January 7, 2013

Korean American Civic Empowerment attended NYC Board of Elections Language Assistance Program's meeting of the year. The Language Assistance Program meeting is held to assess the needs of the limited English-proficient voters in New York City.

In the meeting, KACE raised several issues that were encountered in the previous 2012 General Election and reported by voters through KACE's hotline. KACE also recommended mailing sample ballots to voters like what New Jersey does.

KACE Coordinator Chae No criticized the Board of Elections stating that many voters had severe difficulty in finding their poll sites after the redistricting process, and the Board directing voters to look up their poll sites to see whether they changed or not through two election mailers. Also, No requested for the mailing of the sample ballots to better inform voters in the Korean American community.

However, the Board of Elections frustrated the attendees by avoiding their responsibility in the matter instead of tackling the problems head-on. Steve Richman, the General Counsel argued that sending sample ballots to voters is simply unfeasible due to budget constraints and state regulations. He added that the candidate list can be changed 24 hours before election  day, thereby running the risk of providing incorrect information to the voters. However, this is only an excuse as the sample ballots are displayed online prior to elections. The Board of Elections earned the criticism of attendees by stating that it is the voter's duty to look up election-related information his/herself.

Also, Korean American Civic Empowerment pushed for the correction of the New York City/State Korean voter registration form.

Although the Board of Elections is uncooperative, KACE will continue to pursue options and activities to further assist Korean American voters and the community.

KOREAN AMERICAN CIVIC EMPOWERMENT
NEW YORK OFFICE: 163-10 NORTHERN BLVD. #307 FLUSHING, NY 11358 TEL: (718) 961-4117 FAX: (718) 961-4603
NEW JERSEY OFFICE: 185 BRIDGE PLAZA N SUITE 306 FORT LEE, NJ 07024 TEL: (201) 488-4201