“In the elections over the last decade, the Asian American electorate has grown larger and more engaged,” said John C. Yang, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC’s president and executive director. “Asian Americans have also faced and continue to face barriers to voting that prevent our community members from fully and equally participating in our democracy. Our hotline helps community members to navigate the questions around voting because we are determined to help our community have full access to the ballot box.”
The 888-API-VOTE hotline is part of a larger Election Protection program with a suite of multilingual hotlines, voter education materials, and get out the vote activities. Given the unusual circumstances of this election due to coronavirus health concerns, more people voting by mail than ever before, and the potential for voter questions as we patiently wait until every eligible vote is counted and certified, it is more important than ever that the hotline is available to serve the community.
For nearly a decade, Advancing Justice-AAJC and APIAVote have managed the hotline and taken live calls on Election Day in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali in order to further the goal of equal access at the polls for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders because voting is not a privilege reserved only for English speaking voters.
“It is our responsibility to eliminate barriers for AAPI voters. The majority of Asian American voters are immigrants and drive a growing electorate and new base of first-time voters. We know that over 621,765 AAPI voters who voted early did not vote in 2016. This increased engagement early on is only an indication of what we expect on Election Day,” said Christine Chen, Executive Director of APIAVote. “The 888-API-VOTE hotline is critical in ensuring these voters participate in elections and we have already received calls asking for assistance in registering to vote, identifying polling locations, finding translators and identifying the best options for early voting. It’s important that we provide the support necessary for our community, including those who are limited English proficient or are first-time voters in this election.”
The hotline runs 24 hours tomorrow on Election Day and will continue to run after the election to answer questions no matter how large or small. The organizations and their hotline volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and to respond to reports of discrimination, intimidation tactics, or other unexpected barriers.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC is part of an affiliation of organizations that provide programs and services to the Asian American community nationwide. Advancing Justice | AAJC was created in 1991 to advance the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.
APIAVote is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that encourages and promotes civic participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the electoral and public policy processes at the national, state and local levels. Founded in 2007, APIAVote now works with partners in 28 states to ensure Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders participate in our American democracy and have fair and equal access to the democratic process.
Michelle Boykins, [email protected] | 202-604-1760
Jennifer Baik, [email protected] | 202-649-0130
SOURCE Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC