Koreans in September Election
From Joong Ang
September 09, 2003
By JongHoon Kim
The election on September 9th was rather quiet, without
any intriguing issues or fierce competitions. According to participants
in Flushing, Queens, where Korean voter population is larger than
any other area in NYC, there was lower Korean voter turn-out than
there had been in any other primaries.
It turns out that senior
citizens are more active in volunteering or voting than any other
age group. One voting site, JHS189 in
Flushing, had a 78-year-old volunteer as a Korean translator. Mr.
Um, who started volunteering three years ago through a youth service
center, stated that he wanted to help promote Korean American voter
participation, which is low compared with the Chinese American
Also at JHS189, another 78-year-old named
SoonHee Huh arrived on her wheelchair accompanied by her husband.
She has been casting
her ballot for 3 years in every election, and is proud of being
a responsible citizen.
Community groups such as Young Korean Service
and Education Center (YKSEC), Coalition for Korean Americans, and
the Korean American
Community Council, campaigned for Korean American voter participation
and monitored voters at voting sites. One participant from YKSEC
speculated that Korean American voters seemed the least interested
in the election, along with overall lower turnout trend. Compared
with the elections in 2001 and 2002, there was 30 percent to 50
percent decrease. Flushing Senior Citizens Center and Jackson Heights,
the area's largest Korean American community, reported around 300
Korean voters in 2001, 196 in 2002, and only 141 this year.
organizations also visited voting sites and noted the trend. Democratic
City Council candidate Isaac Sasson’s “racist
appeal” in his primary race against John Liu (D-Flushing),
had only failed. Sasson tried to attract Korean and Jewish communities
by pointing out that John Liu's advisor John Choi is the founder
of Nodutdol, which Sasson called a pro-North Korea and anti-Semitic
One Korean voter remarked that Sasson's campaign
hadn't targeted Korean Americans and instead only focused on criticizing
by using one Korean organization as an example. “He lacks
understanding of Korean community, and that made me not to vote
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . .
Translated from Korean by Joo Yeon Lee