16.6 Million People of Color, Purged from State Rosters, Will Not Be Able to Vote in November

By Sunita Sohrabji, Nepal 24 Hours |

More than 16.6 million people of color who were previously registered to vote have been “de-activated” from polling rosters unbeknownst to them, and will be ineligible to vote in the Nov. 3 general election.

48 million people overall have been de-registered, according to state by state polling rosters.

In a number of states, voters who have not voted in a couple of past elections are moved to an inactive list. Some states require voters to re-register every two years. Few states have same day registration.

UC Riverside Professor Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder of AAPI Data, and Terry Ao Minnis, Senior Director of Census and Voting Programs at Asian Americans Advancing Justice, spoke about barriers that could keep eligible Asian American voters from exercising their franchise.

Ramakrishnan shared the results of a survey undertaken by AAPI Data. As of Aug. 16, 54 percent of Asian Americans surveyed said they favored Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, while 29 percent favored Trump. 16 percent said they were undecided.

But neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party has extensively courted the Asian American vote: 56 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans said they had not been contacted by their parties for voter outreach.

Traditional and ethnic media, including print, radio, and television, influences voter choices, said Ramakrishnan. Door to door outreach and face to face contact is the most effective method to connect with voters, followed by phone calls and mailers. Robo calls are the least effective way to engage voters, he said.

Asian Americans they’re less likely to live in battleground states, so they are less likely to receive voter outreach, said Ramakrishnan. The researcher cited the 2018 elections,noting that the AAPI vote was the margin of victory in several key Congressional races, flipping districts from red to blue.

“So we really should be seeing more outreach than we’ve seen so far,” he said.

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