For Immediate Release
November 7, 2013
Dong Yoon Kim, email@example.com
Dae Joong Yoon, firstname.lastname@example.org
NAKASEC Statement on the Virginia Elections
Annandale, VA— On Tuesday, November 5, 2013, voters in Virginia made their mark at the polls and elected Democrat, Terry McAuliffe, as the state’s 72nd governor. McAuliffe won with 48% of the votes over Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s 45.5% of the votes. This year’s tight gubernatorial race, compared to the 2009 race, is a prime example of the growing political shifts in Virginia. Voter turnout increased by two percentage points and a contributing factor is likely to have been the voter participation of Latino and Asian American voters in Northern Virginia.
According to the 2013 Virginia Election Eve Survey by Latino Decisions, McAuliffe’s victory was more decisive amongst Asian American voters with 63% supporting the Democratic candidate over 34% for Cuccinelli. For close to half of the Asian American voters immigration weighed heavily in their voting decision and moreover 50% stated that Cuccinelli’s proposal to take away the citizenship of children whose parents are undocumented made them less enthusiastic of supporting the Republican candidate. With regard to Cuccinelli’s recent comparison of immigrant families to rat families, 59% of all Asian American voters and 74% of Asian American voters who are foreign-born indicated that the candidate’s comments made them look at the Republican Party less favorably.
Dae Joong Yoon, NAKASEC (National Korean American Service & Education Consortium) executive director reflected: “It is encouraging to see that preliminary results are estimating higher turnout numbers for Korean American and Asian American voters in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties than previous gubernatorial elections. We witnessed a growing interest in the election within the Korean American community with many voters contacting our Virginia office. This election shows once again that the growing number of immigrant voters can decisively influence the results of major races and that our voting power is growing.”
Leading up to the Election Day, NAKASEC mailed 10,000 nonpartisan voter guidebooks to registered Korean American voters in the Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. The Korean-language voter guidebooks were also distributed to local small businesses and to residents in Fairfax, Centreville, and Annandale. NAKASEC also handed out early absentee voting information and voter education materials to congregants at Open Door Presbyterian Church.
Campaign coordinator Dong Yoon Kim explained, “NAKASEC distributed voter guidebooks at Korean owned grocery stores and small businesses in Annandale, Fairfax, and Centreville. Many voters, especially Korean American seniors, thanked us for our voter guidebooks. We will continue our work in providing voter education materials to all Korean American voters.”
The outreach efforts aimed to encourage Korean Americans to exercise their right to vote including making election-related information available in the Korean language. Volunteers also made 1,640 calls in both Korean and English to registered voters in the Fairfax County from October 29 through November 4. An additional contact was attempted with bilingual robo calls to 12,684 registered Korean American voters across Virginia. Voters were reminded about their civic responsibility, the issues at stake, and the importance of projecting the Korean American and immigrant voice. NAKASEC’s civic engagement activity acquired 15 media hits in Korean American media outlets in Virginia.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans on major social justice issues. NAKASEC maintains offices in Annandale, Virginia and Los Angeles, California. NAKASEC has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).