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New York State Primary Election: Tuesday, September 16th General Election: Tuesday, November 6th

2012 Voter Guide

We also operate a hotline for voters who have elections-related questions at (718) 460-5600.

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New York State Primary Elections
Deadline to register Deadline to register

Thursday, September 13th
Sunday, August 19th Friday, October 12th

Federal & NY State General Election Tuesday, November 6th Voting hours 6:00 AM-9:00 PM

Important Dates
New York City Board of Elections
(212) VOTE-NYC [212-868-3692] (outside of NYC) 1-866-VOTE-NYC (Toll-free/only for NYC residents) Website: http://vote.nyc.ny.us/ Poll site locator (available in other languages) http://gis.nyc.gov/vote/ps How to use the new voting machines (available in other languages): http://votethenewwayny.com Voter registration confirmation (only available in English): http://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us

Cover image source: Flickr/morton

Budgets and Revenues
Though the Korean American, Asian American and immigrant communities have grown rapidly in New York, there are still not enough resources and services to meet our community’s needs. Federal and state governments are continuing to cut basic services for our community because there are not enough revenues. Instead of cutting more services and budgets, we can make sure that everyone pays a fair tax share so that there are enough resources that serve vulnerable persons such as children and youth, women, low-income individuals, seniors, immigrants. Voters need to see if Federal and state candidates will make sure everyone pays a fair share of taxes, and protect critical resources from more budget cuts.

Affordable Housing
Immigrants face a number of housing challenges: overcrowding, high rental costs, poor housing conditions, harassment, and discrimination. Many live without a lease, and pay rent in cash. With the economic slowdown, immigrant homeowners have also been hit hard and are at high risk of losing their homes by foreclosure. Decent, affordable housing is a human right, and immigrant families should be able to find quality, affordable and safe home. Voters need to see what the candidates will do to stop needless foreclosures; expand affordable rental housing, revive a sustainable path to homeownership, and improve and preserve existing affordable housing.

Letter to the Voters...................................... 2 Voting information on the 2012 elections............3 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on voting.......7 Policy Issues for the 2012 Elections...................10

Table of Contents

Healthcare and Coverage
In New York City, many Asian Americans don’t have health insurance, and have limited access to medical services because they don’t have legal status, or have the right income, or have language and cultural barriers and lack information. In New York, Governor Cuomo is pushing for a redesign of Medicaid for low-income persons, and the new health exchange should be set up soon. Voters should ask what candidates are doing to make sure that affordable, quality healthcare is available for all of our community members. 12 1

Vote for America and your community’s future!
Dear voters,

Comprehensive Immigration Reform
After the 2008 election, the hopes for immigration reform were high as the Obama administration had promised to reform the broken immigration system within one year. However, this reform has not happened yet. In the United States, more than 10 million undocumented immigrants live in the shadows, huge backlogs have separated families for many years, and many people perish crossing the border to the United States as a result. Many undocumented youth cannot pursue their “American Dreams.” Instead of enforcement and deportation, a sensible immigration reform solution should be found that allows for a path to citizenship for everyone that protects the rights of immigrants, and paves the way for future prosperity by reducing our huge backlogs. Voters should note how each Federal candidate stands on immigration reform, and what State candidates will do to protect the rights of immigrants.

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012 will be a significant election year. This fall in New York, we will elect the President, 1 Senator, 27 Congressmen, 63 State Senators, and 150 State Assemblymembers. The ones who are elected will have an important influence over all of our lives. Our country, city and neighborhoods face major challenges. The economy is still in recession, and 400,000 immigrants are deported every year with no immigration reform in sight. There are other policy issues like education, healthcare, and housing that affect our quality of life directly. The candidates that will be elected this fall must address these issues. But we can have an impact, by participating in the electoral process and voting. This guide provides you with easy-to-understand information about how you can exercise your right to vote. Please join us and help increase the power of the Korean, Asian and immigrant communities, by voting in the New York State primaries this coming September 13th, as well as the general election on November 6th. Every vote can make a huge difference. It is up to you.

Language Access
There are more than 2 million immigrants living in New York State who are Limited English Proficient (LEP). In New York City, nearly half of all Asian Americans are LEP, and the lack of translation is one of the biggest issues our community faces. New York City and New York State have required that government agencies provide interpretation services and translated documents in six language services, including Korean. However, many people have difficulties using these interpretation services and translated documents, because the policy has not been fully and properly implemented in the City and the State. Voters must see what roles and stances New York State and Federal candidates will take on expanding language access, and making sure governments provide the proper translation and interpretation services they have promised.

MinKwon Center for Community Action

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Important Policy Issues in the 2012 Elections
In 2012, voters will elect a President and Vice President, 1/3 of the U.S. Senate, all 435 U.S. Representatives, as well as all 63 New York State Senators and all 150 State Assemblymembers. Depending on the results, there may be major changes in the U.S. political system. More importantly, these elections will determine important policies for American society and the immigrant community. The newly-elected President and Congress will deal with issues like economic recovery, immigration reform, and others that will have a ripple effect. The newly-elected New York State Senate and Assembly must pass laws regarding education, services, health care, and other issues. When choosing candidates, voters should consider different policy matters and make proper decisions. The MinKwon Center has prepared concise information of important issues for our community. Please read these and use your vote for the advancement of the immigrant and Korean communities - and for the future of America.

1. Elected officials & their main roles

Voting information on the 2012 elections

In the 2012 elections, voters will elect a President and Vice President, 1/3 of the U.S. Senate, all 435 House of Representatives, all 63 New York State Senators, all 150 State Assemblymembers, and others. New York’s voters elect candidates for each party in the primary elections on September 13th, and will elect candidates from all parties in the general elections on November 6th.

The Federal Government
President: The President is the head of the Executive Branch and elected for a 4-year term and can be reelected once. According to the Constitution, he or she is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, the Chief of State, the supreme executor of the law, the chief diplomat, and nominates or appoints key members of his or her Administration. The President also has legislative and judicial roles as well. Vice President: In the case when the President cannot fulfill his or her duties (e.g.: death), the Vice President assumes the role of the President. In normal circumstances, the Vice President acts as the President of the United States Senate, but he or she can only vote only when the vote is evenly split. U.S. Senate: There are 100 members in the Senate, which makes up Congress together with the U.S. House of Representatives as the Legislative Branch. Each state elects 2 members (regardless of population) who are voted in for a six year term. Together with the House of Representatives, the Senate reserves the right to create and vote on legislation, levy taxes, make debt payments, regulate commerce, implement the draft, and declare war. The Senate also can confirm or veto the President’s appointment of ambassadors, cabinet members, and other appointed government officials, and can impeach legislative officials. 3

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U.S. House of Representatives: Comprised of 435 members, the House of Representatives makes up Congress, together with the Senate. The Census determines the number of representatives each state gets, and each member serves a 2-year term. Together with the Senate, the House of Representatives reserves the right to create and vote on legislation, levy taxes, make debt payments, regulate commerce, implement the draft, and declare war.

You may use the following documents in lieu of an identity card: • Electric, gas, and other utility bills • Student ID • Bank statement • Credit or debit card with photo EVEN if you do not have those documents, you may also vote using a provisional (affidavit) ballot by asking the poll workers for one. If you do NOT receive one, please contact the MinKwon Center at 718-460-5600. 11.What should I do if I am not on the voter list? Your registration form may not have received, or in the case of primaries, it is because you are not affiliated with any party. If you believe you are a qualified voter, you may use a provisional ballot (affidavit) ballot. After the elections, if the Board of Election reviews your ballot and determines that you are an eligible voter, your vote will count. However, if the Board of Elections determines that you are ineligible, a notification will be mailed out to you, along with a voter registration form. 12. Can I vote at the nearest poll site after a change of address? It is recommended that you notify the Board of Elections prior to the elections and vote at your designated poll site. Afterwards, you can use your nearest designated poll site. If you do not, it becomes very complicated to count your votes. If you were unable to notify the Board of Elections, you may use a provisional (affidavit) ballot to vote. In this case, the Board of Elections considers you as a resident at your previous address and determines your eligibility. 13.What do I do if I need assistance? If you have disabilities and need assistance reading the ballot, Federal laws allow assistance from a friend or a relative. You may also receive help from a poll worker. Depending on your district, there may be an interpreter present.

NewYork State Government
Governor:Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. New York State Senate: The New York State Senate makes up New York’s legislative branch together with the State Assembly. The State Senate is made up of 63 members serving 2-year terms. Together with the State Assembly, the State Senate introduces and passes laws, and has the right to vote on current revisions to law. The State Senate also can confirm or veto the Governor’s government and judicial appointees. New York State Assembly: The New York State Assembly makes up New York’s legislaSource: Flickr/wallyg tive branch together with the State Senate. Totaling 150 members, each Assemblymember serves a 2-year term. Together with the State Senate, the State Assembly introduces and passes laws, and has the right to vote on current revisions to laws.

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7. Can I change or cancel my party affiliation? Yes, you can change or cancel your party affiliation by sending a new voter registration forms marking a different party in Question #13. You can choose to cancel your party affiliation by marking the choice at the end stating that you do not wish to be affiliated with any party. Note that you must wait nearly a year to vote again after you have changed your party affiliation. For more information, call the MinKwon Center at 718460-5600. 8. I am disabled. Where can I go vote? Most poll sites are equipped with facilities for people with disabilities. If you find the facilities unsatisfactory, you can request to be transported to a different facility. Individuals with disabilities are also eligible to use an absentee ballot. People who are ill for a prolonged period of time may request a permanent absentee ballot and can vote at the comfort of their own homes.

2. Voter Registration

Voters who meet all qualifications must register as a voter to be able to vote. 1) Qualifications • Be a U.S. Citizen • Be of 18 years of age by December 31st of the year registering • (For New York Elections: Be of 18 years of age by the date of the September 13th primary or the November 6th election) • Those serving a sentence/on parole due to a serious crime are disqualified • Cannot claim to vote in a different address 2)Ways to Register:There are 3 ways to register • Online: Fill out a registration form at https://my.dmv.ny.gov/crm/. Create a MyDMV account and select Electronic Voter Registration Application to complete. The DMV will send the registration to the Board of Elections. • By mail: + Download the registration form from the website (http:// vote.nyc.ny.us), fill it out, and send it to the Board of Elections. • By phone: (Call toll-free 1-866-VOTE-NYC (868-3692), outside of New York City, call 212-VOTE-NYC, for those hard of hearing TDD-212487-5496 for a free voter registration form by mail. • In person: Visit each borough’s Board of Elections office and fill out the registration form. (Board of Elections Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 9:00 AM-5:00 PM) You can also visit MinKwon Center (718-460-5600 / 136-19 41st Avenue, 3FL, Flushing, NY 11355) 3) Things to Note forVoter Registration • You must sign the form and date it in black or blue ink. • If you do not receive your registration card within 4-6 weeks, call 1-866-VOTE-NYC or 212-VOTENYC (if you are outside of New York City) to confirm • You must report change of name, address, and party affiliation to the Board of Elections to maintain your voter registration status. 5

Source: Flickr/Anas Qteish

9.Who is eligible to use an absentee ballot? Absentee ballots are used by people who are ill, traveling during the elections, attending school in a distant location, or have other valid reasons. To use an absentee ballot, you must apply beforehand to the Board of Elections. 10.What should I bring to a poll site? If you registered as a voter before December 31st, 2002, you do not need to bring anything. Your signature is on the voter list, and you can confirm your identity by signing an identical signature next to it. Therefore, when you register as a voter, it is important to confirm that you have signed the form. However, if you registered as a voter after January 1st, 2003, you may need to provide either provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number, or have other documents that have your name and your address. It is also a good idea to bring your registration card the Board of Elections.

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3. Polling Site

All voters are assigned a polling site to use for voting on the election days. If you do not know your poll site, you can call 1-866-VOTENYC or 212-VOTE-NYC (outside of New York City) to find out your location. You can also confirm by e-mail by sending an e-mail to the Board of Elections at vote@boe.nyc.ny.us. If you visit the Board of Elections website (http:// vote.nyc.ny.us) and click on “Poll Site Locator” on the menu, you can find out your electoral district and the address of your designated poll site. You can also call the MinKwon Center at 718-460-5600.

Poll Site Locator on the Board of Elections website

Election-related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Do I have to re-register as a voter for each election? No, once you register there is no need to register again. However, if you change your name, or move to a different address, or change your party affiliation, you must notify the Board of Elections. 2. Do I have to re-register if I move to a new address? If you are changing your address, you must report it to the Board of Elections at least 20 days before the elections (by August 24th to vote in the September 13th primary election, or by October 17th to vote in the November 6th general election. 3. How do I find my poll site? A registration confirmation is mailed to you when you first register to vote, or update your registration information. This confirmation mailing includes your poll site location. You can also call the Board of Elections at 1-866-VOTENYC or call the MinKwon Center at 718-460-5600. 4.Will the Board of Elections tell me about the elections in advance? Voters are not always alerted to elections by the Board of Elections. Also, primary elections happen only for party members when a position is contested by two or more party candidates. You can call the Board of Elections to find out if you are eligible to vote in an upcoming primary election. 5. Do I have to be affiliated with a political party? No, you can choose or not choose to be a part of a party. However, if you are a party member, you have the right to vote in the primaries, and thus have broader rights than a voter who only participates in the general elections. But you are not obligated to vote for your party for general elections, and you can vote freely for a candidate in any party. 6. How can I affiliate myself with a party? You can mark which party you want to be affiliated on your voter registration form, Question # 13.

4. Absentee Ballots

If you are away on the elections days, or have limited physical mobility and are unable to make it to the poll site, you can vote with an absentee ballot. For an absentee ballot request application: Visit the Board of Elections office in person Call 1-866-VOTE-NYC (212-VOTE-NYC outside of New York City) Download the application from the Board of Elections website When filling out the application, you must sign and date the form and use a blue or black ink.

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