AALDEF Announces Plans for Asian American Election Protection Project and 11-State Multilingual Exit Poll for November 2008 Elections

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AALDEF Launches New Web Campaign on Facebook and YouTube; the Multilingual Voter Hotline is 800-966-5946.

(New York City) The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), a 34-year old national civil rights organization, announced details of its Asian American Election Protection Project and nonpartisan multilingual exit poll for the November 4, 2008 elections. Attorneys, law students, and community volunteers will cover 200 poll sites in 11 states with these characteristics: 1) areas with a surge in newly-registered Asian American voters; 2) jurisdictions in which Asian-language assistance is provided; or 3) polling places where Asian Americans have reported voting barriers or intimidation in recent elections.

Margaret Fung, AALDEF executive director, said: "We want to ensure that all eligible Asian Americans can participate in the electoral process and have their votes counted in this critical Presidential election." She said that AALDEF plans to poll 15,000 Asian American voters on Election Day in 11 states with large Asian American populations: New York, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Louisiana and Washington, D.C.

POLL MONITORING
AALDEF will monitor 200 poll sites for compliance with the Voting Rights Act and the Help America Vote Act. Volunteer attorneys check to see whether Asian-language voting assistance is provided (such as ballots, interpreters, signs and voting materials), whether voter identification requirements are implemented in a non-discriminatory manner, and whether provisional ballots are offered to voters whose names are not in voter lists. Attorneys will also monitor settlements in recent lawsuits against New York, Boston, and Philadelphia for past violations of the Voting Rights Act. AALDEF will offer 25 volunteer trainings in 15 cities. Volunteers can sign up to attend workshops at www.aaldef.org/vote2008.

Glenn D. Magpantay, AALDEF staff attorney, said, "In the 2006 midterm elections, Asian Americans had to overcome numerous obstacles to exercise their right to vote. AALDEF volunteers identified mistranslated ballots, interpreter shortages that led to Asian American voters being turned away, and poll workers who made hostile and racist remarks about Asian American voters. AALDEF will guard against the disenfranchisement of new citizens and limited English proficient voters."

MULTILINGUAL EXIT POLL
AALDEF will conduct a nonpartisan exit poll of Asian American voters in 11 languages: Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Khmer, Hmong, Bengali, Arabic, Punjabi, Urdu, and Gujarati. Voters will be asked their preferences in the Presidential and local races, top reasons for their choices, party affiliations, whether they are first-time voters, use of Asian-language voting assistance, and specific problems encountered at the polls. The AALDEF exit poll reveals vital information about Asian American voting patterns that is often overlooked in mainstream voter surveys. In the 2004 Presidential election, AALDEF polled 10,789 Asian American voters in 8 states--the largest survey of its kind in the nation. AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in every major election since 1998, noting the steadily increasing numbers of new citizen and first-time voters.

MULTILINGUAL VOTER HOTLINE
Multilingual volunteers will be at poll sites to take complaints from voters about election irregularities and other barriers to voting. Voters can also report Election Day problems to AALDEF's toll-free Election Day Hotline at 800-966-5946, or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ELECTION PROTECTION WEB CAMPAIGN
AALDEF has launched a new web campaign with tools to encourage voter participation and to recruit volunteers across the country to serve as nonpartisan voting rights monitors in AALDEF's Asian American Election Protection Project.

Visit our new Asian American Election Protection homepage: http://www.aaldef.org/vote2008
See our videos on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/aaldef
Join our new Facebook group: http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=23872961251
Get updates from our new election blog: http://aaldef.blogspot.com
AALDEF voting rights coordinator Bryan Lee said: "AALDEF will be updating all of these new web services with more information about our Asian American Election Protection project throughout the month of October."
AALDEF is partnering with several groups to mobilize volunteer attorneys, law students, college students and community activists on Election Day:

National Co-Sponsors:
Asian Pacific Islander American Vote
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
National Asian Pacific American Womens Forum
National Korean Amer. Service and Educ. Consortium North American South Asian Bar Association Organization of Chinese Americans
South Asian Americans Leading Together

Legal Co-Sponsors:
AU Wash. College of Law, Human Rights Clinic
Asian American Bar Association of New York
Asian American Lawyers Association of MA
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Greater DC Asian Pacific American Bar Association of PA
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Assoc. of NJ
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center DC
Greater Boston Legal Services: Asian Outreach Unit
Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater NY South Asian Bar Association of New York
South Asian Bar Association - DC
U. Penn. School of Law, Public Interest Office
Temple U. School of Law , Public Interest Office Local Co-Sponsors:

Asian Pacific American Agenda Coalition MA Conference for Asian Pacific American Leadership DC Chinatown Voter Education Alliance NY
Chinese American Planning Council NY
Chinese American Voters Association NY
Chinese Progressive Association MA
Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia
Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia
Filipino American Human Services Inc. NY
Hunter College/CUNY, Asian American Studies Program Korean American Coalition DC
Korean American Voters Council of NY/NJ
Korean American Resource & Cultural Center
Korean Community Service Center of Greater DC
Maryland Vietnamese American Mutual Association MD One Lowell
Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation
Sikh Coalition NY
South Asian Youth Action! NY
U. Maryland Asian American Studies Program
Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans - LA
YKASEC:Empowering Korean American Communities-NY
(As of Oct. 3, 2008)

AALDEF VOLUNTEER TRAINING SESSIONS
Asian American Election Protection Project


Monday, Oct. 6, 2008 - Washington, DC
12 Noon Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP, 901 New York Ave., at K St.
6:00 PM Finnegan, Henderson , Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP, 901 New York Ave., at K St.

Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008 Philadelphia , PA
12 Noon Pepper Hamilton LLP, 3000 Two Logan Square, 18th and Arch Strs.
3:30 PM Temple University School of Law, 1719 North Broad St.
6:00 PM Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, 1701 Market St.

Friday, Oct. 10, 2008 Houston , TX
12 Noon Fulbright & Jaworski, 1301 McKinney, Suite 5100
3:30 PM South Texas College of Law, 1303 San Jacinto St. (tentative)

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008 New York
12 Noon - Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, 767 Fifth Ave. at 59th St.
6:00 PM - White & Case LLP, 1155 Avenue of the Americas, between 44th and 45th Strs.

Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008 Boston, MA
12 Noon Boston Univ. Law, 765 Commonwealth Ave.
2:00 PM Suffolk School of Law, 120 Tremont St.
6:00 PM Bingham McCutchen LLP, 1 Federal St., between Franklin and Milk Strs.

Friday, Oct. 17, 2008 Boston, MA
12 Noon Bingham McCutchen LLP, 1 Federal St., between Franklin and Milk Strs.

Monday, Oct. 20, 2008 Newark , NJ
12 Noon K&L Gates LLP, One Newark Center, McCarter Hwy and Raymond Blvd.

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008 Chicago, IL
12 Noon McDermott Will & Emery LLP, 227 West Monroe St., between Wells and Franklin
6:00 PM Loyola University School of Law, 25 East Peterson St., at North Michigan Ave.

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008 Detroit, Bloomington Hills and Ann Arbor, MI
12 Noon Dickenson Wright LLP, 500 Woodward Ave., at Lamed St., Detroit
3:00 PM Dickenson Wright LLP, 38525 Woodward Ave. (Route 1) at Lone Pine Rd., Bloomfield Hills
6:00 PM University of Michigan, Michigan Union, 530 S. State St., Ann Arbor

Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008 Princeton, NJ
6:30 PM Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, 502 Carnegie Center

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008 New York
6:30 PM - Seyfarth Shaw LLP, 620 8th Ave., between 40th and 41st Strs.

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008 Washington , DC
6:00 PM Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, 1152 15th St., N.W. at M St.

Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008 Falls Church, VA
6:30 PM Reed Smith LLP, 3110 Fairview Park Drive
For an updated list of training workshops, go to www.aaldef.org/vote2008.