Arab Americans organize ahead of 2012 elections

AP News
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Posted: Aug 23, 2012 1:31 PM
Arab Americans organize ahead of 2012 elections

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arab-Americans make up a small part of the voting public, but they are hoping to make an impact on this year's elections.

Community organizers face obstacles like cultural divisions and a sheer lack of numbers, but some think Arab-Americans could be influential at the local level.

Emily Manna of the Arab-American Institute said high concentrations in states where the presidential election will be tight mean Arab-American voters "are going to be important this election cycle."

Policy analyst Jeanne Batalova is with the Migration Policy Institute. She says that while Arab-Americans likely will have little sway over the presidential race, they may play a greater role in congressional and local elections.

Census estimates identify about 1.6 million Arab-Americans living in the U.S.