The not so strong Tri-City area Asian vote

The figures below are from a recent report commissioned for Ohlone College. The college, and apparently school districts across the state, need to determine if they are disenfranchising minorities by not having district elections.

If you ask me, Fremont voters disenfranchised more than 1 billion Indians the world over by not electing Ishan Shah last year.

I’m unclear at this point whether this means Ohlone might again change how trustees are elected, but check out the percentage of Asian vote for a college district that includes Fremont, Newark and a bit of Union City:

Asian Population Overview
Asian percentage of population: 47%
Asian percentage of Adult Citizens: 33%
Asian percentage of Registered Voters: 20%
Asian percentage of Voter Turnout (2010): 18%

Asian Precincts Turnout : 2010 Election
Precincts that are 80% Asian by population: 500(County)
Percentage Registered : 64%
Turnout of Registered Voters: 53%
Turnout of all 18+ Asians in these precincts: 34%

Here is the full report:
ohlone district report

Matt Artz


  1. An interesting point here is that 18% turned out of 20% possible. That means Asian Americans who are registered to vote are pretty good about doing so. The issue lies in the ratio of Percentage of Adult Citizens to Percentage of Voter Turnout. Getting Asian Americans registered to vote is the key here, but, speaking from experience, it is monumentally difficult to do for a number of reasons. There are quite a few myths out there that scare this particular electorate away from registering to vote. Most of them revolve around jury duty, the military draft, and immigration information.

  2. The statistics say that Asian adult citizens register dramatically less than average and, when registered, turnout less than the average registered voter.

  3. Ishan – I read the Ohlone data as follows –

    Asian voters comprise 20% of the total population of registered voters


    Of the total voter turnout, Asians represent 18%.

    One conclusion that you can draw from the above is that Asians participate in a given election at a rate that is only slightly less than their percentage of registered voters . . .

    I do NOT read the data the same way you did e.g., that 80% (which would be VERY significant if true) of asian voters cast a ballot, which would get you 18% casting a ballot out of a possible participating population of 20% of registered asian voters.

    The total voter turnout may have been 100 or it may have been 100,000 – we dont know by looking at the data supplied. I’m trying to see where you might be able to draw the conclusion you state . . . but, so far, I dont see it.

  4. Box, your way of looking at it makes a lot more sense than mine did. Thanks for catching that.

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