The Freedom to Vote

The USA has taken a lot of steps recently to address AAPI issues.  President Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law, Illinois has required public schools teach Asian American history, and California has set aside $156 million to community groups to tackle the root causes of Asian hate.

We need to wield political power to continue this trend, and this means we need to VOTE.  We turned out in historic numbers to elect President Biden and the current House as well as many Senators. But state legislatures have created voting restrictions that disproportionately affect voters of color — limiting absentee voting, purging voter registration lists, closing polling sites, reducing voting hours, and even criminalizing handing out food and water to voters waiting in line.

These laws are creating obstacles to our voting process and limiting accessibility to the polls for those who need it most. They don't protect voters or our country’s electoral process.  Instead, they create doubt and try to undermine confidence in the democratic process, reinforcing divisive political tactics that prioritize the voices of some citizens over others. 

It is disappointing that as we approach the 56th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, we are still fighting for our freedom to vote. But we cannot give up, and we cannot stop now. The ability of every individual to have a say in our political process is the keystone of our democracy; it is the key tool for AAPIs to continue the progress we have made towards reaching equity for our communities and stopping Asian hate. If we cannot act now, we may not have another chance.

Join us and take action today.  

Look up who is is your is Senator here.

Call them and use this script (feel free to adapt if there’s anything else you’d like to discuss):

Hi, my name is [Name]. I am a constituent from [City/State], [ZIP Code].

I am calling to urge Senator _____________ to please vote in support of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Voter suppression is a shameful reality in our country. The ability for everyone to meaningfully participate in our democracy and the need for legislative action is urgent. Congress needs to pass H.R. 1 and H.R. 4 now. These bills are popular. In fact, 8 in 10 Americans are in favor of the provisions in these bills. Again, I urge the Senator to support these bills and do what it takes to protect our freedom to vote. Will Senator ___________  be voting in support of the For the People Act?

Thank you for your time.

**Text Adapted from the Asian & Pacific Islander Americans Vote newsletter, July 29, 2021