Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Voting Rights

Many AANHPI voters are limited English proficient or face other barriers to voting. Advancing Justice - LA is proud to advocate for the rights of voters and election policies through the Voting Rights Project.


Tools To Address Language Barriers Faced by Voters

In some Asian American communities, over 50 percent of voters use some form of language assistance to vote. Fortunately, starting in 2014 in California, three developments were introduced to help those not fluent in English with the voting process: (1) the ability to register to vote online in Asian languages, (2) additional language assistance at the polls, and (3) the ability of lawful permanent residents to be poll workers.

Advancing Justice-LA released a toolkit that can be used by groups interested in getting the word out and ensuring that counties are taking advantage of and complying with the new laws. Advancing Justice-LA is also seeking full and fair implementation of these developments through advocacy and community outreach.

Along with Advancing Justice-ALC and NALEO, Advancing Justice-LA created Language Access Best Practices memoranda for counties with language access requirements under federal and state laws. These documents have been distributed to various southern California election officials.
Language Access Best Practices: both federal and state laws
Language Access Best Practices: state law only 


Ongoing Voting Rights

In addition to the initiatives highlighted above, Advancing Justice-LA’s Voting Rights Project carries an ongoing portfolio of work to promote democratic participation by politically marginalized communities:

Bilingual voting assistance: Through education, advocacy, and litigation, Advancing Justice-LA ensures that counties and cities provide written and oral assistance in certain Asian languages, as required by laws such as Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act. For example, during major elections, Advancing Justice-LA works with individual volunteers and community-based organizations to monitor poll sites for Section 203 compliance.

Redistricting: Every 10 years, following the decennial census, electoral districts from the city to the congressional level are redrawn. Through the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans for Fair Redistricting (CAPAFR), Advancing Justice-LA has played a leading role in ensuring that the voting power of Asian American and NHPI communities is respected during the redistricting process, as well as helping Asian Americans and NHPIs to build coalitions with other stakeholders including other communities of color. For example, in 2011, Advancing Justice-LA and CAPAFR educated and organized Asian Americans and NHPIs around the state to advocate that new state legislative districts be drawn more fairly, resulting in significant positive changes for Asian Americans and NHPI voters in several areas of the state.

Other voting rights: Advancing Justice-LA also advocates on other issues affecting voting rights and access to the polls, such as voter registration, voting machines, identification requirements, and election structures that dilute the impact of underserved communities’ votes.


Know Your Voting Rights California 2016

To educate voters before Election Day, Advancing Justice-LA worked with Advancing Justice-ALC to create “Know Your Voting Rights” flyers in thirteen languages. The flyers explain important voter information regarding voter registration, what to expect on election day, and how to report election-related problems. The flyers also include a list of California counties that must provide translated materials in various Asian languages. Advancing Justice-LA encourages community groups and individuals to share widely before elections.



Related Publications

Voices of Democracy: The State of Language Access in Califorina's November 2016 Elections

Voices of Democracy: Asian Americans and Language Access During the 2012 Elections

The Impact of Redistricting in YOUR Community: A Guide to Redistricting

For Legal Help

Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356


도움이 필요하십니까?: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583
Cần sự giúp đỡ: 800.267.7395


Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.