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Politics / Issues

Actress and Activist Rosario Dawson Sounds Off on Florida's Voter Purge and More

After her speech Wednesday at the University of South Florida, Rosario Dawson caught up with WUSF by phone on her way to Tampa International Airport. The 33-year-old actress and activist is chairwoman of the nonpartisan voter registration group Voto Latino. Here are excerpts from our chat:

On the need for Voto Latino: "Latinos are the largest growing minority in the country and are posed to inherit ... the leadership of the country through the sheer population. But they are the worst hurt in the economy, disproportionately affected by the job and housing crisis. We have really high statistics of drop-out rates and poor access to education. That doesn't bode well for America and pathway that we need to go to."

On Florida's voter purge: "The history for voter purging in Florida has been something of major controversy. In 2000, the vote was won by 537 votes. As much as Vanity Fair put the tally at 20,000, but a conservative number of voters that were purged wrongfully was at 1,100. So that's a big difference in an election that's as close as that."

On her first time voting: "I hadn't voted in the previous presidential election that I could have voted in -- which I was surprised at myself at. But I think we were in a different time in our economy. We were at a surplus, and I was an activist already and doing other work. Sometimes we tend to feel like one is fine without the other. It was a growing and learning for me to recognize that all the issues that I care about all fall under the umbrella of voting."

On running for office: "It's not an aspiration, necessarily, of mine. Maybe one day I'll play a president or something like that in a movie (laughs). But I love activism, and I love advocacy. ... I'm a storyteller, and I don't want to just tell stories that I read in scripts but also stories of the people that I meet. ... I don't know if I need to be in political office to do that."