Press Release

Preliminary 2020 Asian American Exit Poll results; Asian American voter problems

Image for Preliminary 2020 Asian American Exit Poll results; Asian American voter problems

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

New York, NY – The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) today released preliminary results of its nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of more than 5,000 Asian American voters in the November 3, 2020 Presidential Election. Voters were surveyed in English, as well as nine other Asian languages. Asian Americans strongly favored Joe Biden over Donald Trump by a margin of 67% to 30%. Asian Americans also favored Democratic candidates in close races in Georgia and supported Democratic candidates in Senate races in MA, MI, NJ and VA. More detailed results will be provided soon.

AALDEF executive director Margaret Fung said: “With record voter turnout in the midst of a pandemic, the Asian American Exit Poll provides an important snapshot of the growing Asian American electorate, including their party affiliations and issues influencing their votes.”

AALDEF volunteers, including attorneys, law students, community-based organizations, bar associations, student organizations, and community advocates, surveyed Asian American voters at 91 poll sites in 13 states and Washington, DC.

AALDEF also dispatched teams of attorneys and law students to monitor poll sites in California (San Jose), Massachusetts (Boston, Dorchester, Lowell, Malden, and Quincy), New Jersey (Bergen and Middlesex Counties), New Mexico (Albuquerque), New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens) and Pennsylvania (Bucks County, Delaware County and Philadelphia) for compliance with the language assistance provisions of the Voting Rights Act and to guard against anti-Asian discrimination and intimidation.

Here are the preliminary exit poll results:

Vote for President: 67% Biden, 30% Trump, 2% Other, 1% Did not vote

First Time Voters: 30%

Party Affiliation: 56% Democrat, 16% Republican, 25% Not Enrolled, 4% Other

Vote for U.S. Senate: 65% Democrat, 30% Republican, 2% Other, 4% Did not vote

Gender: 53% Female, 47% Male, 1% Non-Binary

AALDEF Democracy Program Director Jerry Vattamala said: “In all states, a large percentage of the Asian American voters were not enrolled in a political party. Asian Americans, now the nation’s fastest growing racial minority group, could play a critical role in determining electoral outcomes in 2020 – particularly in Nevada, Michigan and Pennsylvania.”

AALDEF attorneys and volunteers also observed a number of voter problems:

A computer glitch appeared to show that several Asian American voters had voted during early voting, when they had not, preventing the voters from voting by regular ballot at the Oakcliff Elementary School poll site in DeKalb County, GA.

Another apparent computer glitch resulted in several voters, after waiting in line, learning that the polling place to which they were designated the night before (where they had voted in prior elections) had been changed to a different polling place and were turned away.

Voters overheard a poll worker make an Anti-Asian comment about an Asian American voter at the Reed Street Presbyterian Apartments poll site in Philadelphia.

After waiting in line at Mastery Thomas Charter School in Philadlephia, a Middle Eastern couple seeking to vote in person was told to go back home, return to the polling place and surrender their envelope and mail-in ballot. The couple complied and sought to vote by regular ballot after their mail-in ballot was spoiled by the poll workers. However, they were turned away without being allowed to vote, and told to “come back in four years.”

New York
An Asian American voter was directed by poll workers to another site, only to be told at the second site that she was not registered and was not allowed to vote at JHS 189 In Flushing, Queens.

In Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, poll monitors observed missing Asian-language signage and interpreters that are required under the federal Voting Rights Act for the following languages: Chinese, Korean, Bengali, and Hindi. Poll sites in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and multiple poll sites in Queens opened late, and some poll sites were missing poll site supervisors.

New Jersey
In Middlesex County and Bergen County, Gujarati and Korean bilingual poll workers and translated signage were missing at multiple poll sites.

AALDEF will release state specific data, as well as data relating to gender, age, ethnicity, nativity, and native language soon.

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

Margaret Fung, Executive Director, 212.966.5932 x201

* * *
Special thanks to the following law firms, bar associations, student associations, schools, and community groups that helped to recruit volunteers to monitor polling places and conduct the 2020 exit poll in collaboration with AALDEF:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Alston & Bird LLP
Baker Botts LLP
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Fish & Richardson PC
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Holland & Knight LLP
Jenner & Block LLP
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Kramer Levin LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP
McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo, PC
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Weil Gotshal LLP
WilmerHale LLP
Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

American Citizens for Justice / Asian American Center for Justice (ACJ) - Michigan
American Friends Service Committee
Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) - Michigan
Asian American Bar Association of New York
Asian American Federation of New York
Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts (AALAM)
Asian Americans United (AAU) - Pennsylvania
Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) - Massachusetts
Asian Law Alliance - California
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - Nevada
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC) - Virginia
Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs-Austin - Texas
Association of Chinese Americans - Michigan
Austin Asian Communities Civic Coalition - Texas
Austin Asian Complete Count Committee - Texas
Boston University APALSA
Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Lowell (CMAA) - Massachusetts
Cardozo School of Law
Center for Pan Asian Community Services - Georgia
Chinese American Planning Council, Inc
Chinese Progressive Association - Boston, NY
Columbia Asian American Alliance
Columbia School of Social Work Asian Pacific Islander Student Caucus (CSSW API Caucus)
Dallas Asian American Bar Association
De Anza College - Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action
Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York
Florida Asian Services (FAS)
Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (GAPABA)
George Washington University Law School
Harvard American Constitution Society
Harvard APALSA
Harvard Kennedy School of Government - Asian Pacific American Caucus
Harvard Pan-Asian Graduate Student Alliance
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health South Asian Student Association (MA)
Homecrest Community Services
Hunter College Asian American Studies Program
Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY)
MinKwon Center for Community Action
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum NYC Chapter (NAPAWF*NYC)
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD)
National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium - PA Chapter
National LGBT Bar Association
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
New York City Bar Association
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
OCA Greater Houston
OCA - NY Chapter
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC)
Pilipino American Unity for Progress NY (UniPro NY)
Rutgers Law School-Newark APALSA
Rutgers Law School-Camden APALSA
South Asian Bar Association of North America
South Asian Network (SAN)
Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition, Inc. (SEAMAAC)
South Asian Bar Association Dallas
South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston (SABA GB)
South Asian Bar Association - New Jersey
South Asian Bar Association - New York
Spotify Asian Community Engagement
Tipping Point - CA
University of Maryland - College Park
University of Michigan Law School - APALSA
University of Minnesota Law School - Public Interest
University of Texas at Austin - Center for Asian American Studies
VietLEAD - Pennsylvania
Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans (VAYLA) - Louisiana
Yale University