by Hailey Wu
Around election season, I spend most of my time doing voter education, hosting ballot parties, and organizing candidate forums. Most of our clients at Asian Counseling and Referral Service are elderly immigrants and refugees, so the rooms are always full of people speaking Cantonese, Mandarin, Lao, and more. Everyone is excited to hear the explanation of the initiatives, talk about the candidates, and get their ballots cast.
However, our participants have always struggled to understand the “advisory votes,” those questions that ask if we want to maintain or repeal various tax laws. I would always tell our clients to skip them. Although it was unclear to most voters, advisory votes actually never had any power to change our laws. We needed to save our workshop time to discuss the votes that actually made a change in our community.Continue reading OPINION | The End of Advisory Votes Is a Victory for Immigrant and New Voters