Voting Rights

Related Program: Voting Rights & Democracy

OCA-Greater Houston v. State of Texas (W.D. TX). In Aug. 2015, an Indian American voter, Mallika Das, and OCA-Greater Houston sued the State of Texas, the Williamson County Elections Department, and the City of Round Rock for denying Asian American voters with limited English proficiency the right to an assistor of choice, in violation of section 208 of the Voting Rights Act. The Texas federal district court in Aug. 2016 ruled that the Texas Election Code violated the Voting Rights Act because it restricted interpreters to individuals registered to vote in the same county as the voter needing assistance. (co-counsel Fish & Richardson)

Alliance of South Asian American Labor v. The Board of Elections in the City of New York (E.D.N.Y.) In 2013, AALDEF filed a lawsuit under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act against the NYC Board of Elections for failure to provide adequate Bengali language assistance. In March 2014, the case was resolved. The Board has since provided Bengali ballots in Queens. (co-counsel Weil, Gotshal & Manges)

Favors v. Cuomo (E.D.N.Y.) AALDEF filed a Complaint-In-Intervention on behalf of four Asian American voters urging the Brooklyn federal court to adopt a redistricting plan that provides Asian Americans in New York with equal political representation. AALDEF’s complaint requested that an independent party or “Special Master” be appointed to redraw districts immediately. The judge ruled in favor. AALDEF submitted the Unity Map, its redistricting plan to protect the voting rights of Asian Americans and other communities of color, to the Special Master, including detailed neighborhood maps, ethnic data, and communities of interest surveys. The Court adopted a configuration identical to the Unity Map for New York City’s congressional districts, which included a district in Queens which was 40% Asian American. Residents in this same district ultimately elected Grace Meng, the first-ever Asian American, to Congress from New York State. (co-counsel Kaye Scholer)