Asian Pacific Americans Turn Out in Record Numbers to Vote

Posted by AC Team on Thursday, 06 November 2008.

Asian Pacific American civil rights, civic and legal groups, including the Organization for Chinese Americans (OCA), APIA Vote, and Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) mobilized to register APA voters and monitor the polls.

November 6, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC

OCA, a national social justice organization with 81 chapters and college affiliates, is proud to have been part of this historical US election, where Asian Pacific American (APA) voters registered and turned out in record numbers. Multiple OCA chapters representing all regions of the country mobilized to register voters in partnership with APIA Vote and hosted town halls and candidate forums. OCA also partnered with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) to monitor polls and protect the APA vote.

OCA is very proud of our members for all the voter registration, education, turnout, and protection efforts we coordinated under our OCA Vote 2008 program, said Michael C. Lin, OCA executive director. OCA looks forward to working with President-elect Barack Obama and the new Congress, including continuing our work with Senator John McCain around immigration reform and other issues important to the APA community.

However, OCA is disappointed over the results of several state ballot measures:

The passage of Proposition 8 in California overturns a previous state Supreme Court decision and denies the right of same-sex partners to marry. Arizona and Florida also passed similar ballot measures banning same-sex marriage. OCA is disappointed by these blows to equality.

"We are deeply disappointed with the passage of Proposition 8. Asian Pacific Americans have struggled throughout history against laws that have unfairly discriminated against our community and families, and we are alarmed by the inequality and denial of fundamental freedoms that same-sex couples will now face under our state constitution, said Ed Lew, president of OCA-Greater Los Angeles.

Amendment 1 in Florida, which would have repealed the last outdated and unconstitutional alien land law in the country, failed to pass. The law was adopted in the early 1900s to ban Asian immigrants from owning land.

After 6 years of hard work, [OCA is] very disappointed that Amendment 1 didnt pass to remove this outdated discriminatory law from the Florida Constitution. However, this defeat only energizes us more to better prepare ourselves to educate the public on this important issue for 2010," said Winnie Tang, president of the OCA-South Florida chapter.

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Asian American Turnout High on Election Day, but Many Face Problems at Polls