Center for American Progress

Expanding the Franchise in the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

Expanding the Franchise in the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

In order to ensure that this population has full and equal access to the ballot, grassroots organizations, political parties, and candidates must increase their outreach and engagement.

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idea_bulbAsian Americans and Pacific Islanders, or AAPIs, are the fastest-growing racial group in the United States, increasing at four times the rate of the overall U.S. population. While this population is projected to double in size from 17 million people in 2014 to more than 40 million people by 2060, its voting power has already nearly doubled in the past decade. According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, there were 2 million AAPI voters in 2000 and 3.9 million in 2012.

The AAPI community comprises more than 5 percent of the citizen voting-age population in seven states: Hawaii, Alaska, California, Washington, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York. Although AAPIs are a growing part of the electorate, the community faces a number of barriers to the voting booth, including little or no language assistance; a lack of outreach from community organizations and political parties; and regressive voter ID laws.

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