The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund is in need of volunteers to survey Asian American voters and protect their vote. In past elections, Asian Americans have faced a series of barriers in exercising their right to vote. For example, poll workers were hostile and made racist remarks, poll sites had too few interpreters to assist Asian American voters, translated voting materials were missing or hidden from voters, and ballots were mistranslated listing Democratic candidates as Republicans, and vice versa. When the news media reported on election results and the vote by specific groups, Asian Americans were often overlooked.
Since 1988, AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters and monitored polls in every major election. Help us continue to resolve these issues at the polls by taking part in AALDEF’s 2018 Asian American Election Protection Program. On Election Day, November 6th, volunteers will document voter problems and the availability of language assistance. They will also conduct a nonpartisan multilingual exit poll to get a snapshot of Asian American candidate preferences, party enrollment, and issues of significance to Asian American voters.
To read AALDEF’s report on the Asian American Vote, click here. Click here to sign up to volunteer. Attendance at one training session is required for all volunteers. All volunteers must be non-partisan and work a 3-hour shift. CLE trainings are 90 minutes, and attorneys can receive 1.5 CLE credits including 0.5 ethics credit. AABANY is the CLE provider for the New York training sessions. If you have volunteered in the past, you do not have to attend another training, but you must register to volunteer again.
For more information, contact AALDEF Democracy Program Director Jerry Vattamala or Voting Rights Organizer Judy Lei at 800-966-5946 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline to Cast Ballots in the 2013-2014 NAPABA Board Elections is September 15
All electronic votes must be cast by 11:59 pm PDT on Sunday, September 15, 2013. An electronic ballot was sent to every member’s email address of record. If you prefer to vote by paper ballot, complete and detach the ballot (back page of the Election Edition NAPABA Lawyer Newsletter) and fax or mail it to NAPABA by 11:59 pm PDT on September 15, 2013. If you have not received a ballot, please contact the NAPABA office at 202-775-9555 or by email to email@example.com.
Important Reminder about Voting Eligibility
Only members in good standing as of August 1, 2013, are eligible to vote in NAPABA elections. Members must be admitted to the practice of law and (a) be in good standing with the bar of any state, territory, or province of the United States, the District of Columbia, or Canada, or (b) have heretofore met the requirements in category (a) and now be retired. Associate members – which include law students, paralegals, and legal assistants – are not eligible to vote in NAPABA elections.
Request for Positive Campaigning
NAPABA’s Nominating and Elections Committee has determined that campaigning by supporters of both candidates for President-Elect has been unnecessarily negative and is now requesting your assistance to ensure that all future campaigning during this election be conducted in a civil matter. Please maintain a civil discourse during your campaign activities and engage only in campaigning that upholds the ideals of NAPABA for the remainder of the election period. We recognize that your participation is critical to our efforts to eliminate negative campaign tactics and we appreciate your assistance in ensuring that the individuals engaged in the election process adhere to the highest ideals of NAPABA.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Voters Up for Grabs, Survey Finds
WASHINGTON–Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders–two of the fastest-growing demographics in the U.S.–are open to persuasion by either major party at the ballot box, a new survey released today revealed.
The findings in “Behind the Numbers” are the result of a survey that interviewed approximately 6,600 AAPI voters in 11 languages after Election Day sponsored by Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), and National Asian American Survey (NAAS).
Among the significant findings: two-thirds of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders voted for President Obama, yet about half are independent or do not think in terms of political party.
“Our research shows that if either major party made significant investments to engage with Asian American and Pacific Islander voters, they could reap significant advantages over the next decade,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, director of NAAS. "This is especially the case as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have a sizable portion of persuadable voters.“
The survey also found that language proficiency made a tremendous difference, both in terms of partisan profile and the presidential election. For example, the survey found that national polls conducted only in English might have underestimated the vote share for Mitt Romney. Notably, however, Obama won every segment of the AAPI vote, including 61 percent Vietnamese voters-a group that traditionally voted Republican.
The report was an important milestone in surveys of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders because it was conducted in nine Asian languages including Laotian, a first for a national public opinion survey.
"The survey results also revealed the importance of conducting surveys in Asian languages to get accurate results,” said Terry Ao Minnis, director of census & voting programs of AAJC. “Ensuring that legally required language assistance is readily available and easily identifiable at the polls is imperative to safeguard our communities’ ability to exercise fully their constitutional right to vote.”
Given its representative national sample, the survey also provided conclusive evidence on partisan and nonpartisan voter engagement efforts in battleground states and in the rest of the country.
“The study confirmed that community organizations played a major role in mobilizing Asian American and Pacific Islander voters and stepped in where the Democratic and Republican parties were absent,” said Christine Chen, executive director of APIAVote. “The parties and other voter mobilizing organizations must invest in linguistically and culturally appropriate outreach to engage our communities for future elections."
March 21, 2013 – 86% of Asian Americans polled in New York voted for President Obama and two-thirds support immigration reform, according to the results of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) exit poll in New York, released today. AALDEF conducted a nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of 4,089 Asian American voters in New York in the November 2012 elections, the largest survey of its kind.
“Asian Americans are a rapidly growing portion of the electorate in New York,” said AALDEF executive director Margaret Fung. “Elected officials and candidates should understand the policy priorities of Asian American voters, from the economy to immigration reform.”
86% of Asian Americans polled in New York voted for President Obama, compared to 77% of those polled nationally by AALDEF. Among Asian New Yorkers surveyed, 69% were Democrats, 8% were Republicans. and 20% were not enrolled in any party.
The findings also indicate that two out of three Asian Americans (67%) polled in New York supported immigration reform, including a path to citizenship. 70% of those who voted for Obama supported immigration reform, and almost half (49%) of those who voted for Romney supported immigration reform.
“As Senator Charles Schumer and the ‘Gang of Eight’ are poised to propose an immigration overhaul, our exit poll indicates that Asian Americans stand strongly behind comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship,” said Fung.
On Election Day, AALDEF polled Asian American voters in 37 cities across 14 states and documented voting problems. In New York, AALDEF conducted the exit poll in counties with large Asian American populations: New York (Manhattan), Kings (Brooklyn), and Queens Counties. The largest Asian ethnic groups in the New York exit poll were Chinese (43%), Bangladeshi (20%), Korean (11%), Asian Indian (11%), Filipino (4%), and Indo-Caribbean (3%).
Across all ethnic groups, limited English proficiency was high. 45% of Asian Americans in New York spoke English less than “very well” compared to 37% of all Asian Americans nationally. Korean Americans had the highest rate of limited English proficiency at 69%, followed by 51% of Chinese Americans, and 48% of Bangladeshi Americans.
AALDEF Democracy Program Director Glenn Magpantay said: "We must ensure that the New York City Board of Elections meets its obligations under the Voting Rights Act to provide language assistance in Chinese, Korean, and Bengali. With the upcoming 2013 mayoral and citywide elections, it is critical for the Board of Elections to fix the election process so that Asian Americans and all New Yorkers can exercise their right to vote.”
“New York’s voting process and language assistance must accommodate its increasingly diverse electorate,” said Jerry Vattamala, staff attorney with AALDEF. “New York must continue to gather information about various ethnic groups to determine whether or not counties need to provide language assistance in elections, and the Board of Elections must continue to work with voting rights organizations to ensure that it is meeting its federally mandated requirements for interpreters, signs, and bilingual ballots.”
Magpantay presented the exit poll results at the offices of Dickstein Shapiro in New York City. Key findings on “The Asian American Vote in the 2012 Presidential Election” include the following:
Asian Americans are a growing portion of the New York electorate.
·In the 2012 elections, 29% of Asian Americans were first time voters. Of the Asian American voters surveyed, more than 1 out of 3 (34%) in Brooklyn, almost 1 in 3 (30%) in Queens, and 1 out of 5 (20%) in Manhattan were first-time voters.
A majority of Asian Americans favored comprehensive immigration reform.
67% of Asian Americans in New York supported immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, with the highest support from 80% of Bangladeshi, 78% of Indo-Caribbean, 76% of Korean, 76% of Filipino, 68% of Asian Indian, and 56% of Chinese American voters.
·70% of those who voted for Obama supported immigration reform, and almost half (49%) of those who voted for Romney supported immigration reform.
70% of those who voted for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand supported immigration reform. In all of the races for House of Representatives, the majority of Asian American voters supported immigration reform.
·71% of Democrats, 59% of Republicans, and 60% not enrolled in any political party supported immigration reform.
The majority of Asian Americans in New York voted for the Democratic candidate for Congress and President.
·83% of Asian Americans in New York voted for incumbent Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, compared to 9% for Wendy Long.
·In all of the congressional districts surveyed, at least 75% of Asian Americans voted for the Democratic candidate for House of Representatives.
·In the presidential race, 86% of Asian Americans in New York voted for Barack Obama. The highest support came from South Asian voters: 97% of Bangladeshi and Indo-Caribbean and 89% of Asian Indian Americans.
·Support for President Obama was consistent across all categories, including first-time (90%), foreign-born (87%), native-born (87%), limited English proficient (87%) and English proficient (85%) voters, and voters of all age groups.
·The major factors influencing the Asian American vote in New York were economy/jobs (52%), health care (36%), civil rights/immigrants rights (29%), education (25%), women’s issues (13%), and terrorism/security (11%).
Asian Americans in New York have higher levels of limited English proficiency.
·45% of Asian Americans in New York spoke English less than “very well” compared to 37% of all Asian Americans nationally. Korean Americans had the highest rate of limited English proficiency at 69%, followed by 51% of Chinese Americans, and 48% of Bangladeshi Americans.
Voting barriers persisted.
Voters were asked if they encountered any voting problems. Below are the numbers of complaints:
·1120 were required to show identification though 706 of them were not first-time voters and therefore not required to show ID.
·120 were required to prove their U.S. citizenship.
·211 indicated that their names were missing or had errors in the voter lists at poll sites.
·136 had to vote by affidavit ballot.
·116 voters indicated that poll workers were not informed.
·97 voters indicated that poll workers were rude or hostile.
·74 voters indicated that no interpreters or translated materials were available when needed.
·61 were directed to the wrong polling place or the wrong voting machine or table within a site.
AALDEF’s multilingual exit polls reveal vital information about Asian American voting patterns that is often overlooked in mainstream voter surveys. AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in every major election since 1988. In 2012, more than 100 community groups and organizations joined AALDEF to mobilize over 800 attorneys, law students, and volunteers to conduct the exit poll and to safeguard the voting rights of Asian Americans. A list of co-sponsoring organizations and law firms follows below.
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.
2012 ASIAN AMERICAN EXIT POLL – Co-Sponsoring Organizations and Law Firms
Alliance of South Asian American Labor
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
National Korean Amer. Service & Education Consortium
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
North American South Asian Bar Association
OCA (formerly Organization of Chinese Americans)
South Asian Americans Leading Together
ACCESS – MI
APALA – Nevada
APIA Vote – Michigan
Asian American Society of Central Virginia
Boat People SOS Delaware Valley – PA
CAAAV – NY
Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia
Center for Pan Asian Community Services – GA
Chhaya CDC – NY
Chinese-American Planning Council – NY
Chinese Community Federation of Atlanta
Chinese Progressive Association – MA
Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia
East Coast Asian American Student Union
Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York
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
NAAAP – New York
NAAAP – Philadelphia
NANAY – FL
NAPAWF – DC
NAPAWF – New York City
OCA: Greater Houston
OCA: Greater Philadelphia
OCA: Greater Washington DC
OCA: Northern Virginia
OCA: South Florida
Pace University, ACE House – NY
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation
Princeton Asian American Students Association – NJ
Q-WAVE – NY
South Asian Lesbian & Gay Association of New York
U. California San Diego, Lambda Phi Epsilon
U. Maryland, College Park, Asian American Studies Prog.
U. Massachusetts Boston, Asian American Studies Prog.
Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans
Asian American Bar Association of Houston
Asian American Bar Association of New York
Asian American Lawyers Assoc. of Massachusetts
Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia
Asian Bar Association of Las Vegas – NV
Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc. of Wash., DC
Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc. of Pennsylvania
Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc. of South Florida
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of NJ
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center – DC
Boston University School of Law, APALSA – MA
Brooklyn Law School, APALSA – NY
Columbia Law School, APALSA – NY
Filipino Amer. Legal Defense & Educ. Fund, Inc. – NY
Georgetown Law, APALSA – DC
Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Greater Boston Legal Services: Asian Outreach Unit
Harvard Law School, APALSA – MA
Korean Amer. Bar Assoc. of the Washington DC Area
Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater NY
Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Muslim American Bar Association of New York
New England School of Law, APALSA – MA
Pace Law School, Public Interest Law Center – NY
Rutgers School of Law-Newark, APALSA – NJ
South Asian Bar Association of New York
South Asian Bar Association of Washington, DC
Suffolk U. Law Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service
Back in April, I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as stating, “It would be a shame if we weren’t able to mobilize because it is an election year and it is a chance for the Asian community to have their voice heard.” Now that the 2012 national election has come and gone, it seems that some positive gains have been made by APAs, both at the polls and in the halls of Congress. Congrats to Grace Meng and the other APAs who were voted into office on Election Day. More work needs to be done, though:
But the poll of Asian Americans suggests that there is more work to be done. More than half – 51% – said that they were never contacted by a campaign, political party or community group to register to vote. Of those who were contacted, 55% said they were approached by Democrats and 38% by Republicans.
Thanks to James Hong at MinKwon for forwarding this timely update.
Governor Cuomo is signing an Executive Order which provides for a voter who is a resident in the federally-declared disaster counties of Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester and of New York City (which includes Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond) who have been displaced by Hurricane Sandy:
1. To vote an affidavit ballot at any poll site in New York State, other than their regular poll site;
2. Every Board of Elections in the State shall transmit the completed affidavit ballot of any voter who resides in one of the above counties to the Board of Elections where such voter is registered to vote to be canvassed;
3. The affidavit ballot can only be canvassed for such contests for which the person was entitled to vote at such election.
County Boards of Elections are directed to use all available means to:
Provide notice to election inspectors and post the provisions of the Executive Order conspicuously at poll sites in New York State giving instruction on how to implement such Order;
Instruct poll workers to provide affidavit ballots and guidance to voters; and
Provide notice and guidance to voters in accordance with this Executive Order that indicates that voters who reside in the counties of Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, or Westchester, or in New York City may receive and complete an affidavit ballot at any polling place in New York State, and that the board of elections of the voter’s residence will count such voter’s vote for any office on such affidavit ballot for which the voter is entitled to vote.
The following information may help you implement the Governor’s Executive Order:
The ballot will be sorted out when suitcases are returned to boards after the close of polls, and those belonging in any of the declared disaster counties shall be transmit to those county boards. It may be helpful to photocopy/scan for the board’s election files, the affidavit envelopes of voters casting ballots pursuant to this executive order prior to sending the ballots themselves on to the voter’s home county board.
Before counting such ballots, the county receiving same shall check to ensure the voter did not vote in person or via absentee ballot. The county board shall then cast such ballot with other affidavit and emergency ballots, counting only those votes for contests and questions for which the voter was eligible to vote in their own county
For example, a voter staying with family in Orange County who was displaced from Westchester, would be entitled to vote for statewide contests and Supreme Court (because those 2 counties share a judicial district) and possibly a congressional or state senate contest. A voter who sought refuge further upstate might only be eligible to vote in the statewide contests, as they would share no other offices/contests.
While enthusiasm for voting is high, voting can be a complicated process, even more so if your first language is not English. So, it is important for Asian Americans to learn about voting – what type of ID is accepted at the polls, what rights you have when voting – especially the right to language assistance, and what to do if you encounter any problems at the polls.
To help Asian Americans vote, AAJC and APIAVote will be running an Asian-language Election Protection hotline, 1-888-API-VOTE (274-8683). on Election Day and the day before Election Day. The hotline will be live from 7:00am -7:00pm on Monday, November 5, and from 5:30am – 7:30pm on Tuesday, November 6. We will provide assistance in Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Thai, and Vietnamese.
Voters can call in with any questions they have about voting, or to report any problems at the polls. Questions such as, “where is my polling place?” and “what type of ID should I bring?” can be easily answered by our staff. Trained staff is also on hand to address any problems that may arise. For example, if you have difficulty with English, you have the right to bring a friend or family member into the voting booth to help you vote, but not all poll workers may know about this right (as provided by Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act) and may wrongly turn people away.
If a poll worker wrongly turns you away from the polls because of this or refuses to allow you to vote with the assistance of your choice, call 1-888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) and we can help you address the issue so that you can vote. In fact, if anyone calls your eligibility to vote into question or tries to hinder your ability to vote for any reason, call 1-888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) and someone will be able to assist you.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 is Election Day. Please remember to Vote!
New Yorkers seeking information about where to vote on Election Day will be able to locate their poll site by visiting this website or via text message. While Hurricane Sandy has forced last-minute changes to many planned poll sites in Tuesday’s election, up-to-date information on voting locations is now only a text message away. Text “NYCVOTES” to 877-877. Message and data rates may still apply. Customers can text ‘STOP’ to opt out of further messages.(This information is from the NYC Campaign Finance Board.)
As you know election day, Tuesday, November 6, 2012, is fast approaching and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association’s Civil Rights Committee (MBBA-CRC) is working hard to ensure that everyone who desires to vote is armed with the correct information to make their vote count!
As attorneys, we are well equipped to answer voters’ questions and it is incumbent upon us to protect the right to vote. Our vote is a vote that many fought long and hard to be counted. We are asking our members to stand up and donate their legal minds to ensure that all who desire to vote in this historical election will have the opportunity to vote.
Please joing MBBA and The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law to educate voters via the Election Protection hotline on Monday, November 5, 2012 and Tuesday, November 6, 2012.
We will train for the hotline on Thursday, October 25, 2012 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Proskauer Rose LLP, Eleven Times Square, New York, NY. If this date is not suitable for your schedule, we will have other training dates. However, we strongly urge you to train on that date so that we can train as a collective.