Hopefully everyone who is eligible to, has already registered to vote by now – whether in California, or through an absentee ballot registration! APASA has been working hard with SCAPE and Troy Phi for our MobilizAsian campaign this past month, successfully registering over 250 students at USC to vote!
But now that registration is over and we all have new APASA tanks to wear and yummy boba in our bellies …the last but most important thing to do is to actually go out and vote on November 4!!
Why should we vote? And why is it important specifically for API’s to vote? As APIs, historically we haven’t always had our right to vote. With various laws barring us from naturalization, it wasn’t until 1952 – only 60 years ago, that naturalization became a right under the McCarran-Walter Act, finally allowing all APIs to gain citizenship and therefore voting power.
Looking at statistics of APIs in America today can show you how strong our voting power can be. From 2000-2010, our population has risen 46% making us the fastest growing racial group in the U.S.! And although we only make up 5% of the population, there are 1.5 million APIs in LA county, and 15% of Californians are API. However, despite this, APIs have one of the lowest voter turnout rates with only 51% registered to vote compared to the 71% registered of all citizens.
But we can turn that around! Many people have fought for our right to vote, and now it’s up to us to use that right and make our voices heard. In the elections this coming November you will be voting for the California State governor, and government representatives as well as 6 propositions to be voted yes or no on:
- Prop. 1 – Water Bond
- Prop. 2 – Budget
- Prop. 45 - Health Insurance
- Prop. 46 – Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors
- Prop. 47 – Criminal Sentences
- Prop. 48 – Indian Casinos
To learn more about what each prop entails, including the opinions for and against each one, check out the Easy Voter Guide where you can get straight forward non-partisan information about each ballot measure.
And to get more information on everything on the ballot including the candidates and more information about the ballot measures check out Voters Edge another non-partisan site offering information about candidates’ experiences, funding contributions and other valuable information.
Check out the links, and learn more on your own so that by November 4, we’ll all be well informed and ready to vote!
On the day, the closest polling place for USC students would be at the USC Caruso Catholic Center - 844 W 32nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90007 which will be open on Nov 4 from 7am – 8pm.
Or if you would rather vote by mail-in ballot, you can send in an application to vote by mail by Oct 28 to your county election official. After this is processed, you will be mailed your ballot, which after filling out, you can turn in to a polling place on Nov 4, or send back to your county election official, who must receive it by the time polls close at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Late-arriving vote-by-mail ballots won’t be counted! (more information about voting by mail.)
Whichever method you choose, try to get your vote in by Nov 4th so the voices of our community can be heard!
P.S. for some inspirasian (ha ha), check out SCAPE’s photo campaign showcasing some of the reason why we are voting!
(also lots of props to Alex Kanegawa, SCAPE president, who put much of this API history and information together for different APASA member orgs’ MobilizAsian workshops Go SCAPE! ^u^)