Advancing Justice | Chicago statement on alleged ballot theft in Chinatown

Voter suppression that targets ANY community, particularly those that have historically been and continue to be disenfranchised across our state and nation, is unacceptable. Advancing Justice | Chicago believes that voting should be accessible to ALL voters, including Asian Americans, immigrants, and limited-English speakers.

Recently, allegations have arisen out of the Chinatown neighborhood that point to possible vote buying and ballot theft targeting limited-English proficient Chinese American seniors. If true, this would be an offensive exploitation of those who are often the most vulnerable members of our communities. This behavior is illegal and extremely harmful to our democracy. Any alleged attempts by any candidates to exploit and deprive immigrant voters of their rights is deeply concerning to Advancing Justice | Chicago, and we call on the Chicago Board of Elections to investigate these allegations.

For over 10 years, Advancing Justice | Chicago has worked to protect the voting rights of Asian American and immigrant voters in Chicago, including the Chinatown area. In recent years, we have administered the largest non-partisan, non-candidate poll monitoring operation in Illinois in order to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act and protect community members’ right to vote.

To ensure an accessible election on February 26, we urge our community members to sign up to be poll monitors with Advancing Justice | Chicago. Poll monitors will be trained in what to look out for at polling places and have a critical role to play in ensuring a fair election. There will be a training session on Monday, February 25, and we will have poll monitors stationed at polling places in Chinatown on Election Day.