First Statewide Asian Electoral Organization Built Largest Electoral Field Program for Asian Americans in the Country, Mobilizing to Ensure Every Vote Is Counted
Pennsylvania — As Pennsylvania election officials continue counting the more than 750,000 remaining mail-in ballots across the state, the Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance (API PA), PA’s first and only 501c4 political organization dedicated to the needs and interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, is releasing key data that demonstrates unprecedented mobilization and voter turnout for those communities in this election cycle.
Early vote data shows that 50% of AAPI voters in the state requested mail-in ballots, the highest percentage for any racial category. This year, over 56,000 AAPIs cast their ballots early in PA, a 4,719% increase from 2016. API PA is predicting that final Asian American turnout will exceed all expectations in 2020, being the margin of victory for Joe Biden in Pennsylvania compared to a total of 67,5000 AAPI votes cast in-state in 2016. This follows API PA’s work to generate 560,000 calls, hundreds of thousands of texts, and relational organizing within community networks to sign AAPIs up to vote by mail.
This year, API PA has recruited more than 1400 Asian American volunteers, and made 1.3 million calls to voters in PA, with support for ten AAPI languages, including 55,000 in-language persuasion and GOTV calls to low-English proficiency Asian voters. It also completed a six-figure direct mail program and a six-figure digital ad buy to educate and turn out Asian American voters across the commonwealth for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Auditor General candidate Nina Ahmad, who would be the first Asian American in statewide office, and crucial legislative pick-up opportunities like Nancy Guenst, who just claimed victory in House District 152.
With the strong possibility of days of ballot counting ahead in the state before candidate victories are officially called and Pennsylvania voters being a decisive factor in the outcome of the presidential race, API PA is joining dozens of local and statewide groups in mobilizing their supporters to events in Philadelphia and Allentown on Saturday to ensure every vote is counted.
Alix Webb, Co-Executive Director of API PA, had the following statement:
“Despite being the fastest growing portion of the electorate in PA and nationally, AAPI communities are often completely ignored by local, state, and national politicians. And yet, we may be the crucial linchpin to stopping a second Trump administration and ensuring a state legislature in PA that will best represent our people and all working families of color across the state.”
“API PA, along with our partner 501c3 Asian Pacific Islander organizations, have unmistakably demonstrated that when we actually invest in reaching AAPI voters — elders, young folks, people with low-English proficiency, workers — we can harness a powerful political force for the issues that matter most to us: healthcare for all, just immigration policies that keep families together, well-paying union jobs, and ending racial discrimination and violence.”
“The growing AAPI electorate, along with the existence of the first organization capable of engaging Pennsylvania’s Asian voters politically across multiple cultural and language divides, has huge implications for the present and future of our state and country’s politics. And beyond this election cycle, we are just getting started to translate the vision and power in our communities at the ballot box, at the table with our representatives, and in the streets.”
“For the past 4 years, Trump has shown us, time and again, who he is: a bully who sows racism to divide our country and enrich himself and his 1% friends. And now, our communities have resoundingly shown who we are — that despite huge challenges, AAPIs have always stood on the side of justice and fairness out of care for our communities and hope for a better future, whether we’ve called Pennsylvania home for one generation or four.”
“AAPI communities have resisted authoritarianism and martial law, often at the cost of our own lives, from Tiananmen Square to Gwangju, the Arab Spring, Hong Kong, and Jakarta. Despite isolation and fear, our parents and grandparents never stopped fighting for true democracy. At API PA, we’re mobilizing to ensure that every voice is heard and every vote is counted until we swear in a government of, by, and for our communities, immigrants, and all working families of color.”
The Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance’s (API PA) mission is to build long-term power for APIs in Pennsylvania, by coordinating political, electoral, and legislative work to hold our elected officials accountable, engaging in culturally competent and linguistically accessible direct voter contact with our communities, and building solidarity with other aligned communities of color across the state.