APIAVote: Taste of Democracy Briefing on AAPI Voter Data

APIAVote: Taste of Democracy Briefing on AAPI Voter Data

During APEC 2023, the non-profit APIAVote was in town and had a briefing which I was able to attend. The focus of the briefing was the following:

To understand AAPIs’ growing electoral power and become a part of the community investing in the movement to ensure AAPI voices are heard and addressed. Stopping Asian hate, addressing climate change, public safety, and inflation are some of the issues at stake in the 2024 election where AAPIs will be the margin of victory.

I first became aware of APIAVote when I first attended the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina and met Co-founder & Executive Director Christine Chen.

There was some interesting data presented, especially around the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in San Francisco, including:

San Francisco AAPI Voter Data (note that CVAP is Citizen Voting Age Population, those eligible to vote)

In 2020, San Francisco’s population was 870,014, so eligible Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) AAPIs made up 25% of San Francisco’s population – so 75% (163,757 out of 216,969) had registered to vote. The AAPI voter turnout for a presidential year election was 58% of CVAP.

Of course, in off presidential year elections, the turnout is much worse …

Generally, I’m more interested in national politics, so this slide was the most interesting to me:

The 2024 presidential election is probably going to be another nailbiter and Asian Americans, who usually lean Democratic, will help decide who will be elected president.

The next two slides were considerably disappointing to me. Although Asian American “youth” voter turnout did increase, it is still very low relative to other communities:

From 2016 to 2020, that’s a huge increase in voter turnout, but still pretty bad. Then you look in context to other ethnic groups and the overall picture:

Asian Americans students are the worst in turnout. We are not a model minority when it comes to our civic duty and engagement to vote. It’s especially pathetic when you consider that Asian Americans are the most highly educated and highest earning income demographic overall. That is why I continue to blog and advocate greater participation. If Asian Americans want to be seen as Americans, we need to engage civically in all manners – from donating to political campaigns and non-profits, to protesting when we see injustice and most of all, voting.

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