AALDEF 2010 Exit Polling Shows APIA Voting Trends, Documents Voter Disenfranchisement

November 5, 2010

The Asiam American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) released the preliminary findings of their exit polling of the 2010 Mid-term elections.

Looks like, in the Mideast, APIAs are strongly Democratic:

In the traditionally Democratic northeastern states of New York and Massachusetts, Asian Americans voted overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates Andrew Cuomo in NY (Cuomo-82%, Paladino-13%) and Deval Patrick in MA (Patrick-84%, Baker-14%).  Cuomo won the election 61% to 34%, and Patrick was re-elected with a 6-point margin, 48% to 42%.  In New York, AALDEF’s exit poll was conducted at 18 poll sites in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.  In Massachusetts, AALDEF polled voters at 4 sites in Boston and Lowell.

In a carefully-watched New York State Senate race, Democratic candidate Tony Avella unseated long-time Republican incumbent Frank Padavan in Senate District 11 in Queens.  Padavan had been criticized by community groups for his anti-immigrant positions.  According to a local poll conducted by AALDEF community partner MinKwon Center for Community Action, 89% of Korean American voters favored Democratic candidate Avella, and 11% of those polled supported Padavan.  Avella defeated Padavan by 53% to 47% of all district voters.

In Pennsylvania, among Asian American voters polled at 4 sites in Philadelphia’s Chinatown and Upper Darby, PA, 78% voted for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato, with 18% supporting Republican candidate Tom Corbett. Corbett won 54% of the Pennsylvania vote, with 45% for Onorato.

Unusually, APIA voters in the South skewed somewhat Republican, with a slight majority voting for Governor Rick Perry despite his questionable use of an image of Yao Ming in one of his political attack ads (and his subsequent snubbing of Asian American groups for questioning his intentions):

Asian American voter preferences in Texas and Georgia more closely reflected the broader state electorates that have traditionally favored Republicans.  Asian American voters favored the re-election of Republican Governor Rick Perry by a small margin (Perry-50%, White-48%); Perry was re-elected by a vote of 55% to 42%.  In Georgia, Asian American voters favored Republican candidate Nathan Deal (50%) over Democratic candidate Roy Barnes (46%).  Deal won the gubernatorial election 53% to 43%.  Asian American voters in Texas were surveyed at 7 poll sites in Houston and Sugar Land.  In Georgia, the AALDEF exit poll was conducted at 4 sites in the Atlanta area:  Suwanee, Doraville, Norcross and Duluth.

In AALDEF’s survey, it seems as if only APIA voters may have swung the outcome of the election only in Perry’s race. Which begs the question — why would Texan Asian Americans support a governor who dismisses so casually our constituency? Does this underscore a disparity between politically-active Asian Americans, and the casual Asian American voter? What precedence does this set for future candidates seeking higher office in districts with significant (but not overwhelmingly large) Asian American groups — that we don’t mind a snub?

Or am I reading too much into this?

AALDEF also documented the following complaints from voting centers:

New York:

  • Widespread complaints about the illegible paper ballots in New York City, because Chinese/Korean characters and English-language fonts were too small
  • In Manhattan’s Chinatown, I.S. 131 had only English and Korean-language voting instructions available for the predominantly Chinese American voters at this site.
  • Asian American voters complained about rude conduct by poll workers at I.S. 131 in Manhattan’s Chinatown and P.S. 94 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn
  • Despite federal mandates under the Voting Rights Act, several interpreter shortages were reported, including at P.S. 20 in Manhattan’s Lower East Side (no Chinese interpreters; 3 required); P.S. 12 in Woodside, Queens (2 Chinese interpreters; 4 required)

Pennsylvania:

  • At Benjamin Franklin House in Philadelphia, an Asian American couple came to vote; the wife’s name was on the voter list, her husband’s name was not.  Poll workers turned away the husband and did not give him a provisional ballot, as required under HAVA.
  • At Lowell Elementary School in Philadelphia, Khmer and Vietnamese translators were not present at the poll site.  When Cambodian American voters asked for assistance, poll workers did not know what to do or referred them to some hotline without any instructions.
  • Also at Lowell Elementary School in Philadelphia, an Asian American voter needed her son to help her vote because she was limited English proficient.  She was told to wait over an hour until after several others voted.

Did you like this content? Please consider becoming a patron of Reappropriate and get exclusive access to the brand new Reappropriate vlog!

Comment Policy

Before posting, please review the following guidelines:

  • No ad hominem attacks: A person's identity, personal history, or background is not up for debate. Talk about ideas, not people.
  • Be courteous: Respect everyone else in this space.
  • Present evidence: This space endeavours to encourage academic and rational debate around identity politics. Do your best to build an argument backed not just with your own ideas, but also with science.
  • Don't be pedantic: Listen to those debating you not just for places to attack, but also where you might learn and even change your own opinion. Repeatedly arguing the same point irrespective of presented counterfacts will now be considered a violation of this site's comment policy.
  • Respect the humanity of all groups: To elevate the quality of debate, this site will no longer tolerate (racial, cultural, gender, etc.) supremacist or inferiority lines of argumentation. There are other places on the internet where nationalist arguments can be expressed; this blog is not those places.
  • Don't be an asshole: If you think your behaviour would get you punched in the face outside of the internets, don't say it on the internets.
  • Don't abuse Disqus features: Don't upvote your own comments. Don't flag other people's comments without reasonable cause. Basically, don't try to game the system. You are not being slick.

Is your comment not approved, unpublished, or deleted? Here are some common reasons why:

  • Did you sign in? You are required to register an account with Disqus or one of your social media accounts in order to comment.
  • Did your comment get caught in the spam filter? Disqus is set to automatically detect and filter out spam comments. Sometimes, its algorithm gets over-zealous, particularly if you post multiple comments in rapid succession, if your comment contains keywords often associated with spam, and/or if your comment contains multiple links. If your comment has been erroneously caught in the spam filter, contact me and I will retrieve it.
  • Did a comment get flagged? Comments will be default be published but flagged comments will be temporarily removed from view until they are reviewed by me.
  • Did you not play nice? You may have gotten banned and a bunch of your comments may have been therefore deleted. Sorry.

I monitor all comment threads, and try to address comments requiring moderation within 24-48 hours. Comments that violate this comment policy may receive a warning and removal of offensive content; overt or repeat violations are subject to deletion and/or banning of comment authors without warning.

I reserve final decision over how this comment policy will be enforced.

Summary:

Play nice and don't be a jerk, and you'll do just fine.