Tony Vargas, candidate for the Nebraska legislature, accompanied by his fiancee Lauren Micek, center, campaigns in a shop in Omaha, Neb., Sunday. While campaigning in the heavily Latino neighborhoods of south Omaha, Vargas, whose parents came from Peru, has talked with numerous people afraid to participate in democracy. Though Hispanics now make up 10 percent of Nebraska’s population, there is not a single Latino lawmaker in its Legislature.
Campaigning door-to-door in the heavily Latino neighborhoods of south Omaha, Nebraska, first-time legislative candidate Tony Vargas has talked with numerous people afraid to participate in democracy. Some felt shunned or confused when they once attempted to vote. Others have misconceptions about the legal requirements to do so. Some simply believe their vote doesn’t matter.
"You can hear the fear in people’s voices, and you can hear that they feel like less of a member of society, less of an American,” says Vargas, whose parents came to the U.S. from Peru.