Group seeks to mobilize Asian-American voters
The number of Asian-American voters in the US has nearly doubled in the last decade, and on Tuesday one group will be spurring them to register so they can vote in the US presidential election on Nov 8.
Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day and the group Asian and Pacific Islander Vote (APIAVote) is planning events across the country for the Asian community, a fast-growing demographic segment coveted by both the Democrat and Republican parties.
APIAVote is a nonpartisan organization that works to mobilize Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to actively participate in the American electoral system.
“We prefer to take a localized approach to increasing voter participation in the Asian community by partnering with local organizations,” Alton Wang, communications and development associate for APIAVote, said.
Wang said APIAVote provides technical support and training to help groups increase voter turnout in a particular area. APIAVote is partnering with the Asian American Organizing Project in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. “We are providing them a list of voters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area so they can contact them and urge them to get family members and friends registered to vote,” said Wang.
Turn out is always a challenge in the US, which has a voter registration system that involves local, state and federal requirements. In the 2008 election, 62.3 percent of eligible citizens voted. That fell to an estimated 57.5 percent in 2012, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Center for the Study of the American Electorate.
Last spring a poll of Asian-American registered voters was conducted with Asian Americans Advancing Justice and AAPI data. US voters of Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese descent were included in the survey of more than 1,200 registered voters.
It showed that enthusiasm for this year’s election in the Asian community is much higher than it was in the 2014 election. Approximately 51 percent of respondents said they were more enthusiastic about the upcoming election compared to just 28 percent in 2014.
“2014 was not a presidential election and that could account for some of the difference,” noted Wang. “Still, this is a very interesting election in which there is no incumbent.”
The number of Asian-American voters in the last decade has increased to 3.9 million voters in 2012 from more than 2 million in 2000, according to a report from the Center for American Progress and AAPI Data.
We prefer to take a localized approach to increasing voter participation in the Asian community.” Alton Wang, APIAVote