On Tuesday, September 23rd, AAFE staff and youth volunteers took part in a voter registration drive in Flushing, NY. The event was part of National Voter Registration Day, a nationwide campaign to create widespread awareness of voter registration opportunities. AAFE participated in the day’s activities in conjunction with a network of Asian American community organizations from across New York City.

The hope was that this coalition of organizations could help reverse the trend of limited voter registration among Asian Americans. Despite the Asian-American and Pacific Islander population increasing 46 percent between 2000 and 2010, these numbers have not resulted in a rise in political engagement because a significant proportion of adult Asian Americans are not US citizens, have limited English proficiency, or are not registered to vote. In 2012, only 56 percent of adult citizens registered to vote, compared to registration rates of 72 percent and 73 percent among whites and blacks, respectively, and 59 percent among Latinos.

This year New Yorkers will be able to vote for members of the United States Congress, New York State Assembly, and State Senate, as well as New York State Governor and other statewide offices. Chris Kui, AAFE’s Executive Director, believes that, with increased voter registration, Asian Americans across the city will be able to make their voices heard in these elections.

“National Voter Registration Day was an important opportunity for us to join groups from across the City, to help build broader civic participation in our communities. We stand ready to assist voters to register on that day and leading up to the deadline to register for Election Day on November 4,” he said.

AAFE reminds all citizens that the deadline for voter registration in this year’s general election is October 10. The general election day for all registered voters will be Tuesday, November 4th. If you need any assistance with the voter registration process, please visit an AAFE office near you and we can help you register to vote.