Asian American voters could decide the Georgia Senate runoffs

Asian American voters in the state made a difference in November’s general election — and they could do so again

The AAPI population in Georgia has increased by 138 percent in the last 20 years, according to APIAVote, an organization focused on voter engagement. As more people move to the state to pursue employment opportunities and a more-affordable cost of living, Georgia has seen a large uptick in Black, Latino, and AAPI residents, along with corresponding gains in these groups’ political influence.

Per the Pew Research Center, eligible AAPI voters now account for roughly 3 percent of the state’s electorate, a notable jump from the 1 percent they comprised in 2000. And APIAVote estimates that about 238,000 eligible AAPI voters currently live in Georgia, including many new voters who’ve aged into the electorate or become naturalized citizens this cycle.

Historically, political campaigns have focused less on AAPI voters because of their lower turnout rates and the smaller proportion of the electorate they’ve comprised, an approach that can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Now, AAPI voter engagement — the product of years of organizing by local groups including AAAJ-Atlanta, Fair Fight Action, and the New Georgia Project — could be decisive in the state’s Senate runoffs, which will determine which party controls the upper chamber for the next two years. As Biden’s narrow 12,000-vote margin of victory highlighted, AAPI voter support could help make the difference in what’s expected to be another close election.

Read more via VOX

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