Asian Americans impacted by Voting Rights Act

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Without the Voting Rights Act, many Asian Americans would not have been able to access the ballot, according to a report released Aug. 4 by Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

The report, released in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, highlights how the law has impacted Asian Americans’ ability to access the ballot.

Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the country and are naturalizing and registering to vote — expecting to make up 10 percent of the electorate by 2044.

“Voting rights and accessing the ballot is a critical concern for the Asian American community. Without the VRA, many Asian Americans wouldn’t have been able to vote,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of Advancing Justice. “Most Asians weren’t able to naturalize and become U.S. citizens until 1952, meaning they couldn’t vote. Since then, Asian Americans have often been questioned about their citizenship as an added hurdle to accessing the ballot box. In addition, almost half of Asian American adults are limited English proficient, and without language assistance at the polls, would be unable to cast their ballot.”

The report shows how the VRA has protected the Asian American right to vote, and how following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the AsianAmerican vote is now in danger going into the 2016 election, should Congress not restore the VRA in time.

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