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Election Day a Chance for Cambodian Voices To Be Heard, US Election Officials Say


People vote early at the Salt Lake County Government Building in Salt Lake City, October 30, 2012.

People vote early at the Salt Lake County Government Building in Salt Lake City, October 30, 2012.

In 2008, only about 4,000 Cambodian-Americans came out to vote.

WASHINGTON DC - With Election Day approaching, Cambodian-Americans will have a chance to have their voices heard in the US, an election official says.

In a Skype interview with VOA Khmer, Neth Monorom, who works in the Los Angeles county office of voter registration, said Cambodians in the US have “many voices,” whether they are Democrats or Republicans. But there are many local issues they can determine as well, he said.

“If we don’t vote, they will just raise the water and power bill, and every month, we keep paying and the price keeps rising,” he said, by way of example.

Neth Monorom has been working with the county of Los Angeles, which is home to some 100,000 Khmer speakers, in order to get them to vote. Only about 4,000 Cambodian-Americans came out to vote in 2008. That’s because, in part, they don’t trust the government, Neth Monorom said.


“That’s why they don’t make an effort to vote at all, so I’ve been going to Cambodian communities to help bring Cambodians to register,” he said.

This year, there are enough Khmer speakers in Los Angeles county to warrant Khmer language voting materials and translators at some polling places. Voting by mail is also possible before the Nov. 6 election, Neth Monorom said.

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