Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Majority of Asian Americans Vote by Mail, Yet Ballot Rejection Rates Are Higher Than Average

LOS ANGELES, CA - Asian American voters are using vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots in large numbers, but also face a higher than average ballot rejection rate according to a new issue brief by Asian Americans Advancing Justice - California (Advancing Justice-CA). “Asian Americans Face Higher Than Average Vote-By-Mail Ballot Rejection Rates in California” provides general use and rejection rates among Asian American voters based on detailed analysis of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara counties. Taken together, the four counties make up close to half (or 45%) of the Asian American electorate in California. 
In the November 2016 election, 58% of all voters in California used a VBM ballot compared to 66% among Asian American voters. Despite a higher rate of VBM ballots, ballot rejection rate among Asian American voters was 15% higher than average (1.02% compared to .89%).
Advancing Justice-CA also found that rates of rejection were higher among young voters and naturalized citizens. “When we examined the intersection between age and nativity, we found the highest rejection rates among Asian Americans to be in the group of voters who are 18-24 year olds and foreign born,” said Joanna Lee, senior demographic research analyst at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles, the lead author of the brief. “Their rejection rate was over 2%.”
Among the counties analyzed, a non-matching signature or “signature mismatch” was the most common reason for VBM ballot rejection among all voters but was disproportionately higher among Asian American VBM voters. California recently extended the return date to Election Day and allows voters to fix an unsigned VBM envelope. 
“We think signature mismatch should be that next barrier that is addressed,” said Deanna Kitamura, voting rights project director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. “And we hope election officials and community based organizations use our issue brief as resource for educating voters.”
“This study emphasizes that there are still barriers that must be eliminated before all eligible voters have equal access to the ballot,” said Jonathan Stein, voting rights program manager at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus. 
Jessica Jinn, (213) 241-8817, [email protected]
About Advancing Justice - LA: 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-California is a joint project of Advancing Justice-Los Angeles and Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Should this be featured in the spotlight area on homepage?: 

For Legal Help

Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356


도움이 필요하십니까?: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583
Cần sự giúp đỡ: 800.267.7395


Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.