Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date



Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, College of


Political Science, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Nathan Griffith

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation


Asian-Americans are a rapidly growing minority in the United States, yet they seem to

demonstrate lower voter participation than what traditions of higher turnout would predict. Scholars have proposed apathy and lack of strong partisanship as explanations, but those explanations lack the context of specific ethnic backgrounds and their immigration experiences, which may help explain the variations in participation among Asians. Because Asians are such an overlooked electoral body in political research, I wanted to focus on them specifically and delve deeper into the reasons why voter participation is lower rather. I believe calling the race “apathetic” is oversimplifying the phenomenon and does not take into account the context of ethnicity, partisanship, immigration status, and barriers that Asian immigrants have historically faced either gaining citizenship or voting. The goal for my research is to test several possible explanations and see which one best demonstrates the lack of electoral participation. I will test this using the 2016 NAAS Post-Election Survey. If these variables are significant, it would help explain why Asians are voting less and would also give us more insight into the ties between ethnicity and immigration status.

Keywords: Asian-Americans, Elections, Voter Participation, Immigration