Press Release

AALDEF To Monitor Asian American Voting Access and Conduct Exit Polls in Philadelphia, Boston, and Quincy Nov. 8 Elections


For the municipal elections on Tuesday, November 8, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) will dispatch attorneys, law students, and community volunteers to monitor and document any voting barriers faced by Asian American voters in poll sites in Massachusetts, including Boston, Quincy, and Dorchester. AALDEF will also conduct a nonpartisan exit poll in Chinese and English on Asian American voting preferences in both Boston and Philadelphia.

“With so much at stake in the 2011 local elections, we want to ensure that all eligible Asian Americans are able to exercise their right to vote,” said Glenn D. Magpantay, Director of AALDEF’s Democracy Program. “In both Boston and Philadelphia in particular, Asian Americans are running for city councils where no Asian Americans are currently elected.”

Poll Monitoring

AALDEF will monitor at least four poll sites in Massachusetts for compliance with the Voting Rights Act and the Help America Vote Act. Volunteer attorneys will observe the provision of Asian-language ballots, interpreters, signs, and voting materials, which are required in certain districts. We will also monitor the application of voter identification requirements and whether provisional ballots are offered to individuals whose names do not appear on voter lists.

Bilingual Exit Poll

AALDEF will conduct a nonpartisan exit poll of Asian American voters in both English and Chinese. Voters will be asked about their candidate preferences for City Council and the upcoming presidential election. We will also record the number of first-time voters, party enrollment, use of Asian-language voting assistance, and any specific problems at the polls.

Since 1988, AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in every major election. In the 2008 presidential election, AALDEF polled 16,665 Asian American voters in 11 states — the largest poll of its kind in the nation, and in the 2010 midterm elections, AALDEF polled 3,721 Asian American voters in 5 states.

“Many mainstream surveys overlook information about Asian American voting patterns,” said Magpantay. “Because elected officials use these results to meet the needs of voters, if we don’t make this information available, Asian American voters will be disadvantaged.”

For further information, please contact:
Glenn Magpantay
Director, Democracy Program
212.966.5932 x206

Ujala Sehgal
Communications Coordinator
212.966.5932 x217