'We're particularly focused': AAPI students organize early voting opportunity at NC State

Anthony Wilson Image
Sunday, October 30, 2022
AAPI students organize early voting opportunity at NC State
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Music and food trucks designed to spark political conversations as well as action, were set up outside the Tally Student Union at NC State on Sunday.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- We saw plenty of activity outside the Tally Student Union on Sunday, where music and food trucks were set up and designed to spark political conversations as well as action. There's an early voting precinct inside the building, and organizers want students to cast their ballots in the midterms, on or before Election Day.

"We talk about it all the time," said Jasmin Benas, who voted for the first time in the 2020 elections. "I think my generation, specifically, is really involved in politics, activism and voting. So yeah, I've been talking about it with my friends."

It's happening as a new ABC News/IPSOS poll shows the economy, inflation and abortion as the top issues of concern driving voter interest and action ahead of the midterm elections.

"The economy is on people's minds, definitely," said Run AAPI organizer Ellie Tsuchiya. "Reproductive rights, I think voting rights for a lot of people, too."

"If every voter came out, they could determine the outcome of the election, so we're encouraging turnout. We're particularly focused, here on a college campus, because youth turnout could be decisive in this election, particularly for the U.S. Senate race," Chevi Khannna Koneru, another organizer, said

The students behind Sunday's effort on campus say they're aware that some voters worry about reports of intimidation or harassment at some polling places.

"While this (urging early voting on campus)is focused on Asian Americans turning out, we also want to stress that this is a safe place for people who hold all identities to come out and vote," Koneru said.

They plan to continue organizing and urging participation in the electoral process beyond Election Day and the student population.

"Making sure voters are still engaged and mobilized," said Minh Tam Tran of Run AAPI. "Because we don't want to do this every election cycle. We want to make sure people are voting, and still staying in the fight."