Anti-Asian Violence Was a Top Issue With Nearly One Quarter of Respondents Reporting Having Direct Experience
New York, NY — The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) today released results of its nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of 1,386 Asian American voters in the NYC Primary Elections on June 22. For the first time, ranked choice voting was used in the mayoral, comptroller, public advocate, city council, and borough president races.
AALDEF volunteers, including attorneys and community advocates, surveyed Asian American voters at 16 poll sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. The multilingual exit poll included questions regarding voters’ first and second choices for mayor, ranked choice voting’s ease of use, and experience with anti-Asian violence and harassment. Voters were surveyed in English, Chinese, Korean, and Bengali.
“Asian Americans in New York City made their voices heard last week. As we suspected, many Asian American voters have been victims of anti-Asian violence and selected it as a top issue in deciding their choice for mayor. We were pleased to have our volunteers at multiple poll sites to ensure that all New Yorkers, including Asian Americans, were able to exercise their right to vote” said Margaret Fung, AALDEF executive director.
-Asian Americans (primarily Chinese and Koreans) favored Andrew Yang (68% and 50%, respectively) as their first-choice candidate in a crowded mayoral race, with Kathryn Garcia (21%) as their second-choice candidate.
-Bangladeshi American voters favored Eric Adams (40%) as their first choice and Asian Indian voters favored Maya Wiley (33%) as their first choice.
-Top 3 issues influencing the vote for Mayor were:
Anti-Asian Violence (26%)
Other (16% including Public Safety, NYPD Reform, and Political Representation)
-Yang was the most popular as a first-choice candidate with voters 50 years old and older:
-Ranked Choice Voting (ease of use):
89% found it Easy
5% found it Difficult/Don’t Know
1% found it Very Difficult
-Of all voters surveyed, 22% reported experiencing Anti-Asian violence/harassment, and of those:
60% suffered verbal harassment/racial slurs
13% were other types of anti-Asian violence/harassment
8% were physically assaulted
“Asian American voters were able to vote effectively with ranked choice voting, just as they did decades ago for NYC school board elections. However, there was some confusion around ID requirements at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside, Queens, and voters at PS130M in Chinatown were improperly required to discard candidate palm cards, which should have been allowed to be brought into the polling site to aid in voting.” said Jerry Vattamala, AALDEF Democracy Program Director.
AALDEF will again conduct the Asian American Exit Poll and Poll Monitoring Program for the November 2, 2021 General Elections in New York City. AALDEF has conducted the Asian American Exit Poll in every major election since 1988.
AALDEF would like to acknowledge our community partners and volunteers: Adhikaar, Chinese-American Planning Council, Chhaya CDC, and MinKwon Center for Community Action for co-sponsoring this effort, as well as attorneys and community volunteers from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Hogan Lovells, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, Ropes & Gray LLP, Shearman & Sterling LLP, WilmerHale, and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance.
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For additional information, contact:
Director, Democracy Program