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Voter turnout by Asian Americans jumps 39%, survey finds

The L.A. County findings show that they cast ballots in record numbers in the 2008 presidential election compared with the 2000 contest.

October 28, 2009|Ching-Ching Ni

Asian Americans in Los Angeles County turned out in record numbers for the 2008 general election thanks to a mobilization campaign targeting the fast-growing but underrepresented community, according to a new survey released Tuesday.

Turnout for Asian American voters soared 39%, up from about 211,000 in 2000 to 293,000 in last year's presidential election, according to the survey by the Los Angeles-based Asian Pacific American Legal Center.

Among the key findings of the report, 63% of Asian American voters supported Barack Obama for president and 90% expressed support for universal healthcare. A slim majority said they were even willing to pay more taxes for a healthcare plan.

"What is significant about this report is that it shows more Asian Americans have voted than ever before in the history of Los Angeles County. It tells us that Asian Americans have arrived as a political force," said Dan Ichinose, director of the center's Demographic Research Project.

Low voter turnout is not unique to the Asian community. Though minorities make up more than half of the population in Los Angeles County, only three out of 10 likely voters tend to be people of color, said Eugene Lee, the center's voting rights project director.

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ching-ching.ni @latimes.com

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