Immigration Protests May Not Spur Votes

LOS ANGELES — Immigration protests that drew hundreds of thousands of flag-waving demonstrators to the nation’s streets last spring promised a potent political legacy – a surge of new Hispanic voters.

“Today We March, Tomorrow We Vote,” they proclaimed.

But an Associated Press review of voter registration figures from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Atlanta and other major urban areas that had large rallies found no sign of a new voter boom that could sway elections. There was a rise in Los Angeles, where 500,000 protested in March, but it was more of a trickle than a torrent.

Protest organizers _ principally unions, Hispanic advocacy groups and the Catholic Church _ acknowledge that it has been hard to translate street activism into voting clout, though they insist they can reach their goal of 1 million new voters by 2008.

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