BY BERDJ KARAPETIAN
In February 2013, Mr. Armond Aghakhanian came 105 votes short of getting into the run-off elections for Burbank City School District.
In March 2013, Mr. Sam Kbushyan came in 3rd place and did not advance to the run-off elections to represent parts of “Little Armenia” and surrounding areas of the 13th District of Los Angeles City.
Both candidates worked diligently to secure the votes of Armenian and non-Armenian voters. The Armenian votes alone could have made a difference in both elections. While the percentage of Armenian voters casting a vote was well above that of others, less than 40% of the Armenian registered voters cast a vote. It is very likely that both gentlemen could have advanced to the run-off elections if more than 50% of the Armenian voters had voted.
What will happen in Glendale? Will more than 50% of the registered Armenian-American voters cast a vote?
If they do, the City of Glendale and its Armenian residents will win.
The data provided by the City’s Election Center shows that approximately 50% of the vote by mail (VBM) ballots received by March 22 were cast by citizens with Armenian names.
This is encouraging, but not sufficient to conclude that 50% of the votes will be cast by citizens of Armenian descent. In the past few elections, we have seen the number of Armenians who vote on election day to be very low. Less than 40% of the people who voted at the polling location in the 2009 and 2011 city elections had Armenian names.
We can shape the future by voting on April 2 and getting our relatives and friends to vote. This Easter Day will provide all of us an excellent opportunity to remind our family and friends to vote on April 2.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Glendale (ANCA-Glendale) has partnered with Asbarez Daily, Shant/ARTN TV, Horizon Armenian TV, High Vision TV, AABC TV, AMGA, USArmenia TV and other Armenian newspapers and television content providers to increase awareness about the elections and encourage voters to cast a vote on election day. Starting noon on April 2, Armenian TV channels will provide live up-dates and information on where to vote and how to get rides to the voting locations.
The ANCA-Glendale has urged Armenian employers to provide time-off to employees to cast a vote on election day.
The ANCA-Glendale has recruited local transportation providers and dozens of volunteers to provide rides to individuals who will need assistance with going to the voting locations.
The ANCA-Glendale has encouraged Armenian businesses and establishments to display the ANCA-Glendale poster publicizing its recommended list of candidates.
Glendale’s City Clerk will have workers at each voting location who speak Armenian to assist people who are not fluent in English.
More than 100 volunteers will canvass neighborhoods throughout Glendale on election day to remind and encourage people to vote. You can volunteer and help others vote. Send us an e-mail at [email protected] or call us at 818/234-3444 to volunteer.
Will Mr. Ardashes “Ardy” Kassakhian get re-elected as City Clerk? Will Mr. Rafi Manoukian become the City’s Treasurer? Will Ara Najarian, Zareh Sinanyan, and Chahe Keuroghelian be elected to the City Council? Will Jennifer Freemon, Greg Krikorian, and Dr. Armina Gharpetian be elected to the GUSD School Board? Will measures A, B, and C be defeated?
Your actions will determine the answer to these questions.
Berdj Karapetian is the chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America-Glendale.