Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

This is an archive. View the new site here.

Asian Americans at the Ballot Box: The 2012 General Election in California

Asian Americans at the Ballot Box: The 2012 General Election in California compiles information on the state’s Asian American electorate during the last major statewide election. Based on our own analysis of data from the California Secretary of State’s Office and the National Asian American Survey, the report reveals a growing electorate that increasingly has the ability to hold elected officials accountable at the polls.






More Asian Americans in California are voting than ever before

Nearly 1.7 million Asian Americans were registered to vote in California as of the 2012 General Election. Asian Americans made up over 9% of all registered voters statewide. Between 2002 and 2012, the number of Asian Americans registered to vote in California increased nearly 60%. By the next presidential elections in 2016, it is estimated that Asian Americans will make up nearly 11% of voters statewide. While Asian Americans are registering to vote and casting ballots in record numbers, more work is needed to ensure their full civic engagement.

Asian Americans are the margin of victory in legislative districts throughout the state

During the 2012 General Election, Asian American voter registration exceeded the margin of victory in 38 Congressional, State Senate, and State Assembly races. Asian American voter registration exceeded half the margin of victory in 75 legislative races statewide. These legislative districts were located in counties throughout the state, both within and outside established Asian American communities in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. In-language get-out-the-vote efforts targeting Asian Americans are needed to ensure their voice in these and other key legislative races.

Asian American voters hold progressive positions on key policy issues

Approximately 67% of Asian Americans voting in the 2012 General Election voted in favor of Proposition 30, the ballot measure that approved temporary and targeted tax increases to prevent cuts to California’s education budget. Over 72% expressed support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the federal policy that prevents the deportation of some undocumented young people. Nearly 74% indicated support for policies that require health care providers to be able to serve patients in languages other than English. Given the growing influence of Asian American voters and the disproportionate number unaffiliated with a political party, it is critical that elected officials belonging to both parties address these and other policy concerns.

Related Materials

Press Coverage

Power at CA Polls Growing, So Why Don’t Asian Americans Vote? (NBC News)
Asian American Voter Engagement on the Upswing in California (KPCC)
CA Sees Big Jump in Asian American Registered Voters (Balitang America)
FilAms 2nd Largest Among Registered Asian Voters in California (The FiliAm)


Our helplines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: discrimination, family, immigration, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights. 

English: 888.349.9695
中文: 800.520.2356
한글: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ภาษาไทย: 800.914.9583
Tiếng Việt: 714.477.2958


Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.