Statement on the Outcome of the 2018 Midterm Elections​

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2018
Contact: Dorothy He
(872) 600-9517 / dhe@napawf.org

Washington, D.C. – On Election Day, millions of Americans across the country lined up at the polls to cast their ballot in the midterm elections with sweeping results, including many historic firsts and unprecedented victories for women of color who ran for office. Millions of young people, especially people of color, conducted an inspirational effort to mobilize people ahead of the elections and get out the vote in the face of voter suppression. In Gwinnett County, Georgia, where NAPAWF worked tirelessly to match suppressed voters with voting opportunities, over 4 times the number of absentee ballots cast by AAPI voters were rejected, compared to those cast by white voters.

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response:

“In spite of rampant voter suppression across a number of states, people of color, young people, immigrants, and workers flocked to the polls to make their voices heard. We voted to show that we cannot and will not be silenced. We made blatantly clear that we believe in a vision of America that advocates for everyone -- regardless of their race, sexuality, or socioeconomic class -- and we will be heard. The majority of Americans, especially young voters and voters of color, rejected the racist, sexist, anti-immigrant policies being touted by the current administration. We want change, and we want it now.

“AAPI votes matter. In 2012, we saw record AAPI voter turnout for the presidential race, and we are poised to see even greater turnout this election cycle. Our votes have often made the difference in tight races, of which there were many this cycle, and the results of these midterm elections are no exception. In fact, yesterday’s exit poll data revealed a marked shift in Asian Americans’ voting patterns since the last midterm elections in 2014 -- further proof of why it is important to continue the work of engaging and investing in our communities.

“Last night was a truly historic night: Voters elected to Congress: Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the first Muslim American women, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina and the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress, Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar, Texas’ first two Latina congresswomen, Ayana Pressley, the first black Congresswoman in Massachusetts, and Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, the first two Native American women. We also witnessed dozens of other women of color who stepped up to run, including Gina Ortiz Jones, the first lesbian and Filipina woman to run in her Texas congressional district, and Aisha Yaqoob, a Muslim American woman who joined a competitive race for a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. We hope they recognize the significance of their bravery, and we call on all of them to fight fiercely for the agency of women, people of color, immigrants, and workers across the country.

“The voters have spoken, and today is the beginning of a new chapter for all Americans. To our elected officials: you can no longer ignore the call for women and girls to have agency over their bodies, their families, and their lives. Women of color everywhere stepped up to run for office and turned out to vote because it is our lives that are always on the line. NAPAWF joins them in this fight. We will keep fighting to create a society in which every woman and girl can thrive and live with dignity, regardless of their ethnicity, socioeconomic class, sexuality, or immigration status.”

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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.