Why US minority voter participation matters

Why US minority voter participation matters

Monitoring Desk

WASHINGTON: Legal barriers have contributed to limiting voter turnout among people of color. But if people of color voted at the rate of white voters, it would immediately alter who gets elected and what policies they pursue.

In the 2018 midterm elections, all major racial and ethnic groups saw a double-digit increase in their voter participation compared to the 2014 midterms, per Pew Research Center.

The 2020 election marks the first time in history that Latinos will be the largest minority ethnic or racial group in the electorate, with 32 million eligible voters. The eligible Asian-American voting population has more than doubled over the last 20 years.

The participation gap between Black and white voters has been shrinking.

The Native American vote alone could be large enough to swing the results of the presidential election in the battleground states of Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina and Wisconsin, a Des Moines Register/USA Today report found.

Black voter turnout surpassed 65% in both presidential elections when Barack Obama was on the ballot, per Census data, the only times Black voters participated at higher rates than whites.

If not for that turnout, Mitt Romney might have defeated Obama in 2012, an Associated Press analysis found. Just under half of eligible Latino voters vote in presidential elections, according to the Pew Research Center.

At least 4 million Latinos have turned 18 since the 2016 election. While young adults are less likely than their elders to vote, Latinos could flex their power as this generation ages.

More than 11 million Asian Americans are able to cast a vote this year — a 139% increase since 2000, according to Pew Research Center — and have become solidly Democratic over the past three decades. Their sway is concentrated in a few states: California, New York, and Texas, per Pew. Indian Americans are most likely of any Asian origin group to be Democrats; Vietnamese Americans have historically been most aligned with Republicans, according to 2018 survey by AAPI Data. (Axios)

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