On Election Day 2016, Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE) operated its own Voter Hotline to assist Korean American voters in New York and New Jersey. Today alone, KACE resolved a total of 79 inquiries on a various topics related to voting, from 6AM when polls opened in the two states.
The most common questions today were on the poll site location and registration status confirmation. It seems that the surge in voter registrations this year in light of the presidential election, and a failure to receive election materials in mail are the underlying causes. Most first-time voters also followed up with questions on what to bring to the poll site and expect upon arrival.
Another commonly asked inquiry was on voting eligibility without address update after a recent move. It reveals that some of the callers today had participated in essentially no elections before today, even though they registered years ago. The awareness for prompt address update is quite low among Korean American voters; indeed, many expressed that they had previously thought it would automatically be updated after a visit to DMV.
In order to advocate for our community’s voting rights and to help active electoral participation, KACE operates Voter Hotline (347) 766-5223 throughout the year, provide answers for all questions on voting, and resolve any complaints experienced at poll sites. This year alone, KACE resolved over 1,000 inquiries, of which 378 were through KACE Voter Hotline.
KACE also published its annual voter guide prior to the general election, as part of its year-round community education program. KACE annual voter guide is a compilation of summarized profiles of districts with a significant Korean American population in New York and New Jersey, including information on the positions and candidates on the ballot each year.