According to the U.S. Census, the Asian American population in Illinois has doubled in the last 20 years. With this rapid growth, comes new opportunities for the Asian American community to grow in political power and have more of its issues and concerns addressed by policymakers. This year, AAI is working with its Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment (“PAVE”) coalition partners to Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) in Asian American communities in Illinois. PAVE is a coalition of Asian American organizations that directly serve and advocate for local Asian communities, representing a broad spectrum of Asian ethnic groups. Earlier this year AAI and PAVE convinced State lawmakers to form the first-ever Asian American Caucus.
As a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, AAI also works with its affiliates in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. to protect the voting rights of Asian Americans by poll monitoring at polling places on Election Day.
How can you help make a difference in this year’s Election? Keep reading below and find out!
1. Get Registered!
For Chicago residents, click here.
For suburban Cook County residents,click here.
You can also get a copy of any of these voter registrations forms at the AAI office or through one of our partner organizations.
If you are unsure about your registration status, you can look it up Here.
What are “Asian American” issues? Learn more about the Asian American community by reading A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans in the United States 2011.
Where do the candidates stand on Asian American issues? This year, AAI has submitted candidate questionnaires to several Illinois candidates in political districts with large segments of the Asian American community. These questionnaires ask candidates about their positions on key issues that impact the Asian American community. To see their responses, click Here.
Did you know that voters who have difficulty voting in English have the right to have a friend, relative or volunteer help them vote? Every voter in the nation has the right under Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act to receive assistance from a person of their choice# to help them vote if they have difficulty with English. To learn more, click Here to download a factsheet flyer translated into Asian languages!
3. Go Vote!
Now, that you are registered, it’s time to cast that ballot. In Illinois, all voters have three options for voting:
VOTE BY MAIL (ABSENTEE)
Interested voters must fill out an application requesting a ballot is mailed to them. Once that form has been completed and returned to the appropriate election authority, a ballot will be sent to the address provided. Vote By Mail is particularly useful for those who have full time jobs and are not able to get away to vote on Election Day, those who have families and no childcare, or anyone that would rather vote in their pajamas than stand in line on November 6, 2012.
Request a vote by mail form Here.
Voters have the option to vote two weeks before Election Day at designated polling locations. Information on Early Voting locations can be found at the following links:
AAI is working with local community organizations on Early Voting events in your area! For more information or to get a ride to join the event, contact AAI.
Election Day is Tuesday November 6, 2012. Polls will be open from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Please note, as long as you are in your polling location by 7:00 PM, you can still cast your vote.