In the week leading up to July 4th, 2012, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), a 38-year-old civil rights organization, will conduct a series of non-partisan voter registration drives for New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania residents in anticipation of the upcoming 2012 elections. The drives will take place from Thursday, June 28th through Tuesday, July 3rd in five locations.
Asian Americans are the nation’s fastest growing minority group and now account for the largest number of immigrants to the United States.
In Queens, where the Asian American community grew 300 times faster than the rest of the borough’s population to almost half a million people, AALDEF will register voters in Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Richmond Hill, and Flushing. In New Jersey, AALDEF will register voters in East Brunswick. In Manhattan, AALDEF will register voters by the World Trade Center PATH station to reach voters in both New York and New Jersey. In Philadelphia, AALDEF will register voters in Chinatown.
Translated registration forms in Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Gujarati, and Bengali, as required by the Voting Rights Act or voluntarily provided by the State, will be available, as well as bilingual volunteers to assist citizens who want to register to vote.
“What better way to celebrate our nation’s birthday than by registering to vote?” said Glenn D. Magpantay, Director of the Democracy Program at AALDEF. “We intend to increase the numbers of Asians Americans at the polls in 2012.” According to AALDEF’s exit poll data from the 2008 presidential election, 30% of Asian Americans were first time voters, compared to 10% of voters overall.
Only 43% of the Asian American voting age population in New York, 58% in New Jersey, and 50% in Pennsylvania are registered to vote, based on 2008 Census estimates. However, voter turnout of those registered was 83% in New York, 93% in New Jersey, and 50% in Pennsylvania.
“These voter registration drives are crucial for engaging our community in the political process,” said Chi-Ser Tran, Voting Rights Organizer at AALDEF.
New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania Voter Registration Drives Schedule
Thurs, 6/28 in Elmhurst (5-6:30 pm) – Broadway & Whitney Ave.
Thurs, 6/28 in Jackson Heights (5-6:30 pm) – 74th St., between Roosevelt Ave and 37th Ave.
Fri, 6/29 in Richmond Hill (5-6:30 pm) – 118th St. & Liberty Ave. and 120th St & Liberty Ave.
Sat, 6/30 in East Brunswick, NJ (11 am – 3 pm) – Hong Kong Supermarket (265 State Rte. 18)
Mon, 7/2 at, Philadelphia, PA (1-2 pm) – Chinatown “Friendship Arch” at 10th & Arch Streets
Mon, 7/2 at Manhattan (4:30-6 pm) – Corner of Church and Vesey Streets near the World Trade Center PATH
Tues, 7/3 in Flushing (5-6:30 pm) – Queens Library (41-17 Main St.) near bus stops