AALDEF to Poll 10,000 Voters and Document Voting Problems in 14 States on Election Day

Thursday, Oct 4, 2012

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), a 38-year old national civil rights organization, announced that it will dispatch over 600 attorneys, law students, and community volunteers to 14 states to document voting problems in the November 6th elections. AALDEF will also conduct a nonpartisan multilingual exit poll in 12 languages to document Asian American voting preferences, in light of the surge in newly-registered voters and expected high turnout in this Presidential election.

 "We want to ensure that all eligible Asian Americans can participate in the electoral process and have their votes counted in this critical Presidential election," said Margaret Fung, AALDEF Executive Director.

AALDEF plans to poll 10,000 Asian American voters on Election Day in 14 states with large Asian American populations: New York, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, California, and Washington, D.C.

POLL MONITORING
In response to a wave of new state voter identification and proof of citizenship laws, AALDEF will monitor over 100 poll sites to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act and the Help America Vote Act. These poll sites are in areas with large numbers of newly-registered Asian American voters, jurisdictions in which Asian-language assistance must be provided, and sites where Asian Americans have reported voting barriers or intimidation in recent elections. Volunteer attorneys will check to see whether Asian-language voting assistance has been provided (such as ballots, interpreters, signs, and voting materials) and whether provisional ballots are offered to voters whose names are not in voter lists. Attorneys will monitor the sites to ensure that voter identification requirements are implemented in a non-discriminatory manner.

"In the 2008 elections, Asian Americans had to overcome numerous obstacles to exercise their right to vote," said Glenn D. Magpantay, AALDEF Democracy Program Director. "AALDEF volunteers identified mistranslated ballots, interpreter shortages that led to Asian American voters being turned away, and poll workers who made hostile and racist remarks about Asian American voters. AALDEF will guard against the disenfranchisement of new citizens and limited English proficient voters."

MULTILINGUAL EXIT POLL
AALDEF will conduct a nonpartisan exit poll of Asian American voters in 12 languages: Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Tagalog, Khmer, Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, and Gujarati. Voters will be asked about their preferences in the Presidential and local races, their priorities in choosing a candidate, their party affiliations, whether they are first-time voters, their use of Asian-language voting assistance, and any specific problems encountered at the polls.

AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in every major election since 1988, noting the steadily increasing numbers of new citizens and first-time voters. The AALDEF exit poll reveals vital information about Asian American voting patterns that is often overlooked in mainstream voter surveys. In the 2008 Presidential election, AALDEF polled 16,665 Asian American voters in 11 states -- the largest poll of its kind in the nation -- and found that of all Asian Americans polled:

  • 79% were foreign-born naturalized U.S. citizens;

  • 31% were first-time voters;

  • 35% were limited English proficient;

  • 58% were enrolled Democrats, 13% were enrolled Republicans, and 26% were not enrolled in any political party; and

  • 76% voted for Barack Obama and 23% voted for John McCain.

MULTILINGUAL VOTER HOTLINE: 800-966-5946
Multilingual volunteers will be at poll sites to take complaints from voters about election irregularities and other barriers to voting. Voters can also report Election Day problems to AALDEF's toll-free Election Day Hotline at 800-966-5946, or by e-mail to votingcomplaints@aaldef.org.

PARTNERSHIPS AND TRAININGS
AALDEF is partnering with 75 national and local groups to mobilize volunteer attorneys, law students, undergraduate students, and community activists on Election Day. AALDEF will also be conducting a series of trainings for volunteers in nine cities across the country that are listed below.

National Co-Sponsors:
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) Vote!
Comcast / NBCUniversal: APA@NBCUniversal
East Coast Asian American Student Union
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law
National Asian American Association of Professionals
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
National Education Association
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
North American South Asian Bar Association
OCA (formerly the Organization of Chinese Americans)
South Asian Americans Leading Together

Legal Co-Sponsors:
American Univ. School of Law, Human Rights Clinic
Asian American Bar Association of Houston
Asian American Bar Association of New York
Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts
Asian American Legal Advocacy Center, Inc. of Georgia
Asian Bar Association of Las Vegas
Asian Pacific Am. Bar Assoc. of Greater Washington DC
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of NJ
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center - DC
Boston University School of Law
Brooklyn Law School
Columbia Law School
Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Greater Boston Legal Services: Asian Outreach Unit
Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater NY
Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Muslim American Bar Association of New York
Northeastern School of Law
Pace University School of Law, Public Interest Office
Public Interest Law Center at Pace Law School - NY
South Asian Bar Association of New York
South Asian Bar Association of Washington, DC
Suffolk University Law School, Public Interest Office
University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Public Interest Office and APALSA

Local Co-Sponsors:
ACCESS - MI
APIA Vote- Michigan Chapter
Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia
Asian Community Development Corporation - MA
Asian Pacific American Agenda Coalition - MA
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - NV Chapter
Boat People SOS Delaware Valley - PA
Boston College, Asian Caucus
CAAAV - NY
Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia
Center for Pan Asian Community Services - GA
Chhaya CDC - NY
Chinese Progressive Association - MA
Coalition of Asian Pacific American of Virginia
Committee of 70 - PA
Hunter College/CUNY, Asian American Studies Program - NY
Korean American Civic Empowerment of NY/NJ
Korean American Resource and Cultural Center - IL
Minkwon Center for Community Action - NY
National Asian American Association of Professionals Philadelphia Chapter - PA
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum - DC Chapter
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum - NYC Chapter
Northeastern University, Asian American Center - MA
OCA Georgia Chapter
OCA Greater Houston Chapter
OCA Greater Washington DC Chapter
One Flushing - NY
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation - PA
Princeton Asian American Students Association - NJ
Quincy Asian Resources, Inc. (QARI)
Sikh Coalition - NY
South Asian Youth Action! - NY
University of Maryland at College Park, Asian American Studies Program
Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans

AALDEF Poll Monitoring Trainings

Mon., Oct. 1 -- Las Vegas, NV
6PM -- APALA/ AFSCME, 2417 Chandler Avenue, Suite 4

Sat., Oct. 6 -- Houston, TX
3PM -- OCA Chinese Community Center, 9800 Town Park Drive (no CLE)

Mon., Oct. 15 -- Newark, NJ
12N -- McCarter & English, 100 Mulberry, Four Gateway Center

Tues., Oct. 16 -- Miami, FL

12N -- K&L Gates, Southeast Financial Center, Suite 3900, 200 S. Biscayne Blvd.
6PM -- Fowler White Burnett, Espirito Santo Plaza, 1395 Brickell Avenue, 14th Floor

Wed., Oct. 17 -- Atlanta, GA

12N -- Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, 999 Peachtree Street NE
6PM -- Alston and Bird, Atlantic Center Plaza Building, 1180 West Peachtree Street, 15th floor

Mon., Oct. 22 -- New York, NY

12N -- Shearman & Sterling, 599 Lexington Avenue, at 53rd Street
6PM -- Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, 51 West 52nd Street at 6th Avenue

Tues., Oct. 23 -- Philadelphia, PA

12N -- Duane Morris, 30 South 17th Street, between Chestnut and Market
6PM -- Pepper Hamilton, 3000 Two Logan Square, Eighteenth and Arch Streets

Wed., Oct. 24 -- Washington, DC
12N -- Crowell & Moring, 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, between 10th and 11th Streets
6PM -- Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, 901 New York Avenue, NW, at K Street

Thurs., Oct. 25 -- Boston, MA
12N -- Ropes & Gray LLP; Prudential Tower, 800 Boylston Street, at Fairfield
6PM -- Edwards Wildman Palmer, 111 Huntington Avenue, at Holyoke

Tues., Oct. 30 -- New York, NY
6PM -- Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, 4 Times Square, 42nd St. east of Broadway


Contact:
Ujala Sehgal
Communications Coordinator
212.966.5932 ex.217
usehgal@aaldef.org

Glenn D. Magpantay
Democracy Program Director
212.966.5932 ex.206
gmagpantay@aaldef.org

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), founded in 1974, is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education and organizing. AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.