Constance Wu, Jimmy O. Yang Don't Want Asians To Get Another C-Plus In Voting

The "Crazy Rich Asians" stars discuss in a PSA how their parents would have never approved of Asian-American voter turnout levels.

Crazy Rich Asians” actors Constance Wu and Jimmy O. Yang appeared in a PSA to urge Asian-Americans to vote on Nov. 6, suggesting it’d be just plain crazy if you don’t.

The issue is particularly important because just over half of all Asian-Americans eligible to vote are registered, Wu and Yang explain, and in some elections, just 84 percent of those registered even vote. 

“That’s like a B-minus, C-plus maybe,” Yang quips. “My parents would’ve killed me.” 

And while voters can’t cast their ballots online, like Yang initially suggests in the PSA, it’s still worth it to go to the polls or send your mail-in ballot.

“Who goes outside anymore? You can do everything online. I bought lettuce online yesterday,” Yang says upon learning you can’t vote via interwebs.  

Asian-Americans have the lowest voter turnout compared to all other racial groups, but they face several impediments to practicing their civic duty. Roughly one-third have limited English proficiency, and many Asian immigrants lean on their children to translate the voting process for them.

In some states, like Texas, voting materials must be translated into Spanish. However, such a requirement doesn’t exist for other languages, so Asian-Americans who aren’t proficient in English lose out. 

We’re creating spaces for ourselves, our people, and our stories, and we’re taking control of our narratives and identities. But the battle for representation can’t end there. Stephanie Cho, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta

Neither Democrats nor Republicans have made sufficient efforts to reach Asian-American voters, with the majority of community members saying that neither party reached out to them ahead of the 2016 election.

Contacting voters actually makes a difference, however. One study conducted on Asian-American communities in Southern California revealed that phone-banking led to a greater than 10 percent increase in voter turnout

With Asian-Americans enjoying several wins in media representation this year, including Asian-led movies like “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Searching,” Stephanie Cho, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta said it’s about time to make strides in the political space, too.

“We’re creating spaces for ourselves, our people, and our stories, and we’re taking control of our narratives and identities,” she said in a statement. “But the battle for representation can’t end there. This fall, we have the incredible opportunity of making sure that our communities’ voices are represented not only in the media, but in the way our nation and our people are governed. And all we have to do is get out and vote.”