Asian American Voters Relied on Ethnic Media

Around half of Asian Americans relied on ethnic media for news during the last election in which the growing community voted overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama, a study said Thursday,” Shaun Tandon reported for Agence France-Presse.

“Massive support by minorities played a vital role in Obama’s re-election on November 6. Asian Americans made up 3.4 percent of the electorate and could play a greater future role as they form the fastest expanding racial group.

“The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, releasing detailed findings from its exit polls, found that 48 percent of Asian Americans considered ethnic media, led by television, to be their prime news source.

“Asian Americans of Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese heritage are most likely to consider vernacular-language ethnic media their main news source. The figure dwindles for Indian and Filipino Americans for whom fluent English is the norm.”

The AALDEF’s nonpartisan multilingual exit poll reached 9,096 Asian American voters in 14 states, the largest survey of its kind in the nation, the group said.

Seventy-seven percent voted for Obama.

Thirty-seven percent were limited English proficient, defined as speaking English “less than very well.”

Voters were asked if they encountered any voting problems. The organization said 249 responded that they were required to prove their U.S. citizenship, 307 said their names were missing or there were errors in the list of voters at poll sites, 215 had to vote by provisional ballot, 165 said poll workers did not know what to do, 136 voters said poll workers were rude or hostile, 183 voters said no interpreters or translations were available when they needed their help and 105 were directed to the wrong poll site or voting machine/table within a site.

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