WASHINGTON, DC – With nearly all the top ten polls in the U.S. reporting a virtual dead heat for the Presidency, a record number of Armenian Americans are expected to vote in tomorrow’s national election, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
With active communities in a number of battleground states including Florida, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Ohio and Nevada, Armenian American voters will likely play a key role in the race for the presidency.
“Armenian American voters are well informed and eager to make their voice heard. They have emerged, particularly within the past two election cycles, as a group with among the highest voter turnout rate among ethnic communities,” commented ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian. “This election is going to be very close and will likely be decided by a handful of votes in swing states – states where there are large and politically engaged Armenian communities.”
Over the past seven months, the ANCA and Armenians for Kerry have been reaching out to potential Armenian American voters in swing states. The ANCA’s “Hye Voter Turnout” initiative has sent over 35,000 postcards to Armenians in swing states urging them to vote in the upcoming election. The postcards compare the two Presidential candidates’ records on issues that are of concern to the Armenian American community. In July, the ANCA publicly announced it’s endorsement of Senator Kerry pointing to his 20 years of leadership and support on issues in the U.S. Senate that deal directly with Armenian concerns – issues such as recognition of the Armenian Genocide, foreign aid to the Republic of Armenia, maintaining Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act and others.
Early polling in the community has shown strong support for Senator Kerry who began his political career in Massachusetts, home to the nation’s oldest Armenian American community. On Friday, October 29, 2004 the last leg of the “Kef for Kerry” Tour ended at St. Gregory’s Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Kerry supporters there rallied community support to the music of Gor Mkhitarian.
Kicked off in Kerry’s home state of Massachusetts at the Armenstock 2004 festival (www.armenstock.com), the “Kef for Kerry” Tour took the enthusiasm of that show on the road to the key battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Billed as the Armenian version of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Vote for Change’ tour, each stop on the tour combines a single musical performance with a political program to generate enthusiasm among young activists and bring in hundreds of new supporters in to the Armenians for Kerry circle. The tour was funded through a generous donation by Dr. Carolann and K. George Najarian. Complete coverage of the tour appears on www.kefforkerry.com.
“Armenians are uniting throughout the country, not just in support of Senator Kerry’s years of leadership on our community’s issues but to send a unified message of disapproval of President Bush’s opposition to core issues of concern to Armenian Americans,” stated Sevag Arzoumanian, chairman of New England Armenians for Kerry and the architect of the “Kef for Kerry” tour.
Political analysts agree that this election will be one of the closest in American history, and will likely hinge of the results from states with large ethnic communities. Many experts have predicted that less than 10 votes in the Electoral College could be the difference between victory and defeat.
The ANCA Hye Voter Turnout initiative encourages everyone to vote on Election Day, November 2, 2004. For information about where to vote, contact your Secretary of State’s offices or your regional ANCA headquarters: ANCA Western Region – (818) 500-1918 or ANCA Eastern Region – (917) 428-1918.
1) Armenian Americans hold a House Party in support of the Kerry-Edwards campaign in Las Vegas, NV.