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Indian-origin Shekar Narasimhan leads drive to get Asian-Americans to vote

Indian-origin Shekar Narasimhan

Washington, May 31 (UITV)- Launched four months ago, the Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Victory Fund has a grand vision overall but modest objectives for the current election cycle – reaching out as many members of the community as possible where a few thousands votes can make the difference.

Asian-Americans have the lowest level of participation among all ethnic groups in the US politics, and an initiative led by Shekar Narasimhan has been trying to change that.

AAPI Fund is not into funding candidates or parties, but forced entirely on increasing the community’s participation in politics. According to Narasimhan the community’s participation in American politics can be done through a three stage process. The first is to get them to register as voters. The second is through persuasion. The third stage is to get them out to vote on November 8.

According to the calculations based on the 2012 census, the Asian American population in the US is 19.4 million. Of this, 13-14 millions are eligible to vote, but only 56 per cent of them are registered. In the last election cycle, only 3.9 million voted.

A recent survey of AAPI population bears this out. It found that Asian-Americans are the least likely to be contacted by a political party or the community organizations. AAPI Fund seeks to change the situation, and gradually make the community an influential voice in American policymaking.

“If we manage to increase the vote participation of Asians in these six states – Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, North Carolina, Colorado and Florida – by just five per cent from the last cycle, we will be the margin of victory,” said IIT alumnus Mr. Narasimhan.