The Future Has Voted

MANSFIELD, TX - NOVEMBER 06:  An election official answers a question for a voter on November 6, 2012 in Mansfield, Texas. Am
MANSFIELD, TX - NOVEMBER 06: An election official answers a question for a voter on November 6, 2012 in Mansfield, Texas. Americans across the country participate in Election Day as President Barack Obama and Republican nominee former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney remain in a virtual tie in the national exit polls. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The American future is here, and there's great news: the future votes.

For years, political pundits have been predicting the full arrival of America's emerging majority. And all the while, cynical politicians have attempted to hold back the future, appealing to voters' old prejudices and fears instead of adjusting to the future electorate waiting in the wings.

Tuesday's elections make it crystal clear -- not only has the future arrived, but our next generation of American leaders is fired up about taking their place in our political process.

On the ground in communities across the country, I've worked hand in hand with these voters -- unbelievable, inspirational young people charting a bold course of empowerment, action, and ownership over their destinies.

In Florida and in Alabama and in Washington D.C., I was stunned to meet with whole college auditoriums bursting students schooling me in diversity and incredible new ideas. In my role as Voto Latino Chairwoman, I went expecting to give something of a lecture about activism, culture, and voting. What I got was the reverse -- a full-blown crash course in what it means to be part of this emerging majority, a young person with dreams to prove and a fire inside.

On the road in California, New York, and across America, I've been blown away by young people -- voters and DREAMers alike -- who overcome incredible odds every single day to make their voices heard. They've come out of the shadows to fight for their families and themselves. And now, the ones who can have shown that they will vote -- and that makes me explosively optimistic about our shared future.

Pundits and political pros will dissect the numbers, but the top-line results make it crystal clear: This emerging majority is registering to vote at an incredible rate. They're buying into a system that for too long has refused to bet on them, and they're taking big risks to chase the biggest reward -- a full franchise in the American Dream.

Our work with Voto Latino in pursuit of this new American future hit a new high this year, but I know that we're nowhere near our limit. The possibilities are written in our election turn-out results -- more voters, more participation, and more promise in this emerging majority than America has ever seen.

This future is ours to embrace. Whether we, the established generations, choose to accept that is in our court. But I sleep well knowing that no matter what we make of our present, there's an amazing generation waiting to claim their future.