Voter Profiles: Sparks Resident Will Soon Cast His First Ballot

Dec 28, 2015

Benjamin Challinor, right, explains to volunteer Ismael Castro how to make a phone call for the Hillary Clinton campaign at her Reno headquarters.
Credit Julia Ritchey

Reno Public Radio is talking to local voters to find out what issues and candidates are on their radar as we gear up for the 2016 presidential election. For this ongoing series, our reporter Rocio Hernandez spoke with a Sparks resident who will be voting for the very first time next year.

As I pay a visit to Hillary Clinton’s local campaign office, I meet eyes with 44-year-old Ismael Castro. It is his first time involved with American politics and he is busy making phone calls to Latino voters, in Spanish:

“Alicia, how are you? Hello, my name is Ismael Castro. I am a volunteer for the Hillary Clinton campaign.”

Castro is a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Mexico. He’s been living in this country for almost three decades and next year will be his first time casting a ballot.

He admits he doesn’t know much about Clinton’s platform. That’s the reason he’s here, volunteering and getting informed at the same time.

“I think that now that I am a citizen, I pay a little more attention to this," Castro explains. "When I didn’t have the power to vote, not as much, maybe because I couldn’t make a difference. Now that I can, I will do it."

For Castro, immigration reform is a top priority.

“I see for my community, my people. I think I have to speak for them," he says. "They suffer a lot in this county when they don’t have the proper documentation.”

Castro says there is a generation that he needs to support and bring out of the shadows.

KUNR would like to thank Jose Olivares, a student for the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, for providing English translations for this story.