Election 2016 is entering the home stretch (and not a minute too soon), and voters are going to be casting their votes by mail in some states in just a few weeks.
Hispanics and Asians could be crucial, and their percentage of the U.S. population is growing. This year Hispanic and Asian voters will form 16% of the eligible voter pool, and will continue growing each year. But voter turnout rates among Hispanics and Asians is relatively low, according to Pew Research and the U.S. Elections Project. In the 2012 presidential election, 64% of non-Hispanic white eligible voters cast ballots, as did 67% of black eligible voters. But the voter turnout rate was 48% among Hispanics and 47% among Asians.
One possible reason for lower registration (and turnout) rates among Hispanics is that they tend to be younger. In fact 44% of all Hispanic voters are millenials. But even that doesn’t explain it fully, because even among millenials, Hispanic/Asian registration trails significantly. Language barriers might be an issue. Also, Hispanic and Asian voters are concentrated in non-competitive states like New York and California and Texas. Or it may come down to the lack of a “family tradition” of voting in US elections.
We hope that more people who have the right to vote will do so. And from a demographic perspective, we would be fascinated to learn why Asian-Americans and Hispanics lag behind other groups in registration and voting habits.