'Signature mismatch is the most common reason for ballot rejection

The majority of Asian Americans vote by mail but are rejected the most.

According to Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice-CA), Asian Americans have a higher rejection rate in the voting booths than average.

“When we examined the intersection between age and nativity, we found the highest rejection rates among Asian Americans to be in the group of voters who are 18-24 year olds and foreign born,” said Joanna Lee, senior demographic research analyst at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles.

“Their rejection rate was over 2 percent,” added Lee, who was also the lead author of the brief.

The 2016 data was gathered from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara counties, which make up 45% of the Asian American electorate in California.

58% of all voters in California used a VBM (vote by mail) ballot. 66% of Asian American voters used the same style ballot. However, ballot rejection rate among Asian American voters was 15% higher than the California average (1.02% compared to 0.89%)

‘Signature mismatch’ was the most common reason given for VBM ballot rejection.

“We think signature mismatch should be that next barrier that is addressed,” said Deanna Kitamura, voting rights project director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles.

“And we hope election officials and community based organizations use our issue brief as resource for educating voters.”

Jonathan Stein, voting rights program manager at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, said, “with the 52nd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, this study emphasizes that there are still barriers that must be eliminated before all eligible voters have equal access to the ballot.”