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May 13th, 2013
09:20 AM ET

Female veterans in Congress decry military's handling of sexual assaults

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

(CNN) – The way the military has prosecuted sexual assaults within its ranks is deplorable, two congresswomen who have served in the armed forces said Sunday, calling for a new system for reporting those kinds of crimes.

Reps. Tammy Duckworth and Tulsi Gabbard, both Democrats, said last week’s report indicating a 30% rise in the number of service members anonymously reporting sexual assaults was an indication the military’s leadership has failed in its duty to protect members of the armed forces.

“I want the military to be a place where women can succeed and thrive the way I was able to. And the military leadership at this point has shown that they have not been capable of fixing this problem,” said Duckworth, who represents Illinois and is an Iraq War veteran.

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Filed under: Politics • Women
Report: Record number of Latinos eligible to vote
October 1st, 2012
05:30 PM ET

Report: Record number of Latinos eligible to vote

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

(CNN) – More Latinos will be eligible to vote in November's election than at any other time in American history, but getting them to the polls will provide campaigns a challenge, according to a report released Monday.

The Pew Hispanic Center report indicated 23.7 million Latinos are eligible to vote November 6, meaning they are U.S. citizens over the age of 18. That's an increase of 22% since 2008, when there were 19.5 million Latinos in America who met the country's voting requirements.

While both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have aggressively courted Latino voters, the turnout rate for the group in 2008 – 50% - was lower than that of black voters (65%) and white voters (66%).

And the decrease in voter registration between the 2008 election and the 2010 for Latinos was sharp – 600,000 fewer Latinos registered to vote in the midterm elections than they did for the presidential contest two years earlier.

The Pew report suggests two factors that could have led to the decrease over two years: reduced enthusiasm for a non-presidential election, and an economic downturn that has displaced many Latinos (and subsequently caused their voter registration to lapse).

Whether or not the downward trend from 2010 continues this year remains to be seen, since national data on voter registration isn't available until after the election.

However, four individual states that have published information on voter sign-ups show an increase in Latino registration since 2008. In Florida, a key battleground with 29 electoral votes at stake, 1.6 million Latinos had registered to vote by the middle of July, an increase over the 1.4 million Latinos who registered to vote in the Sunshine State in 2008.

North Carolina, another battleground, also reports an increase in Latino registered voters since 2008 – 102,000, compared to 68,000 who registered four years ago.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Ethnicity • Latino in America • Politics • Who we are
August 31st, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Rubio introduces Romney, vision of GOP future

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

Tampa (CNN) - Sen. Marco Rubio's convention speech Thursday introducing Mitt Romney offered voters a look at one of the Republican Party's fastest-rising stars, and brought to the fore what the conservative movement hopes its future will look like.

"I watched my first convention in 1980 with my grandfather," Rubio began, placing a date on the generational shift that he and Romney's running mate Paul Ryan represent for the GOP.

Rubio, who at 41 is a year younger than Ryan, joins the Wisconsin congressman as a young face in the party whose supporters have skewed older in the past several elections. Rubio also brings diversity to the Republican stage at a moment when Romney faces a nearly 30-point deficit among Latino voters.

Rubio used his Cuban immigrant parents' story as his version of the American Dream.

"My Dad used to tell us, 'En este pais, ustedes van a poder lograr todas las cosas que nosotros no pudimos:' In this country, you will be able to accomplish all the things we never could," he said.

Rubio's remarks in Spanish spoke to the larger theme of his optimistic address: that things are possible in America that aren't possible elsewhere.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Age • Latino in America • Politics • Who we are