With a population of over 3.4 million, South Asians are one of the most rapidly increasing populations in the United States. Of this population, approximately 1.3 million are citizens and eligible to vote. Understandably, as our community grows in size, community members are engaging more actively in the civic and political process by voting; expressing views on important issues; supporting political campaigns; and running for office at local, state, and national levels. In fact, the community’s patterns of migration and naturalization indicate that South Asians are part of the increasing pool of new voters in the United States. However, many South Asian voters encounter roadblocks on the path to the election booth, including voter intimidation and harassment; insufficient bilingual materials and interpreters at the polls, even where mandated by law; and illegal voter identification requirements. Non-citizens also face unique barriers in terms of their ability to engage in activities other than voting.
In an effort to ensure that voters of South Asian descent have full and equal access in the electoral process, SAALT coordinates and participates in various activities across the country. These include election monitoring efforts, exit polling of South Asian voters, and voter registration. In addition, SAALT advocates with federal and state governments regarding the provision of language access for South Asian voters and adequate voter protection measures.
SAALT Resources on Voting Rights
- SAALT Calls Upon the New York City Board of Elections to Fully Comply with Federal Language Access Requirements for Bengali Speakers in Queens County (July 2013)
- Citizenship Brochure: English, Hindi, Bangla, Gujarati
- Are you Ready to Vote? Checklist: English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi,Tamil,Urdu
- A Guide to the Presidential Elections (English)
- Know Your Rights on Election Day: English, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi
- How Do I Get Involved? (English)