New York, NY – The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), a New York-based, national, civil rights organization, will dispatch close to 257 attorneys and volunteers to document voter problems and the availability of language assistance on Election Day (Tuesday, November 2), and also to conduct a nonpartisan multilingual exit poll.
AALDEF’s exit polling on November 2, 2021 will provide a snapshot of voting patterns, candidate preferences, party enrollment, and issues of significance to Asian American voters in 5 states. Preliminary exit poll results will be released on Wednesday morning.
In the ongoing pandemic, AALDEF’s poll monitoring efforts continue to be critical this year, given the sharp rise in anti-Asian violence and coronavirus-related harassment. And with the mobilization of poll watchers in predominantly minority polling sites, there is increased risk of interference with language assistance for limited English-speaking Asian American voters, and other voter intimidation tactics. While some Americans have already voted early or by mail, we expect many Asian Americans, especially first-time voters and limited English-speaking voters, to vote in person at their polling places.
Earlier this year AALDEF successfully sued Hamtramck, Michigan to secure bilingual ballots and poll workers required under section 203 of the Voting Rights Act for Bangladeshi American voters. AALDEF will monitor compliance with the July 2021 consent decree.
AALDEF volunteers will be present at polling places in jurisdictions that are required under section 203 of the Voting Rights Act and state language provisions to provide mandatory Asian language election information and assistance, including ballots, to voters. These include Gujarati in Middlesex County, NJ; Chinese in Kings County, New York County, and Queens County, NY; Korean in Queens County, NY; Bengali in Queens County, NY; Chinese in Malden, MA; Khmer in Lowell, MA; Chinese and Vietnamese in Boston, MA; Bangladeshi in Hamtramck, MI; and Vietnamese in Fairfax County, VA.
In the 2020 presidential election, AALDEF polled 5424 Asian American voters at polling places in 12 states and Washington, DC, with large Asian American populations. AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters and monitored polls in every major election since 1988.
For additional information, contact:
Stuart J. Sia
Senior Staff Attorney, Democracy Program
Director, Democracy Program