With a government elected by its citizens and that effects every aspect of our lives from schools to health care to homeland security, voting is an important right in our society. By voting, you are making your voice heard and registering your opinion on how you think the government should operate.
Voter registration is one of the most important tasks of APAPA. No vote, no voice. In a recent study on the 2012 Presidential Election Cycle, Asian has the lowest citizenship percentage among major ethnic groups, the lowest registration percentage, and the second lowest voter turnout (slightly above Latino). This is particularly troubling considering that the political involvement usually increases with income and education, at the same time, Asian
are better educated and have higher income than any ethnic group. Another important factor is that Asian is the fastest growing minority as of today. Long-term efforts need to be devoted to keep new immigrants informed about voter registration.
There are significant challenges of educating the Asian community about voter registration. The first one is due to the large number of new or recent immigrants: limited language skills, and more importantly, little knowledge on the political/social system in the US. Secondly, many Asian communities heavily value personal or family advancement, but generally much less on civic engagement. Thirdly, there tends to be a bias towards acting for desirable consequences, rather than taking actions because of this is the right-thing-to-do.
The general tasks of voter registration include promote voter registration by providing deadlines, where to vote during community events; register staff and volunteers; voter registration drive. No endorsement is allowed during voter registration. Staffers and volunteers need to know the local rules, as they are generally different from state to state. For New York State, one has to be a US citizen over 18 years old to vote. Voters can register at your county board of election or State voter registration center or at the Department of Motor Vehicles (in person or online).