Asian American Advocacy Groups File Lawsuit to Ensure Freedom to Vote


April 6, 2021

April 2, 2021—Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, Advancing Justice -AAJC and Advancing Justice -Asian Law Caucus, along with pro bono counsel, Keker, Van Nest, & Peters, filed a lawsuit to ensure that Asian American voters in Georgia will have the freedom to vote equally in elections.

The civil rights groups charge that SB 202, Georgia’s sweeping anti-voting bill, erects unconstitutional barriers intended to silence Asian American voters. SB 202 shortens the window to apply for mail-in ballots; restricts access to secure drop boxes; forces voters to satisfy onerous, unnecessary ID requirements before voting by mail; and prohibits elections officials from proactively mailing ballot applications to registered voters.

Advancing Justice-Atlanta, AAJC, and ALC issue the following statement:

“Asian Americans turned out in record numbers, alongside other communities of color, in a safe and fair election in both the 2020 presidential election and the 2021 runoff elections in Georgia,” said Phi Nguyen, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta’s Litigation Director. “We won’t let them shut the door on us after all our efforts to enliven our democracy. The majority of Asian Americans in Georgia voted by mail during the 2020 general elections, and the politicians who drafted this bill intentionally targeted our community’s preferred voting method. These deliberate barriers will disproportionately harm Asian American voters, many of whom already face barriers due to limited English proficiency and dearth of translated voting materials. We should be making it easier, not harder, to vote.”

“This bill is not only an attack on Asian Americans,” said Stephanie Cho, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta’s Executive Director, “it’s an attack on all Americans who cherish democracy and freedom. The bill drafters aimed for communities of color, but every community will have restricted access to voting and democratic participation will be diminished across all of Georgia. This bill attempts to undo the work of grassroots organizers, advocates, and voters who turned out in record numbers to make their voices heard. This reactionary, racist, and backwards bill is a stain on Georgia, the beating heart of the Civil Rights movement. We won’t go back – we will fight them in the courts to make sure all voices are heard.”

“The Asian American community will not be silenced.  Not by the wave of anti-Asian violence that threatens the safety and security of our friends and family; and not by SB 202, which seeks to restrict our constitutional right to vote. This lawsuit aims to ensure that all voters can fairly and equitably exercise this fundamental right,” said Candice Mai Khanh Nguyen of Keker, Van Nest, & Peters.

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