” is an up-to-the-minute look at the ever-evolving 2020 election through the eyes of Latino voters who are poised to be the largest racial or ethnic group eligible to vote in a presidential election. This program premieres on Southern Oregon PBS, the PBS video app, and on PBS.org Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 9 .m.
Historically known as “the sleeping giant,” the Latino vote has been an elusive prize, but many believe that 2020 will be the year the giant awakens. Latino voters turned out at unprecedented rates in the 2018 midterms and candidates have stepped up their courting.
Told through a series of immersive dispatches from the battleground states of Nevada, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania, “Latino Vote: Dispatches from the Battleground” follows the efforts of grassroots organizers, community leaders and political operatives working to ensure Latino voter turnout. The film follows left-leaning progressives as well as Latino evangelicals, many of whom support President Donald Trump.
The film begins in Las Vegas as candidates reach out to Latino workers ahead of the February caucus and then moves on to Super Tuesday, March 3, when Joe Biden’s candidacy seems assured. But less than two weeks later, the country is struck by an unexpected calamity: a pandemic that ravages communities both rural and urban, with Latinos bearing a disproportionate brunt of the devastation. Soon, the country is roiled again by the May 25 killing of George Floyd. What effect this seismic shift in the national landscape will have on Latino voters in November is a question organizers and candidates are hoping to answer as this very unique election draws near.
“‘Latino Vote’ is a fascinating chronicle of this year’s highly charged political climate,” says Sandie Viquez Pedlow, executive director of Latino Public Broadcasting and executive producer of VOCES. “With Latino voters poised to be a powerful non-white bloc this November, this film introduces us to those on the ground, working to realize this promise.”
Says director/producer Ruiz, “I was eager to bring journalism to the screen that doesn’t rely on correspondents or pundits, but instead focuses directly on the Latinx organizers and voters who may very well determine the nation’s political future.”
“As one of the nation’s most trusted sources for news and public affairs programming, PBS is pleased to air ‘Latino Vote’ and shine a light on the important role this community will play in our upcoming democratic process,” said Perry Simon, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming.
Major funding for“Latino Vote: Dispatches from the Battleground” was provided by the Ford Foundation; PBS; ITVS,the leading documentary co-producer and distributor for public media; and Latino Public Broadcasting, with major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.