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DNC Roll Call Brings Mixed Reactions Among Asian-American Delegates

PHILADELPHIA — Speaking before an electrified crowd, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) moved to select Hillary Clinton as the Democratic party's nominee Tuesday, on the second night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. But Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Sanders delegates voiced mixed reaction about whether that move will bring unity to a party with divisions over who should lead the country.

Sanders spoke for Vermont, his home state, at around 6:53 p.m. ET after the delegation first asked to pass on announcing its vote count, given in alphabetical order by state. Vermont went last.

"I move that all votes cast by delegates be reflected in the official record, and I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States," he announced from the convention floor as delegates roared their approval.

Moments later, Clinton made history becoming the first woman nominated for the U.S. presidency.

The discord between Clinton and Sanders supporters that hung heavy over the first day of the convention seemed to dissipate somewhat on Tuesday, at least before and throughout most of the roll call. During the nominating speeches for Clinton and Sanders, delegates and attendees generally cheered, some shouting "Hillary," others "Bernie."

After the roll call concluded and Sanders finished speaking. Dozens of his supporters gathered on the first-level of the Wells Fargo Center around 7 p.m. ET, shouting, "Walk out, walk out, walk out!"

Those demonstrators, including AAPIs, later moved outside and continued to protest with hundreds more in front of white media tents, as state troopers, Secret Service officers, and Philadelphia police stood sentry.

Demonstrators protest outside the Wells Fargo Center, Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Demonstrators protest outside the Wells Fargo Center, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, as Hillary Clinton was formally nominated as the Democratic Party's candidate. Chris Fuchs / NBC News

Sanders supporters have protested throughout Philadelphia this week, calling Clinton's nomination fraudulent and the process rigged. They have also demanded an end to superdelegates, who are not bound to a particular candidate.

RELATED: Clinton, Sanders Supporters at Odds as DNC Begins

Earlier Tuesday, California Sanders delegate Tejpaul Singh Bainiwal, a 20-year-old Sikh American, told NBC News he supports Sanders because the senator brought many issues to the forefront, including the need for criminal justice reform and campaign finance reform.

Mary Grace Barrios, a Filipino-American Clinton delegate from California, said that while she didn't support Clinton at first because of her controversial vote authorizing then President George W. Bush to go to war with Iraq, she later came around because Clinton, she said, has always put children first.

"It's not just about the person," the single mother of four told NBC News. "It's about the party."

Mary Grace Barrios, Clinton delegate
Mary Grace Barrios, a Clinton delegate from California, told NBC News at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that while she didn't support Clinton at first because of her vote to go to war with Iraq, she later came around because Clinton, Barrios said, has always put children first. Chris Fuchs / NBC News

At the end of the roll call, some Sanders delegates seemed resigned. "The primaries are in, we know who all the delegates are going to be," Massachusetts Sanders delegate Kathleen Hong told NBC News. "There is a certain finality to it."

Hong, 26, said she thought it was great that Sanders got up and moved to nominate Clinton.

"He's a real class act," she said. "And at this point, he's clearly committed to this unity spirit that the DNC has been putting forward to us throughout the convention."

Hong added she'll take time to reflect after the convention about what to do in the months leading up to the general election.

RELATED: Clinton Campaign Aims to Woo Sanders Voters, Millennials

Margaret Okuzumi, a 44-year-old Sanders delegate from California, told NBC News that party unity cannot be forced.

"I think Secretary Clinton has her work cut out to motivate the base," Okuzumi said, adding that many Sanders supporters she knows are planning to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Margaret Okuzumi, a Sanders delegate from California
Margaret Okuzumi, a Sanders delegate from California, told NBC News at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that she felt Hillary Clinton "has her work cut out to motivate the base." Chris Fuchs / NBC News

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