In Nevada, Both Parties Court a Booming Vote Bloc: Asian Americans See Growth and Political Opportunities to Represent Themself After Decades of Incarceration
LAS CRUCES, N.M — Asian Americans continue to make up the most incarcerated demographic in the United States. And for more than half a century, the state of Nevada has been a crucial battleground in the political battle over whether Asian Americans should have a voice in the political sphere — or be confined to a smaller number of political opportunities available to them in the White House and Congress.
Last week, the Nevada Legislature introduced a proposal to change that, instituting political party preference ballots in both Nevada’s primaries and the general election to allow minority voters to participate in state and federal politics. At the same time, Nevada Democratic Party Chairman James Nassen introduced a similar proposal for the state’s caucus system.
“I think it’s time Nevada became a place where the Democratic Party can lead the conversation and the fight for our values,” said Maryam Monsef, Senior Fellow and director of the Asian American Policy and Outreach Program in the Center for American Progress. “It’s time now for Nevada, and across the country, to open pathways for Asian Americans to participate in the Democratic process and be a part of the progressive movements that are working to transform our country.”
The Nevada Democratic Party and the Nevada State Democratic Convention held their respective conventions earlier this month. Both parties agreed on a set of proposals that would allow political party preference ballots to be included in the vote for Democratic Party presidential and caucus-nominating delegates. The Nevada Democratic Party is set to introduce its proposal in the Nevada State Legislature this upcoming legislative session, as Democrats are seeking to pass the measure for the state.
In response to the Nevada proposal, the Asian American Policy and Outreach Program and its advocates have issued a “Call to Action” calling on Congress to follow Nevada’s example and require the use of ballots in both primary and caucus elections for minority candidates; extend the current state law regarding caucus rules, which requires that one-third