From Joong Ang
Aug 20, 2003
By Jong Hoon Kim
Elections on September 9th and November 4th will
have Korean language assistance across Queens in more than a hundred
places, with two
to four translators per site.
The New York City Board of Elections,
in accordance with the federal law mandating language assistance
for immigrants, started to provide
Korean translators, brochures and ballots last year. It decided
to increase 20 places to around 100 places in Queens.
To meet this
demand, at least 200 Korean translators are needed, and the Board
of Elections is asking for help from organizations
such as the New York Immigration Coalition.
Moon, who is campaigning
for participating elections in youth groups, welcomed the policy
of the Board of Elections, in that translation
service will greatly help Koreans to exercise suffrage with greater
convenience. However, there is a concern about lacking enough people
who can volunteer for the position. Hong, the advocacy director
of the New York Immigration Coalition, explained the lack of participation.
The Coalition is looking for 500 translators in total at voting
sites from each immigrant community. Of the 250 who applied, only
5 percent of them are Koreans. From Korean-American Comm. E. C.,
the president Park said, “The Board has under-representation
of Koreans. For large voters’ turnout among them, the 1st
and the 2nd generations who are comfortable with both language,
On the other hand, 3 districts—Queens County
in New York State, Los Angeles County and Orange County in California
mandated to have Korean translation, after the 2000 population
census. The Court’s decision was based on the law that protects
rights of voters in a single district which has more than a 10
thousand of a population that is not comfortable with English.
If any district contains such communities, it has to supply information
brochures and ballots in those languages.
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Translated from Korean by Joo Yeon