Written by Jane T. Eng, Esq.
Now is the time to exercise your civic rights and prepare to take part in the General Election.
On General Election Day, New Yorkers will decide who will be Members of Congress, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, Senators and Assembly Members in the state.
Why take the time to vote? Voting is a way to take more control over your life which can promote good mental health, and in turn, good physical health. Some research has shown that voting and being politically active is linked to greater well-being and life satisfaction.
As a federally qualified health center, we strongly encourage our patients and community members to learn about and participate in this important day. Here are a few more reasons it is important to register and go out there and vote.
- It is your right. And it was not always your right. There was once was a time Asians could not become citizens or vote. Honor those before us that fought for our right to take part in elections.
- This is your community. Our elected officials vote to make decisions every day on important issues that affect our families, our neighborhoods, and our community. These decisions affect crime and safety, affordable housing, our parks and schools and our streets and subway systems. For the Asian American community, we want to make sure that our elected officials advocate on important health issues that affect us, like hepatitis B, health insurance coverage, and access to culturally and linguistically sensitive healthcare.
- Be heard. Your vote is your way of telling lawmakers how you feel about important issues to you—whether that is health, education, housing, safety and much more. If you care about any issue that affects you, your family or your community, it is your responsibility to vote.
- Because others are voting. You may not agree with what others have to say about these issues! Don’t let other voters make decisions about your community for you. Your vote can cancel out votes you do not agree with. Even more, your vote will support the other votes of those who care about the same things you do.
- Every vote counts. You may not think your vote counts, but it really does. We have seen in past elections that sometimes it does come down to who a small number of people have voted for.
We hope that you use your voice on Election Day. Please keep in mind that you need to submit your voter registration form by October 10th if you would like to vote during the General Election in New York State.
Find your poll by visiting this poll locator. Enter the address you provided on the Voter Registration Form. The designated polling site will be provided along with the candidates you are eligible to vote for.
If you are not registered to vote yet, there are a few ways you can do so. You can register online through the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles website. You can also register in person with an agency-based voter registrations center, or mail in your application to your board of elections. AAPCHO (Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organization) also has an online registration tool available to help voters register to vote in up to 13 different languages (Bengali, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, English, Hindi, Ilocano, Tagalog, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese).
To learn more about your voter’s bill of rights, visit the Board of Election in the City of New York website.
If you have any questions on registering to vote, call us! For help to register to vote, call (212) 379-6996, ext. 2533.
Written by Jane T. Eng, Esq. Jane Eng is the chief executive officer of the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Jane has been involved with the Health Center since 1975. She is a board member of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS).