Significant increases in Latino residents and registered voters in Cobb and Hall counties prompted the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, in collaboration with the non-partisan Georgia Latino Vote 2004, to host opportunities for voters on Oct 27-28 to meet Georgia House and Senate candidates vying for political office.

Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of GALEO, said between January 2003 and May 2004, Cobb County saw a 131 percent increase in Latino registered voters.

“Also, 9,000 registered voters are listed as ‘other,’ and we think many of those are also Latino,” he told GlobalAtlanta.

He said the last U.S. Census indicated Cobb County’s Latino population is some 47,000.

Hall County saw an 80 percent increase in its Latino registered voters from January 2003 to May 2004, Mr. Gonzalez said. Of the 984 new registered voters listed as “other,” he also suspects many are Latino.

The census reported Hall County’s Latino population to be some 27,000, which is 20 percent of the county’s overall population, according to Mr. Gonzalez,

GALEO is billing the events, which are free and open to the public, as a way to see how candidates have incorporated aging and Latino issues into their platforms.

The Hall County meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 26, will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Georgia Mountains Center in Gainesville. For more information, call (770) 534-8420 or go to

The Cobb County meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 27, will be held from 7-9 p.m. at Campbell High School in Smyrna. For more information, call (678) 842-6850 or go to

To register, contact Mr. Gonzalez at (404) 745-2580 or