Would it surprise you to know that 10 percent of the registered voters in California are Asian Americans? In fact, the Asian American population is the fastest growing racial group in the state.
A study released after the 2012 election by the Asian American Justice Center, Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, and the National Asian American Survey conducted by our friends at UC Riverside show that voter enthusiasm among Asian Americans is beginning to pick up.
Given the impact that Asian Americans are having on California elections, it is important to ask how the state of California can energize more of our 4-plus million Asian Americans into becoming registered and active participants in the electoral process.
At the recent Future of California Elections (FOCE) meeting in Sacramento, Eugene Lee shared his expertise with county registrars and other officials interested in voting trends in California.
Lee is the Voting Rights Project Director for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles.
In an interview with California Forward, Lee explained that while California is doing a better job of reaching Asian American voters, there is much more to be done.
Lee explained that up to 40% of Asian American voters in California speak limited English and that more voter education and more native language proficient poll workers are needed in the state to help increase the turnout among Asian Americans in the Golden State:
Something for us to remember as Congress begins to consider immigration reform. Immigration reform is not just an issue for Latinos. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund released a statement last month urging immigration reform and reminding us that 1 million undocumented Asian immigrants currently reside in the United State.