Why Asian American voters in Texas may hold outsized importance in key races this year

Voters wait in line at a polling site at Austin Oaks Church on Oct. 14, 2020. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

When Debbie Chen temporarily closed her Houston restaurant in March due to the coronavirus, she was worried about her health and her financial livelihood.

But as a Chinese American, she was also worried about vandalism and her physical safety, given how President Donald Trump and others were blaming China for the pandemic and using racist monikers for the virus.

Seven months later, as Texans head to the polls in the 2020 elections, she hasn’t forgotten. Chen works on Asian American and Pacific Islander voter turnout every year, but this year she feels even more motivated.