Press Release

AALDEF to conduct Asian American Exit Poll and monitor poll sites in 14 states

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DC | CA | FL | GA | LA | MA | MD | MI | NJ | NM | NV | NY | PA | TX | VA

New York, NY – The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), a New York-based national civil rights organization, will dispatch close to 400 attorneys and volunteers to document voter problems and the availability of language assistance on Election Day (Tuesday, November 3) at 50 poll sites in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania.

AALDEF will also conduct a nonpartisan multilingual exit poll–the largest of its kind in the nation–to provide a snapshot of voting patterns, candidate preferences, party enrollment, and issues of significance to Asian American voters at 93 poll sites in 13 states and Washington, DC. Preliminary exit poll results will be released on Tuesday evening.

In the midst of the pandemic, AALDEF’s poll monitoring efforts are especially critical this year, given the sharp rise in anti-Asian violence and coronavirus-related harassment, threats of armed poll watchers, and other voter intimidation tactics. While millions of Americans have already voted early or by mail, we expect many Asian Americans, especially first-time voters, to vote in person at their polling places.

In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Shelby v. Holder, which weakened the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, has allowed discriminatory voting changes to be implemented, right up to Election Day. AALDEF successfully used the section 5 preclearance process in the past to secure bilingual ballots for Chinese American voters and challenge voting barriers faced by Asian New Yorkers.

AALDEF volunteers will monitor newly-covered jurisdictions that are required under section 203 of the Voting Rights Act to provide mandatory Asian language assistance to voters. These include Gujarati in Middlesex County, NJ, Chinese in Malden, MA, Khmer in Lowell, MA, and Vietnamese in Fairfax County, VA.

In the 2016 presidential election, AALDEF polled 13,846 Asian American voters in 14 states with large Asian American populations. AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters and monitored polls in every major election since 1988.

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For more information, contact:
Jerry Vattamala, Democracy Program Director, 212.966.5932 x209

Margaret Fung, Executive Director, 212.966.5932 x201