July 18, 2017

The so-called Election Integrity Commission, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, will hold its first meeting tomorrow. 

In an effort to undermine the election process and suppress the vote, the Pence-Kobach commission requested sensitive voter data from states late-June to investigate a nonexistent case of massive voter fraud during the 2016 election. 

APIAVote condemns their sweeping action to discourage minorities, immigrants and AAPIs from voting.

Chief election officers from a number of states rejected some or all of the request, including Kobach’s own state.

Even though the widely discredited commission put a hold on the request for now, voters are still concerned about the privacy of their data. Colorado election officials are troubled by the huge spike in the number of people unregistering to vote. This only makes Pence and Kobach’s jobs easier. Selecting ourselves out of the voting process does not protect our privacy.

If we unregister to vote, then we admit defeat.

Elected officials are beholden to our communities because we put faith in their ability to represent our values. When they set forth a harmful agenda to create more barriers to vote, they no longer serve our best interests. We should not feel intimidated by their scare tactics because we, the American people, hold collective power to uplift each other’s causes by voting on our beliefs. Here are the most courageous acts you can take right now: register to vote, stay registered, and vote in the next election. Your vote sends the message that you are committed to be one of many voices in our democracy.

It’s on us to support pro-voter solutions.

More Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders turn out when options like early voting, vote-by-mail, and same-day registration are available to them. APIAVote applauds states like Nevada that passed legislation to add the Chinese language to the state’s list of translated voter materials.  

Lawmakers have introduced bills that promote equal and fair access to the ballot, such as the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Eight states and the District of Columbia passed bills on automatic voter registration.  

Meanwhile, the Anti-Voter Suppression Act bill, co-sponsored by Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus members Sen. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Judy Chu, would stop taxpayer money from being used for this sham commission.

Even though we will not be in the room when the Pence-Kobach commission meets Wednesday, July 19, our voices will be heard loud and clear at the #RespectMyVote rally in Lafayette Square Park next to the White House. If you want to read live reactions from experts, join Common Cause’s #RespectMyVote Twitter Townhall at 11 a.m. ET when the Pence-Kobach initial meeting begins. Read the agenda here.


National Voter Registration Day partnerships

APIAVote calls on you to join National Voter Registration Day’s efforts to make sure everyone has an opportunity to vote. As part of the steering committee, APIAVote wants more eligible Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to register to vote. AAPIs are a key electorate in local and state elections in 2017 and 2018, like Florida’s SD40, Virginia, and New Jersey.

Are you ready to mobilize your communities on National Voter Registration Day, Tuesday, September 26, 2017? 

CLICK HERE to sign up. Partners will receive training opportunities, voter registration resources, and organizing kits with posters and stickers directly from National Voter Registration Day. 

National Disability Voter Registration Week

Yesterday kicked off the REV UP Campaign for National Disability Voter Registration Week, which runs July 17-21.

APIAVote signed onto a statement of support: “Elected officials make decisions every day that impact the ability of people with disabilities to live, work, and play in our communities, and people with disabilities must become an active voting bloc to ensure our voices are heard in that process.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about how you can get involved with National Disability Voter Registration Week.