L.A. organization encourages Koreans to register to vote

May 13, 2014
(Park Sang-hyuk)

KAC’s Chris Lee, from left, and Efrain Escobedo, director at the Registrar-Recorder office, stressed the importance of voting at Monday’s press conference. (Park Sang-hyuk)

In preparation for the upcoming primary elections, the Korean American Coalition held a press conference encouraging Korean Americans to vote.

The coalition said Koreans need to register to vote in order to strengthen the Korean community’s political influence.

Voter registration for the June 3 elections closes on May 19.

According to the KAC, all candidates will be on the same ballot this year. In addition, candidates are not nominated by a party for the November general elections but instead chosen by those who receive the most votes.

Starting from this year, the ability to vote has been extended from U.S. citizens over 18 years of age to permanent residents, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder said.

The office said voter registration is required just one time unless there is a change of address or a change of name.

Efrain Escobedo, director at the Registrar-Recorder office, said voting is the easiest form of self-expression in a democracy. He said election information is available in 10 languages, including Korean and Chinese, and can be requested through 800-481-8683.

About 20 Korean Americans are running in the primary election, including Michelle Park Steel, Young Kim, Sam Kang, Ann Park, Helen Kim and Songhai Armstead.