Growing Latino voter turnout could turn the tide of the election

- Among the hordes of Texans casting early ballots you will find many just like the Mejias - a trio of siblings parented by first generation immigrants and eager this year to exercise their right to be heard.

"Because my parents came from Mexico and they won't be able to vote. So, I am here for them mainly and my family," said Laura Mejia.

Christian Mejia traces his voting enthusiasm to the Republican presidential candidate and campaign rhetoric he and others read as clearly hostile to Latinos.

"Donald Trump called out Hispanics. He called them out and I guess now he is feeling the fury of it," said Christian.

At the Ripley House early voting location on the mostly Hispanic Eastside, voter turnout has more than doubled over the last presidential election. Latino leaders hope it's an accurate indicator of an uptick statewide.

"My God, I didn't think it would be somebody like Donald Trump that woke up the sleeping giant!" said State Representative Carol Alvarado.

At a north side Mexican food cafe, Hispanic officeholders gathered to celebrate what they believe is a long awaited spike in Latino turnout - an outpouring they hope will transcend an electoral repudiation of Trump.

"What's on the ballot is our values. It's about our children. It's about their healthcare. It's about their education and it's about respect as Americans," said State Senator Sylvia Garcia who is working to insure Hillary Clinton wins the state's most populous county.

It's an argument aimed at Hispanic Texans who believe they've been disrespected. The balance of power here and elsewhere could depend on whether these Latinos respond with a ballot.

"I'm a first time voter and I'm here with my brother. We are already making a difference for my parents," said Laura Mejia.

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