[OP-ED] Asian Americans Have The Lowest Voter Turnout Rates

Jay Yim, Nov. 9, 2018, 3:29 p.m.

The next presidential election is on its way in November, and is said by many to be one of the most important elections ever, as this will be a chance to NOT re-elect Donald Trump.

There are many people who decide not to vote even when they can, and history shows that those peoples' votes could have most definitely changed or at least helped the outcome of that year's election.

As an American citizen, it is our right to vote, whether Asian American, African American, or even Latino American. But surprisingly enough, many of these ethnic groups have low voter turnout rates, when compared to the White population.

All things considered, it is reported that the Asian American community has the lowest voter turnout rate of all ethnic groups. Reports from aapidata.com say that the obstacles for Asian American's who do not vote include "lower rates of English proficiency and the loack of voter outreach by both major political parties".

In the past, many Asian immigrants, who come to the U.S. to "start over", were unable to contribute their votes in the U.S. at the time because of their inability to speak English proficiently.

The numbers show nearly 77 percent of Asian Americans speak another language besides English at home which can cause difficulties for families. Because they have difficulty speaking English, many Asian American immigrants have had a hard time translating the voting process into their native language.

For years, Asian Americans have been ignored by both Democratic and Republican parties and nearly 70 percent of Asian Americans have reported that neither party contacts them in regards to election.

In California, the number jumps up to 80 percent of registered Asian American voters say they have not been engaged by either party.

All things considered, the lack of focus and attention from the political parties in a sense helps create a disinterest in politics, and as a result, leads to a drastic low voter activity.

Since the start of the 21st century, the Asian American population has been the fastest growing ethnic population in the U.S. nationwide. The population grew 46 percent between 2000 and 2010.

Excluding Hawaii, in that ten-year span alone, the Asian American population has grown at least 30% in every single state. In addition, in California alone, there is an approximate population of 38.5 million people with about 5.3 million (15.6 percent) of that being Asian Americans (as of 2015).

Within the last three election cycles alone, the growth of the Asian American voters grew to over 600,000 nationwide. These new generations of Asian Americans can lead to not just an increase in voter activity, but also a significant change in the elections coming up this Novemeber.

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