Press Release

Volunteers Needed to Defend Asian American Voting Rights

Image for Volunteers Needed to Defend Asian American Voting Rights

Volunteers Needed to Defend Asian American Voting Rights for the June 22 Primary Election in NYC

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) will dispatch attorneys and volunteers to survey voter problems and the availability of language assistance by conducting a nonpartisan multilingual exit poll. This exit poll will provide a snapshot of Asian American candidate preferences, party enrollment, and issues of significance to Asian American voters.

AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters and monitored polls in every major election since 1988.

We plan to be in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens for the important inaugural use of Ranked Choice Voting in the Mayoral, Comptroller, and City Council Primary Elections.

Please sign-up here if you’re interested in volunteering on Primary Day and post-election.

For more info, email:


AALDEF Exit Poll and Poll Monitoring Project

What is an exit poll?

An exit poll is a survey of voters as they leave their polling places. It is designed to capture a snapshot of Asian American candidate preferences, party enrollment, and issues of significance to Asian American voters. It can also document voter problems at the polls.

What is the difference between the Exit Poll and Poll Monitoring?

Exit polling can be done by anyone who completes AALDEF’s training session for volunteers. It is conducted outside the polling place after voters have cast their ballots.

Poll monitors enter the polling place and check whether multilingual voting materials and interpreters are available if required under the Voting Rights Act, observe whether voters are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner, and note any problems occurring at the poll site.

Do I have to be a lawyer?

You do not have to be a lawyer to volunteer for the exit poll. Most of our exit poll volunteers are students (undergraduate, graduate, and law students) and community residents. Poll monitoring, however, is reserved for lawyers. All volunteers must be nonpartisan.

Do you provide training?

Yes. We offer two types of training: a one hour training for community members (non-lawyers) and a 1.5 hour CLE (Continuing Legal Education) training for lawyers.

What do we learn during the training?

We review the history of Asian American civic engagement and logistics for conducting the exit poll. If you attend the CLE trainings, there is a detailed review of relevant federal and state voting laws and poll monitoring logistics.

What is the time commitment?

    • 3-hour shifts for volunteers
    • 6-7 hour Half-Day OR 12-13 hour shifts for Poll Site Supervisors
    • 3-4 hours -Volunteers are usually paired up to visit a few poll sites.

What’s the difference between a Poll Site Supervisor and a volunteer?

Poll Site Supervisor usually have volunteered before and are familiar with the exit poll process. They assume more responsibilities, including a longer shift, opening and closing of a poll site, calling in problems to AALDEF, and supervising volunteers.

Volunteers are assigned to shorter shifts.

Do I need a car?

No. Most of our exit poll locations are close to public transportation.

However, if you have a car, you may be assigned to monitor poll sites that are a bit further away from bus stops and train stations.

Do I have to be bilingual and speak an Asian language to volunteer?

No. The AALDEF exit poll is translated into 11 Asian languages. While it’s helpful to be bilingual, a willingness to engage with voters leaving the poll site is more important.

Can I partner with my friend or colleague?

Yes. Both parties should list each other as a partner when they sign up to volunteer.

Does this project qualify for the New York State Pro Bono requirement for lawyers?


How many hours count towards pro bono hours?

The training session and the actual number of hours worked during Election Day count towards the pro bono requirement; transportation hours do not.

Is this a paid opportunity?

No. We rely on national and local partners and passionate volunteers to carry out the vision of this public interest project.