First-Time Voters Voted Overwhelmingly for President-Elect Barack Obama

7 01 2009

Wednesday, 07 January 2009 13:33

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) today hailed the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s (AALDEF) exit poll results as strong evidence of the growing strength of the Asian American vote.

The responses of nearly 17,000 Asian American voters in 11 states showed that they voted for Barack Obama by more than a 3 to 1 margin, and supported other Democratic candidates, making the differences in key contested states in the historic November 2008 presidential elections.

“The differences we make may be marginal compared to other constituency groups, but we are talking about a presidential race where the margins truly mattered,” said Eunsook Lee, APIAVote board co-chair. “When we are mobilized, we can determine a race, whether local, state, or national. We applaud AALDEF’s efforts to capture the phenomenon of Asian American voters, and encourage media outlets and polling experts to work with us in ensuring that we are accurately represented in sampling and exit polling.”

“AALDEF results indicate that AAPI voter turnout can determine whether or not a candidate wins or loses. The growing strength and increased participation of Asian Americans is evident in this exit poll,” said Vida Benavides, APIAVote executive director. “These results also show that political parties can do much more in outreaching to our AAPI community needs, which are not very much different from other communities’ needs. We commend the political parties for their efforts, and will continue to be a resource to political parties so that they can more fully engage AAPIs in the political process.

The nonpartisan exit poll also found that 58% of Asian Americans were registered Democrats, while 26% were not enrolled in any political party, and 14% of Asian Americans were registered Republicans.

While non-random and conducted in precincts with significant AAPI populations, the AALDEF sample is representative of the national Asian American population. Significant findings include the following:

* Nearly one third of Asian Americans surveyed were first-time voters.

*87% of respondents who were born in the U.S. voted for Obama.

*Four out of five Asian Americans are foreign-born citizens.

*One out of three respondents had limited English proficiency.

*Asian Americans shared common political interests across sub-ethnic lines.

*The longer the citizenship tenure of Asian Americans, the higher their rates of voting for Obama.

*All subethnic groups voted for Obama, with the exception of Vietnamese voters.

APIAVote is a national non-partisan, nonprofit organization that encourages and promotes civic participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the electoral and public policy processes at the national, state and local levels. APIAVote does not endorse parties or candidates. Please visit for more information.

More about the AALDEF Exit Poll:

The 2008 multilingual exit poll provides a unique snapshot of the voter preferences of Asian Americans at 113 poll sites in 9 cities in 11 states with large Asian American populations: New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, Nevada, Louisiana, Texas, and Washington, DC. AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in every major election since 1988. The AALDEF exit poll collected information about the party enrollment, English proficiency and issue preferences of first-time voters, foreign-born voters, women voters, and young voters.

AALDEF worked with 60 co-sponsoring organizations (including APIAVote) to mobilize 1,500 attorneys, law students and community volunteers to conduct the multilingual exit poll and to monitor polling places for incidents of voter discrimination. Please visit for more information.



Teachers ‘unpaid’ for SK registration — SunStar Cebu

1 01 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

HUNDREDS of public school teachers who served for at least four days during the 2007 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) voters registration complained that they have not yet received their honoraria of P1,200 each.

Lelani Tumamak, a teacher of Buhisan Elementary School in Buhisan said that in Cebu City, two teachers served each barangay for the SK registration on July 28 to 29 and on Aug. 4 to 5, 2007.

They were reportedly told by the Commission on Election (Comelec) that they would receive P300 per day.

Tumamak said lawyers Marchel Sarno, Cebu City north district election officer, and Edwin Cadu-ngog, Cebu City south district election officer, were the ones who briefed the teachers on July 25, 2007 at the Zapatera Elementary School.


Aileen M. Tejano of the First Time Voters Project said she will consult with her colleagues on what to do to pressure the Comelec to pay the teachers.

Ernie Edralin of the Akbayan Youth said he will bring the matter to Comelec Chairman Jose Melo and Commissioner Renato Sarmiento in their meeting on Jan. 7.

Edralin said he will request Melo and Sarmiento to hasten the release of the teachers’ honorarium.

First Time Voters Group and Akbayan Youth were among those who campaigned for the early registration of young voters. They are widely credited for the heavy turnout.

Director Rene Buac said Comelec did not have an appropriation for the SK registration in 2007. He said the National Youth Commission promised to pay the honoraria of


In Cebu Province, there were 2,344 receiving committees, with two teacher-members each, for the four-day SK registration in 1,203 barangays.

Buac said teachers who did not receive their honoraria must submit a letter that can be used as legal basis to facilitate the release of the funds.

Buac said there a complaint was filed by teachers before the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman-Visayas alleging that they failed to receive their honoraria.

But the election officer of the town where the teachers are based presented a payroll showing that the teachers already received their honoraria as evidenced by their
signatures affixed on it.

Buac said the Comelec will pay those who have not yet been paid. He said the reason s why formal letters are needed is because several other teachers already received their honoraria. (EOB)