Asian American Voters Not Being Engaged in Ca.’s Ballot Initiative Process

Oct. 21, 2016 / By

SAN FRANCISCO – A new survey of Asian American voters in California out this week finds that many do not vote on ballot initiatives because they don’t know enough about them.

With 17 ballot measures going before California voters this November that could make a key difference on outcomes come Election Day.

“API voters really see ballot measures as being very impactful and important, in some ways more so than candidate [races] because they know the direct consequences of a yes or no vote,” says Cristina Uribe, California director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, which conducted the survey.

But she adds that the limited outreach by political stakeholders to the API community means Asian American voters are often less informed than general voters in the state.

A study by non-partisan APIA Vote found that in 2012 nearly 70 percent of API voters said they had not been contacted by either party in the run up to the election.

“These communities are receiving even less information than other voters,” she says, making them more susceptible to what is known as roll-off voting, where voters fill out the top of the ticket but skip the initiatives.

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