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Angeles County | Community News File / Los Angeles

Supervisors Move to Publish Voter Booklets in Korean

September 16, 1998

In the county with the nation's largest Korean American population, a unanimous Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to spend $160,000 to publish voter information booklets in Korean, beginning with the November election.

"It's an excellent decision," said Stewart Kwoh, president of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, which has long pushed the proposal, along with a coalition of community organizations.

He said $160,000 is a "modest cost" to increase democratic participation from a significant group in Los Angeles County.

"Korean Americans can now exercise true citizenship," said Charles J. Kim, executive director of the Korean American Coalition, which has been in the forefront of registering Korean American voters. Kim said more than 50,000 Korean Americans are registered to vote in the county.

Election materials currently are printed in Japanese, Chinese, Tagalog and Vietnamese, in addition to English and Spanish.

The 1992 amendments to the federal Voting Rights Act require counties to supply voting materials for Latino, Asian American, American Indian and Alaskan minority groups that number 10,000 or more, speak little or no English and have a literacy rate below the national average.

Koreans had been left out because their literacy rate is above the national average.

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