October 29, 2004 Contact: Eun Sook Lee, 323-937-3703 (NAKASEC)
Press Release Dae Joong Yoon, 323-937-3718 (KRC)
For Immediate Release Kent Chaegu Lee, 773-506-9158 (KRCC)
Yu Soung Mun, 718-460-5600 (YKASEC)
Elections are Drawing Near: APIA and Immigrant Voters Can Make a Difference[Los Angeles] November 2nd, Election Day, is just several days away and the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), and its affiliates the Korean Resource Center (Los Angeles), Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (Chicago), and YKASEC-Empowering the Korean American Community (New York) are urging all registered Korean American, Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) and immigrant voters to go out and vote on the issues that they care about most.
“Many people are under the misconception that APIA and immigrant voters cannot make much of a difference in this election, that they have no political power,” said Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of KRC, “But recent studies project that for the November 2004 election, the turnout for APIA, Latino & immigrant-naturalized citizens will approach 15 million.”
NAKASEC and its affiliates have developed a comprehensive civic participation and voter education program to walk these voters through the entire electoral process. Chaegu Lee, executive director of KRCC said, “Because many of our voters have special and specific needs, this year, we have focused on comprehensive voter work. Voter registration, education on the electoral process, translation of voter materials, and other such activities have helped tens of thousands of voters become better citizens. We hope they are now armed with enough information to go out and cast their ballots.”
But before casting their ballots, voters must also be aware of their rights: “The electoral process is not perfect and voters must be prepared to handle problems when they arise. The right to use a provisional or affidavit ballot, for example, is an important way to prevent voter disenfranchisement,” Yu Soung Mun, executive director of YKASEC stated.
Eun Sook Lee, executive director of NAKASEC, referred to the issues that are at stake for the APIA and immigrant community: “The outcome of this election will determine if our increasing joblessness rate will be reversed, if the rising number of visa backlogs will be reduced, if the 52% of Korean Americans currently without health care coverage will receive benefits. We must use our vote to make our voices heard.”