Rock the (Naturalized) Vote: The Size and Location of the Recently Naturalized Voting Age Citizen Population
By Manuel Pastor and Jared Sanchez
Released just before the 2012 presidential election, Rock the (Naturalized) Vote sought to address the questions of how important the immigrant vote is in national politics, and how important the treatment of immigration issues are to that vote. The report attempted to answer these questions by determining what share of the voting age population was recently naturalized immigrants. It also looked at where the members of this group were located geographically.
In turn, the report asserted that understanding the size and location of this population might help with targeted voter registration efforts in future elections, especially because the group may be the most motivated around immigration issues and because their registration rates may have the most room for improvement. Furthermore, registering and mobilizing this sector of voters may help contribute to a more civil and balanced conversation about immigration.
Alongside the report, the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration launched an interactive, online mapping tool that identifies the share of recently naturalized immigrants in the voting-age citizen population in the U.S. This innovative, user-friendly tool was designed to illustrate the potential importance of this vote and help target resources for more effective efforts at registration and mobilization.