Get Active with NAKASEC for the Elections in Virginia!

For Immediate Release:
May 11, 2017
Contact: SaeHee Chun, schun@nakasec.org, 703-256-2208

Get Active with NAKASEC for the Elections in Virginia!
Voting matters – Register, Vote, Volunteer, and Work with NAKASEC

ANNANDALE, VA — The National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) held a press conference on May 11th to launch its civic engagement program.  This year, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and all 100 House Delegates’ seats are up for election in Virginia.  Considering the hostile federal policy landscape, being active at the local and state level to promote policies that support low-income immigrant communities and communities of color is more important than ever.  Despite such huge stakes, only 25% of registered Asian Americans voted in the last gubernatorial race in 2013.  NAKASEC aims to work with community members to educate and activate them to go vote.

Sookyung Oh, D.C. Area Director at NAKASEC said: “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are the fastest growing racial group in the United States, increasing at four times the rate of the U.S. population.  We are the largest growing voter bloc, yet, we have one of the lowest voter turnouts across all ethnic groups.  Local and state elections shape the lives of young people, working families, and the quality of life.  Having such a large capacity to influence our lives, it must be a priority that we engage our AAPI communities to show a voice that advocates for justice and equity.”

Delegate Mark Keam of Virginia’s 35th House District said: “If there was ever any doubt that elections matter, then last November proved that they do.  Under the new administration, America is heading in a dramatically negative direction, especially when it comes to the rights of immigrants, people of color, and women.  Virginians can do something about this now.  In a few months, we will elect new leaders for our state government.  We can choose a Governor and Attorney General who will go along with Washington’s mean-spirited policies, or we can choose a team who will fight back and resist.  I urge Asian Americans in Virginia to join the right side of history and fully participate in this coming elections.”

Sumi Yi, Community Organizer at NAKASEC said: “In 2013, the young Asian American voter turnout was less than 14%.  That does not mean they do not care.  Instead, it shows how our upcoming Asian American generation has great potential to make an impact.  We can use this opportunity to educate, energize, and prepare young people to become future community leaders.  NAKASEC is recruiting motivated students to engage in political education activities and volunteer in the civic engagement program.  The process towards impactful change must be inclusive of our future leaders.”

To run this robust civic engagement program, NAKASEC is hiring paid part-time canvassers, who will be phone banking, door knocking, and engaging with fellow community members.  Canvassers will work all across Northern Virginia, including Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.  Click here for the job description or email Sookyung Oh (soh@nakasec.org).  Contact Sumi Yi (syi@nakasec.org) for more information about youth programs and volunteering.

Ahead of the General Elections in November, the Primaries will take place on Tuesday, June 13th to vote on a candidate for the Democratic or Republican party’s nomination.  The deadline to register to vote in the Primaries is Monday, May 22nd; online registration will remain open until 11:59 PM on the deadline date.

Voters who moved either within or outside of the state of Virginia since their last registration must re-register.  Community members may check their voter status at the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Registered voters who cannot make it to the polls on Election Day due to one of the nineteen qualifying reasons, including attending college outside of one’s locality of residence, vacation, working over 11 hours between 6:00 AM and 7:00 PM, disability, and religious obligations, may apply for an absentee ballot.  Community members may apply online or contact NAKASEC for a Korean application form.

If you have a question related to voting, call NAKASEC at 703-256-2208 or email syi@nakasec.org.

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Founded in 1994, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)’s mission is to organize Korean and Asian Americans to achieve social, economic, and racial justice.  NAKASEC maintains offices in Annandale, Virginia and Los Angeles, California and has affiliates in Chicago (Hana Center) and Los Angeles and Orange Counties (Korean Resource Center).