NaFFAA is also encouraging those who have not registered to do so. There are states like Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Vermont where voter registration is still taking place. Also, many states are still issuing absentee ballots, up to a day before the election in some cases.
“As a community that is still largely invisible to elected officials and national policy makers, we need to make our voices heard by going to the polls on election day,” says NaFFAA National Chair Brendan Flores. “We have a stake in who will lead our country and what direction it will take in the future. Indifference or not voting at all is not an option at a time when critical issues will have a significant impact on our lives.”
Flores notes that there are nearly 4 million Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the U.S., constituting the second largest Asian American and Pacific Islander group in the country. “Our voter registration rate, however, is very low,” Flores adds. “To strengthen our voting power, we launched FilAmVote last year to get more voters registered, educate them about the issues, protect their rights to ensure nothing prevents them from voting, and to get them out on election day and make their vote count.”
NaFFAA’s Fil-Am Vote is a national program directed at strengthening the voter registration, voter education, voter protection and get-out-the-vote capabilities of Filipino American communities nationwide.
Juanito Amor, FilAmVote National Director, points out that by registering more Filipino voters and mobilizing a huge turnout in polling booths, “we will most assuredly make a difference in electing public officials who represent our interests and advocate for those issues that most concern us.”
NaFFAA Regional Chair Myrna Farinas Reyes of San Diego, CA. is calling on the Filipino American community to “come together and demonstrate our collective strength as an influential voting bloc. Let us proudly and unequivocally assert ‘I am a Filipino American Voter.’”
For more information, go to www.fil-amvote.org.
A voter hotline will be live and accessible to those who have questions or need help voting. Call 1-888-API-VOTE (1-888-274-8683). Bilingual assistance is available in English, Tagalog and seven other APIA languages. Calls to the hotline will be answered within 24 hours.
The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan tax-exempt organization established in 1997 to promote the active participation of Filipino Americans in civic and national affairs. It is recognized by Washington policy makers, national advocacy groups and private industry as the Voice of Filipinos and Filipino throughout the United States. NaFFAA partners with local affiliate organizations and national coalitions in advocating for issues of common concern to Filipino Americans. As the largest national affiliation of Filipino American institutions, organizations and individuals, NaFFAA’s thirteen-member regions cover the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, the Marianas Islands, and American Samoa.