In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Day Pitney hosted Jerry Vattamala, Democracy Program Director of the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund (AALDEF), who gave a presentation on the history of Asian American voting rights as well as current challenges and issues that AALDEF faces, what campaigns are in place and on the horizon .
Vattamala has been a leader in collecting electoral data on and protecting Asian American voters as well as organizing AALDEF's National Asian American Exit Poll and Voter Protection Program, which deployed over 600 volunteers in 14 states and Washington DC, to survey and protect over 8,000 Asian American voters on Election Day 2018. He has also organized the Asian American community for redistricting, serving as AALDEF's lead attorney on New York's Favors v. Cuomo federal redistricting litigation, resulting in more Asian majority and influence districts at all legislative levels. Vattamala has also testified on behalf of the Asian American community at redistricting hearings throughout the Northeast, and observed elections for compliance with state and federal voting laws across the country.
He litigates cases concerning violations of Sections 203 and 208 of the Voting Rights Act and regularly meets with Boards of Elections across the country to ensure full compliance with federal and local language assistance provisions and the Help America Vote Act. Vattamala is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York law School. Prior to joining AALDEF, he worked as a commercial litigator at Proskauer Rose LLP. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Binghamton University and is a graduate of Hofstra University School of Law.