Press Release

AALDEF to Conduct Election Protection Training in Boston

Attorneys, Law Students, and Volunteers to Review Federal Voting Rights Laws and Documentation of Voting Rights

Boston, MA—The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), a 32-year-old civil rights group, will train volunteers for its Massachusetts Election Protection 2006 efforts on Wednesday, October 18 at 12 noon and at 5:30 p.m. On Election Day, November 7, AALDEF will dispatch pro bono attorneys, law students, and volunteers to 28 poll sites in Boston, Dorchester, Lowell, and Quincy to ensure compliance with federal voting rights laws.

What: AALDEF Elections Monitoring Training for Massachusetts Volunteers

Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2006

12 noon Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, 101 Federal Street
5:30 p.m. Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, 100 Federal Street

Both locations are in Boston, MA. Media outlets must RSVP to slin(at) to film or photograph specific trainings and to arrange for building clearance.

Said AALDEF staff attorney Glenn D. Magpantay, “In recent elections, our Election Protection volunteers have identified egregiously 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. This year, volunteers will guard against the disenfranchisement of new citizens or limited English proficient voters that could tarnish the results of local or federal races.”

In 2005, AALDEF supported the Justice Department’s Voting Rights Act lawsuit against the City of Boston that resulted in a settlement requiring that ballots be translated into Chinese, Vietnamese, and Spanish. Also that year, AALDEF volunteers conducted an exit poll of Asian American voters in Massachusetts, in English, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Khmer, about their voting experiences and candidate preferences.

This year, on November 7, AALDEF will evaluate the availability of Chinese and Vietnamese bilingual ballots and voter notices in Boston.

In Lowell, AALDEF will ensure that new citizen voters, especially the Cambodian American community, appear in the voter rolls and will not be turned away from poll sites without being offered the opportunity to cast provisional ballots, as occurred in the 2004 elections.

Nationally, AALDEF will mobilize approximately 500 volunteers to cover 150 poll sites in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland, where Asian language assistance is provided, where Asian American voter registration has increased, or where Asian American voters historically have experienced intimidation. AALDEF will document incidents of voter discrimination at poll sites and via its toll-free hotline, 800.966.5946, and conduct a multilingual exit poll of Asian American voters in all eight states.

AALDEF is partnering with several groups to mobilize volunteer attorneys, law students, college students and community activists on Election Day.

Local Co-Sponsors

Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association MA
Greater Boston Legal Services, Asian Outreach Unit
ONE Lowell MA
Vietnamese American Initiative for Development MA
Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP

Other Co-Sponsors

Asian American Bar Association of New York
Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, DC Area
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association Chapters
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center DC
Asian Pacific Islander American Vote
Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia
Chinatown Voter Education Alliance NY
Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia
Filipino American Human Services, Inc. NY
Korean American League for Civic Action NY
Korean American Resource & Cultural Center IL
Korean American Voters’ Council of NY & NJ
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
Organization of Chinese Americans
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
People For the American Way Foundation
Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation
Providence Youth and Student Movement RI
YKASECEmpowering the Korean American Community NY
The Sikh Coalition NY
South Asian Youth Action! NY
South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow
Shearman & Sterling LLP