Angelenos voting at the Japanese Cultural Institute in Los Angeles on November 6th, 2012. As this country becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, the role of nonwhite voters in the election results has occupied more political speculation than in previous years.
Instead of the usual Multi-American news roundup this Election Day, here's a sampling of the many stories out there addressing voters of color, and how they figure into this year's election.
In recent months, political observers have suggested that Latinos and Asians could help swing the election, provided these voters turn out in large enough numbers. Black voters, meanwhile, have been called key to President Barack Obama's reelection. And Muslim voters of various backgrounds were recently polled as leaning toward Obama even as many remain undecided. Without further ado, a few of the election-related stories making the rounds today:
Latino vote for Obama could be historic high, poll says - Los Angeles Times The most recent voter tracking poll from the Latino Decisions firm indicates that 73 percent of Latino voters polled nationally planned to support President Obama. Twenty-four percent supported Republican candidate Mitt Romney, whose stance on immigration has hurt his standing with the Latino electorate. Three percent were undecided.
Some say Asian American vote overlooked in 2012 election - San Jose Mercury News Here's how one Asian-Pacific Islander voter advocate puts it: "It has been disappointing...When reporting from the political campaigns, when people are talking about what votes count, they're quoting Latinos, African Americans and women. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are still not included."
Five new Asian languages make their debut at polls - Southern California Public Radio While low voter outreach to Asian Americans - and resulting low turnout - have been problems, Los Angeles County has added five new Asian languages to its voter materials and bilingual poll worker assistance. Advocates hope this will help engage more Asian American voters.
The Muslim vote in the U.S. - The Express Tribune One recent poll indicated that 68 percent of Muslim voters polled were leaning toward President Obama, although 25 percent were undecided. While the issues they listed as important echoed those of the general electorate - the economy, jobs - civil rights is also near the top of their list.
The Muslim swing vote - New York Times An essay from earlier this year warned against political Muslim-bashing: "While an anti-Muslim strategy may have worked in the past, it is risky because many agree that the outcome of the 2012 presidential election will probably be determined in no more than twelve states. These are the same states where minority groups, including American Muslims, are likely to play a decisive role."
Black voter turnout key to Obama's Virginia hopes - Washington Post Some polling has indicated that black voters may not turn out in the numbers they did in 2008 to support Barack Obama. But in swing states like Virginia, their participation is critical to Obama's reelection, in part "to help offset eroding support among whites."
Election 2012: Latino races to follow - Fox News Latino An interesting list of elections to watch, most of them involving Latino candidates, although one does not: The reelction of Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for his vocal stance against illegal immigration and strict enforcement. Latino voters could decide his fate.
And while this isn't directly about voters of color, it's relevant:
Everything you've ever wanted to know about voter ID laws - ProPublica Voter ID laws have been enacted to one degree or another in dozens of states. While supporters say they prevent voter fraud, others see these laws as disenfranchising voters, particularly voters of color. A Reuters analysis concluded that "those who lack valid photo ID tended to be young people, those without college educations, Hispanics and the poor."