Second presidential debate tonight!

With four weeks left till Election Day, the presidential race is heating up! The second of three presidential debates is tonight at 9pm EST, so I hope everyone’s popped their popcorn, read up on their election coverage and generally made their debate preparations, because I think its going to be a good one. This debate is in the “townhall” style where questions are going to be asked either from a pool of undecided voters or by moderator, Tom Brokaw, from questions submitted via the internet. There are some pretty specific rules about the townhall (for instance, people who asked questions will be filmed asking the questions but not reacting) and there is also no follow-up questions or direct questioning between the candidates. Regardless, it promises to be an exciting viewing so I hope everyone tunes in! Check it out on any number of networks and cable stations at 9pm ESt/8pm CST/6pm PST.

If you want to read more, check out a post from the Chicago Sun-Times, here <>

What Do I Need to Bring to the Polls? and Document the Vote!

It’s almost here! Election Day! After a rather long primary season, this election is coming to close in the most exciting way possible. Voter turnout is expected to be quite impressive and if early voting is any indication Americans around the country are excited (and commmitted, with early voting locations in some states having wait times in excess of SIX hours) about having their say this election. So for everyone getting ready to vote on Election Day, make sure that the ID requirements in your state don’t keep you from casting a ballot. Lookup your state’s ID requirement on

Also, while you’re waiting online, document the vote, take pictures or video of how voting looks in your community. If you have any interesting stories to share about first time voters or the excitement in your family or circle of friends about voting, we want to hear about it. Are you voting, getting out the vote, or monitoring at the polls on Election Day? Bring a camera or videocamera with you to document pictures and stories of South Asian voters. Send pictures, video, written reflections, quotes and more to by Wednesday, November 5th at 5PM!

Here’s an interesting PSA I found that really underscores how meaningful the vote is, it may take a couple of hours (so I suggest bringing a book… and maybe a folding chair) but going out and voting remains significant long after Election Day.

Voter registration deadlines are coming up so GET REGISTERED!

Civic and political participation are core values here at SAALT. While its important to be engaged on a consistent basis, not just during election cycles, no one can deny that the act of voting is one of the most meaningful expressions of democratic participation. There’s been a lot of talk about this election, and there’s nothing wrong with getting swept up in the excitement of the presidential race.

If you need any additional convincing, check out this video:

The Vice Presidential debate is tonight!

So the first (and only) Vice Presidential debate is taking place tonight. There’s been a lot of chatter, in the blogosphere, the mainstream media and, undoubtedly, in more than a few personal conversations, about the importance of this debate. Considering that this is the only time we will be able to see Sen. Joseph Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin face off, I am hoping that people tune in. The debate will be moderated by Gwen Ifill, who moderates Washington Week and is a senior correspondent on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Ifill also moderated the 2004 debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards in 2004. I think its going to be an exciting two hours and I hope everyone tunes into all the major channels at 9pm EST.


Elections ’08: Roadmap to the White House, now translated!

One of the things we here at SAALT are always trying to do is make sure that, as much as possible, the information and resources we put out is as accessible to as many people as possible. SAALT’s Building Community Strength, outlines that limited English proficiency rates are between 20% to 50% in South Asian communities, with rates increasing as income levels decrease (Wondering what “limited English proficiency” means? It refers to the ability to read, speak, and write English less than “very well.”)

With that in mind, SAALT strives to translate some of our most relevant materials into South Asian languges so that limited English proficient individuals can take advantage of our resources. One example is What You Need to Know to Become a US Citizen (translated into Bangla, Hindi and Gujarati). We are also pleased to announce the translation of one of our new Elections ’08 documents, Roadmap to the White House, into Bangla, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Urdu). It’s a great resource to use by anyone to learn about the processes of the election cycle. Organizations and individuals are welcome to use it for outreach and education within the South Asian community. Please feel free to download these documents and distribute them.

Check out these other resources by SAALT on issues facing limited English proficient South Asians!