Asian Americans are the fastest-growing group of eligible voters in the United States, increasing from 4.6 million in 2000 to 11.1 million in 2020, according to the Pew Research Center. And in Pennsylvania, one of the states that’s most likely to decide the presidential election, some 4 percent of the voting-age population is Asian American or Pacific Islander. Yet much mainstream political coverage ignores the importance of this crucial demographic.
In October 2020, in a collaboration with my colleague, Eric Lee, we traveled across Pennsylvania, profiling 12 Asian American voters in the hopes of rectifying that problem. From a hospital manager to small-business owners, a first-time voter in high school to a former green-card holder and new citizen, a lifelong Republican to a newly declared Democrat, each of these voters lends insight into a complex and diverse community.