Asian Americans are the fastest growing demographic in the United States, but are less politically active than Black, white, and Latino voters.
Nearly 9.3 million Asian Americans were eligible to vote this election day, according to the Pew Research Center (PRC). But the PRC also found that we have the lowest voter turnout of any major ethnic group in the United States.
My fellow Asian Americans, we cannot afford to sit this one out!
Do you take your right to vote for granted?
This is a right generations of Americans struggled to win ― and people in other countries are still fighting for.
It wasn’t that long ago when women were denied that right. Since the era of women’s suffrage, Asians and other ethnic minority groups have all faced obstacles to voting. Don’t take this privilege, that many have died for, for granted.
Beyond the presidency
Having to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump can seem, to some, distasteful.
How much the next president can do depends on whether his or her party controls either the Senate or the House. The size of those parties’ majorities also makes a difference. And you have a say in that difference.
Local elections are also an opportunity where you can decide on the issues that can most directly affect you, including the minimum wage, transportation, and climate change.
Are you thinking of not voting because you don’t understand the issues? Do you struggle with limited English skills?
King County makes voting materials available in Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), two organizations committed to the cause of voter protection and education, are hosting an in-language hotline for Asian American voters.
From now until Nov. 8, volunteers will be available in eight languages — English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Bengali, Urdu, Hindi, and Tagalog — to help those with questions about voting, how to find a polling place, or to learn about any ID requirements.
Voters can seek answers to their questions through this hotline: 1-888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683).
As Asian Americans, we already dominate in other areas. A 2015 Nielsen report found that Asian American buying power is nearly four times larger than that of the highly-coveted U.S. millennial segment at $200 billion, and it is larger than the entire economies of all but 18 countries worldwide. Asian Americans also produce many scientists, engineers, innovators, and entrepreneurs.
We need to step up and show the nation, and the world, the giants we are in the political arena.
If nothing else, voting is a license to justifiably complain about your elected officials. Your grievances will carry more weight if you speak out as a voter trying to hold your candidates accountable for promises they made.