By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Several Asian American civil rights groups held a press conference earlier this week to discuss how the Commonwealth’s voter ID law is impacting new immigrants.
Asian Americans are the nation’s fastest growing racial group and their voter turnout rate is also on the rise.
“We want to vote, we are here, we are citizens.”
But Glen Magpantay of the Asian American Legal Defense Fund says the process of getting a PennDOT photo ID could be a major problem for new immigrants.
“The PennDOT application is only in English and so many Asian-Americans come to the United States from other countries. We have naturalized, but we are very concerned that Asian Americans will have trouble trying to fill out the form.”
Philadelphia City Commissioner Stephanie Singer says another problem is that some Asian Americans have two names- their Asian name and an American version.
“So someone might be Xen Chu, but might go by Jane to make it easier while living in America. The voter ID law has a requirement that the name on the registration match the name on the ID.”
PennDOT says translation services are available. For more info, dial 1-800-932-4600.