On January 9th, 2012, the Korean American Voters’ Council (KAVC) participated in the Chinese and Korean Advisory Groups meeting held by the Board of Elections in the City of New York.

 

This meeting was intended to brief voter advocacy organizations and the media about this year’s elections and what steps the Board of Elections is taking to assist Chinese and Korean voters.

 

In the 2011 Election year, The Board of Elections reported that:

– Manhattan had 91 poll sites targeted for Chinese language assistance and 1 poll site targeted for Korean language assistance.

– Brooklyn had 130 poll sites targeted for Chinese language assistance.

– Queens had 175 poll sites targeted for Chinese language assistance and 91 poll sites targeted for Korean language assistance.

 

The Board of Elections reported that the dates of the Presidential primary and the House and Senate Primary are unclear as of January  9th because the New York State Court did not provide a ruling on the date. Not only that, 2012 is a redistricting year, but a new redistricting plan has not been decided by the State Legislature.

 

The Presidential primary is planned for April 24th, but this is not a firm date. The Democratic Party’s place is uncontested and the Republicans’ deadline for the primary seats is April 17th. The House and Senate primary is set for Tuesday, September 11th, but this may be changed to some time in August. The NYC Board of Elections reported to the State for changes in primary dates, but the response is delayed.

 

This year is important for voters because:
– 1/3 of Senate seats are up for election (33 seats)
– 1/5 of State Governorships are up for election (11 seats);
– All House seats are up for election (435 seats);
– and the Presidential Election.

 

However, the lack of preset primary dates present a great concern in that the State Legislature may not have procedures and budgets ready for elections in time. 

 

There were several comments made in response to the 2011 general elections.

 

The Board of Elections stated that if the poll worker cannot find the voter’s name or address, the voter has the right to use the address locator or the poll book to look for his or her name personally. To facilitate the poll worker in finding the voter in the poll book, the Board of Elections suggested that voters bring their addresses on a bill or written down clearly on paper.

 

KAVC commented that although NYC  Board of Elections website has Korean and Chinese contents available, they are not centralized in one location. KAVC received multiple complaints from voters who were not proficient in the English language that they couldn’t find the poll site finder or voter registration forms. The Board of Elections promised to contact NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to make adjustments to the site as soon as possible.

 

 

KOREAN AMERICAN CIVIC EMPOWERMENT
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