RELEASE DATE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Carolina Asian Americans Together opposes Jim Crow-esque anti-voting Senate Bills
Raleigh, North Carolina – North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT) is disappointed and frustrated that those of us and our allies speaking out in opposition of Jim Crow-esque anti-voting legislation were not given ample time to give our public statements during the Senate Redistricting Committee meeting Wednesday morning. NCAAT was not able to give our comments opposing Senate Bills 326, 724, and 725. The procedure in handling public comments during this meeting is reflective of the impact of these voter suppression bills in silencing communities of color.
Please read our full statement here:
On behalf of the Asian American communities in North Carolina, NCAAT urges state legislators to vote no to senate bills 326, 724, and 725.
These bills are reminiscent of Jim Crow-era voter suppression legislation and fall in line with nationwide attempts to silence voters, the likes of which we have seen passed in states like Georgia. These bills that legislators claim will preserve the integrity of elections will instead disenfranchise Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities as well as Asian American voters.
Under the guise of “election integrity,” Senate Bill 326 removes the three-day grace period after the election for absentee vote-by-mail ballots to arrive and be counted, a protection for voters that accounts for mailing delays that were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic last year. If the bill had been in place in 2020 over 11,000 valid absentee ballots would have been thrown away. By introducing barriers to mail-in absentee voting, SB 326 would actively disadvantage Asian Americans voters in elections. Approximately 35% of the Asian American votes in North Carolina cast in the 2020 election were through mail-in absentee ballots, compared to 22% for NC’s general population votes.
SB 724, titled “Expand Access to Voter ID and Voting,” appears to be a litigation strategy cloaked in a bill without actually responding to voter access needs. Voter ID is currently under litigation and not active law. Attempts at implementing Voter ID further complicate the voting process for Asian Americans, who often face challenges due to administrative errors in name misspellings and name changes on legal documents. Voter ID may also discourage Asian Americans from voting when forced to show identification because they look “too foreign” or because their English is limited.
Lastly, SB 725, which would bar county Board of Elections from accepting grants from nonpartisan nonprofits, could negatively impact funding for elections that our communities need to address language barriers to voting and to increase voter contact with Asian American communities, the fastest-growing racial demographic in our state.
To pass these laws would be to silence our exponentially growing communities in a climate of increased violence and hate against Asian Americans. Our organization hopes that North Carolina’s leaders will make the right decision to protect our right to vote. Once again, we urge legislators to vote against SB 326, SB 724, and SB 725.
# # #
North Carolina Asian Americans Together, email@example.com
North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to supporting equity and justice for all by fostering community among AAPIs and allies in North Carolina through civic engagement, leadership development, grassroots mobilization, and political participation. Learn more at www.ncaatogether.org
Facebook – facebook.com/ncaatogether | Twitter – @ncaatogether | Instagram – @ncaatogether
# # #