AAPI Election Integrity: Know Before You Vote


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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


    1. Welcome by Elaine Lim for So. AZ AAPI Caucus, then presentation by former LD 10 House candidate Cat Ripley (half Japanese Am.) about AAPI in US. 21 M total, with 305,851 in Arizona, of which 155,381 are eligible voters. Only 15,810 AAPI voters in Pima County. 10 AAPI Congresspeople, 3 in U.S. Senate. 3/4 of AAPI adults are foreign born, 1/2 of Arizona AAPI voters live in Maricopa County, where 80% of AAPI vote early. Then Barbara Tellman and Elaine Lim of PCDP presented on the processing of ballots & history of voting in Arizona. Didn’t know that only 1/2 of 15 Arizona Counties do after the fact hand count. Questions from audience (mine) – why don’t people vote? Answer was that many traditionally want to go to polls (elderly) and the young ones don’t seem to understand how to vote and then don’t when it’s too hard to do. Also Barbara T. mentioned that many don’t trust info they are getting as trust-worthy, then don’t vote. She assured us that paper ballots in Pima County make the vote here secure. Questions about how safe is it in rest of Arizona? AAPI member PCC Governing Bd. member Sylvia Lee stepping down after one 6 year term, and Indian Am. Mayor Satish Hiremath lost his bid in the AZ Primary. Cat Ripley said she walked 8,000 homes in LD 10, not many AAPI identified. 11% of AAPI in AZ lack health insurance, 14% live in poverty, 1 in 7 Asian not documented, per Ripley’s report. About 15 people in attendance today.


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