ST. PAUL (Oct. 14, 2014) — Election Day is approaching, and I encourage all eligible Asian Pacific Minnesotans to vote on Tuesday, November 4. When you vote, you help to ensure that the policy decisions of the day do not neglect Asian Pacific Minnesotans.
We must not be invisible. Our population is 250,000 strong and we are the fastest growing demographic in Minnesota. We reside in every single one of the eighty-seven Minnesota counties. We are strong as a group and can be powerful as an electorate group. Yet, we have been disengaged from the political process.
Asian Americans lag behind other groups when it comes to voting. Asian Pacific Minnesotans’ voter turnout rate in 2012 was 56.2%, which is substantially lower than the statewide turnout of 71.9 percent. According to Pew Research, Asian Americans are more likely to cite “being too busy” to vote. Voting is both our right and responsibility as American citizens. We need to exercise this right to ensure opportunities for all of us. Low voter turnout today undermines our ability to influence policies, and our relevance in tomorrow’s world.
We are a growing electorate and this should be reflected in our voter turnout. According to the Asian Americans Advancing Justice Center, almost half of us identify as “independent” – this means our votes are up for grabs. We can be a powerful electorate, but only if we participate. We can shape our image beyond the model minority stereotypes by actively participating in the political process.
Campaigns are not pursuing our votes as intensely as they are other demographics because we are disengaged and unlikely to vote. By not showing up, we continue to remain in the shadows, leading to us being ignored by the media and political parties. When we cast our votes, we raise our voices and increase our chances of being seen and heard.
Let us no longer be content to sit by the sideline. This year is a significant election year: Minnesotans will elect a governor, U.S. senator, U.S. House representatives, Minnesota House representatives, and state officers, and many important county and local officers. As such, it is important for us to participate and have our say in shaping the future of Minnesota. To do this, you must be registered to vote — and cast your ballot. 658 Cedar Street, Suite 160 | Saint Paul MN 55155 | (651) 757-1740 | [email protected]
A source for your voting needs is the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s mnvotes.org website — where you can register to vote, request an absentee ballot, view your sample ballot, find your polling place location, and more.
You can register — or update your registration — online at mnvotes.org. You may also register at your polling place on Election Day.
Be informed and engaged. Your Vote is our Voice. Cast your vote on November 4, 2014.
State Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans