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Hogan Lovells Partners with Asian American Advancing Justice to Release Report on Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act

29 October 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C., 29 October 2014 – Hogan Lovells today announced that a team of pro bono lawyers from its Washington, D.C. office partnered with Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) to release a new report, The Right to Assistance of Your Choice at the Polls: How Section 208 Should Work To Protect Our Vote and Our Democracy (“the report”). The report illustrates how voters can be denied their rights under Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act, due to discrepancies in how each state’s law is written, enacted and applied.

Though the law applies nationwide, poll workers are unaware of Section 208’s right to a helper of the voter’s choice. In addition, some states place time limits on voting, create restrictions on whom the voter can choose for language assistance, or allow election officers unnecessary discretion over what the law allows.

The report recommends that all states offer poll worker training on Section 208 and that election officials provide pre-election notice about the right to request language assistance. This could mean pre-election notices on official election websites, notice by mail or signage at polling stations. In addition, the report suggests the Department of Justice issue guidance on how states can best implement the section.

Terry Ao Minnis - AAJC Director of Voting and the Census, Carl Hum – AAJC Vice President of Programs and Policy, and Jeanette Lee - former AAJC Senior Staff Attorney wrote the report with pro bono assistance from Hogan Lovells lawyers Partner Warren Mauryama, Associate Roy Liu, and Associate Lubna Malik. Hogan Lovells summer associates Heather Alpino, Nicholas Brod, and Joshua Fogarty also provided support.

To read the report in its entirety, please visit the AAJC website here.

About Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC is a national nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. working to fight for civil and human rights and empower Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to participate in our democracy. Advancing Justice - AAJC is part of a national affiliation that also includes Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice - Chicago and Advancing Justice - Los Angeles.

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