New York, NY–The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) applauded the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) for translating federal voter registration forms into several Asian languages.
AALDEF Democracy Program Director Glenn Magpantay said, “AALDEF has been advocating for translated voter registration forms for over five years. The forms translated into Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese and Tagalog will allow many more Asian Americans-the nation’s fastest growing minority group-to fully exercise their right to vote on Election Day.”
AALDEF also commended Senator Charles Schumer of New York, Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, which has oversight authority over federal elections, for pressing the EAC to translate the forms.
According to the census, there are over 15 million Asian Americans nationwide. Many Asian American citizens are not registered to vote due to language barriers. AALDEF has monitored polling places in several states over the past decade and found that many Asian Americans with limited English proficiency encountered difficulty in voting. AALDEF conducted a nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of 16,665 Asian American voters in 11 states during the 2008 Presidential elections. More than one-third (35%) of Asian American voters polled were limited English proficient (LEP).
Only 16 states are mandated to provide translated voter registration forms and bilingual ballots in Asian languages under the federal Voting Rights Act. The new federal voter registration forms translated by the EAC will be available to Asian Americans across the nation.
For more information, contact:
Glenn D. Magpantay
Director, Democracy Program