First time voter encourages others to do the same

At 19 years old Ashley Diaz voted for the first time.

"We need the Hispanic vote, Diaz said. That gave me the courage to go vote. I need to be noticed. They say if you don't register then you're not noticed."

After months of educating herself on the issues, Ashley told Action 4 News she started to talk to her family.

No one had voted.

It took a while, she said, but she finally convinced her sisters to go out and do the same.

"I was understanding more, Diaz explained. I told my parents and my sisters and they understand what things mean now too."

For months"groups like Lupe and Arise have been pounding the pavement.

They knocked on dozens of doors in hopes that those who answered would give them just five minutes.

Marta Sanchez said that was enough time for them to make their case about the importance of casting that ballot.

"It was a difficult task, but we can feel good that we did raise the percentage of voters," Sanchez said.

Ashley was so intrigued by the group TMs efforts"she soon joined them.

She realized there was a need for education, not just in her own family, but throughout Hidalgo County.

"I have some neighbors who are Hispanic and they don't believe in voting. They say 'for what? why' I told them to give it a try and they did."

Despite the record number of voters who hit the polls on November 6th"their push to vote is far from over.

Both Ashley and Marta said they need to keep the momentum going for next time.