KACE Internship Coordinator Yoon Sun Na and Program Director Chae No are receiving calls for the election hotline.

KACE Internship Coordinator Yoon Sun Na and Program Director Chae No are receiving calls for the election hotline.

On June 3rd, 2014, Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE) opened an election hotline for New Jersey Primary.

This year’s primary election did not garner as much attention from the Korean American community as last year’s, accounting for low number of calls. A low voter turnout is also likely.

KACE received a total of 10 phone calls. They were mainly from first-time voters, or voters enlisted in another political party other than the Democratic Party who wished to vote.

New Jersey conducts semi-open primaries, meaning that voters who are not enrolled in a party can declare one at the poll site and cast their ballot.

After the voter had looked at the candidates, declared a party and voted for a candidate synonymous with the party, he/she can fill out a form stating that he/she does not wish to be enrolled in any party before leaving the poll site. This restores the voter’s status as an unenrolled voter.

But if the voter is already enrolled in a party and wishes to declare a different party, he/she must fill out the voter registration form again with the changes and send it in. In addition, one voter was denied his/her ballot at the poll site, although he/she was able to cast a Provisional ballot. This case was quickly handed over to the Bergen County Board of Elections.

The following are some issues that were brought up at today’s election.

1)     A voter had signed up for a mail-in ballot but never received it, so he/she went to the designated voting poll site as instructed. The voter faced some difficulties and called the KACE office, where Chejin Park, the organization’s staff attorney, received the call and contacted the poll site (School #2). The voter was allowed to vote using the Provisional ballot.

2)      A newly registered voter signed up for a mail-in ballot but did not receive one; she contacted KACE and was able to vote using the Provisional ballot at the poll site.

3)      A voter called the hotline after being denied at his poll site because he did not change his address.  If a voter has moved within a county, he/she can vote using the Provisional ballot and also change the address at the poll site.

This primary election revealed many problems. If a voter had signed up for a mail-in ballot, he/she should receive a ballot along with a sample ballot at his/her mailing address. If the voter does not receive the mail-in ballot up until one week before the election, he/she must contact the Board of Elections of the county.

If a problem ensues at the voting poll site, the worker must inform the voter that he/she can vote using the Provisional ballot. Some poll sites followed this policy, while some did not.

From the hotline, it was made evident that the workers at the poll sites need to be re-educated.

 

KOREAN AMERICAN CIVIC EMPOWERMENT
NEW YORK OFFICE: 163-10 NORTHERN BLVD. #307 FLUSHING, NY 11358 TEL: (718) 961-4117 FAX: (718) 961-4603
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