Our writer John has written about Asian American voter apathy over the years and sometimes brings it up when we have lunch, but for me, three recent events really bring out the importance of Asian American votes. The first is the one vote victory of Murali Srinivasan over Justin Wang in Sunnyvale’s District 3 City Council race in that heavily Asian American Bay Area city. The second is Justin Wang’s request to have a recount as a result. The third is the failed attempt at a recount and challenges to the election system in Sheng Thao’s Oakland mayoral race victory.
The Srinivasan victory (at least so far) shows the importance of every vote, and in the 48% Asian American city of Sunnyvale, the importance of Asian American votes. I can’t blame Wang for wanting a recount, and he is taking a loan to cover the costs. Recount costs and short notice for paying those costs is why the NAACP local chapter’s request at a recount of Sheng Thao’s election win failed.
Santa Clara had a mandatory recount for the Sunnyvale race because it was so close. According to Srinivasan, the recount procedures looked good to him. I can’t see why they wouldn’t look good to him! The NAACP contends that the ranked choice voting system is confusing to voters. I can see their point, but then again, Oakland has been using that system for some 10 years now, and that system is a key reason why Jean Quan became Oakland’s first Asian American mayor.