Number of Korean voters falls

The number of Korean Americans registered to vote in New York City has declined by nearly 10 percent over the past year.

According to a report released on Nov. 4 by MinKwon Center for Community Action, a non-profit organization, as of the end of October, the total number of Korean voters in the five boroughs was 29,142, down 8.6 percent from the previous year, when there were 31,899 voters.

The report, based on city Board of Elections data, also found the percentage of voters who are Korean has also declined, to .73 percent from percent a year ago.

The shrinking number of Korean voters occurred across all five boroughs. Queens experienced a decline of 6.75 percent, or 1,329. Manhattan recorded the biggest loss of 15 percent, or 1,006. The Bronx and Brooklyn went down by 8.4 percent (82) and 8 percent (225) respectively. Staten Island has 1,696 voters, a decline of 6.4 percent(116) down from past year.

“The main reason for the decline is that no interesting elections were scheduled,” said Steven Choi, executive director of MinKwon Center. In 2009, the general election involved a couple of Korean candidates, including Kevin Kim who ran for city council. In 2008, there was the presidential election.

“Another cause is that many Korean voters lost their voting rights because they didn’t cast a vote for four years after registering,” Mun added.

According to the report, among the New York state electoral districts, District 22 in Queens, represented by State Assemblywoman Grace Meng, has the highest percentage of Korean voters at 9.1 percent, or 4,141 voters. It’s followed by District 26, represented by State Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (6.1 percent), District 24 (3.8 pecent), District 25 (3.2 percent ), and District 35 (1.8 percent).

In the State Senate, Tony Avella’s 11th District has the largest number of Korean voters, 7,199, 4.6 percent of the total, followed by Toby Stavisky’s 16th District with 6,677, 4.5 percent.

By party preference, 58 percent of Korean voters are Democrats (16,892 of the total), followed by Independents with 24.4 percent (7,123), Republican with 14.5 percent (4,218) and others with 2.6 percent (906).

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