Formosan Association for Public Affairs
552 7th Street. SE. Washington, DC 20003, USA
For Immediate Release
Washington D C - April 30th 2012
Contact: (202) 547-3686
Congressman Howard Berman Urges California Secretary of State to drop “Province of China” Reference
WASHINGTON (April 30th 2012) -- In a letter dated April 30, 2012, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs committee Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) called on the California Secretary of State to correct an error in its online voter registration system that forces Taiwan-born California residents to list their place of birth as “Taiwan, Province of China.”
四月三十日，美國眾議院外交委員會副主席—加州民主黨議員豪爾德˙柏曼 (Howard Berman, D-CA) 寄信呼籲加州州務卿修正該州選民線上註冊系統中的錯誤。該錯誤迫使台裔加州居民必須將其出生地填寫為「中國台灣省」。
柏曼眾議員獲知此事後於今日稍早寫信給加州州務卿黛博拉˙包雯 (Debra Bowen)，信中寫道：「加州州民的選舉登記期限將屆（五月十五日），台裔美籍的加州公民若想要登記投票，勢必要在載有錯誤資訊的官方文件上簽署方能登記投票。」
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Berman: “The Taiwanese-American community in California is proud of their heritage and birthplace. It is unfair to force members of this community to list ‘Taiwan, Province of China’ as their country of birth when they register to vote online, when their true birthplace is Taiwan. Our federal government uses the term Taiwan and the state of California should do the same.”
Valley Village, CA - U.S. Rep. Howard L. Berman wrote California Secretary of State Debra Bowen today, asking that California residents born in Taiwan registering to vote online be allowed to list their country of birth as Taiwan, rather than Taiwan, Province of China as the system currently allows.
“The Taiwanese-American community in California is proud of their heritage and birthplace,” said U.S. Rep. Howard Berman. “It is unfair to force members of this community to list ‘Taiwan, Province of China’ as their country of birth when they register to vote online, when their birthplace is Taiwan. Our federal government uses the term Taiwan and the state of California should do the same.”
A longtime champion on this issue, Rep. Berman passed legislation allowing Taiwanese-Americans to have “Taiwan” recorded as their birthplace on their American passports. Berman authored H.R. 5034 along with then Rep. Olympia Snow (R-ME) in September 1994 providing the U.S. Secretary of State the authority to write Taiwan as the place of birth in a passport when requested by the applicant who was born there. The bill passed and was signed into law. Until then, “China” had been listed as the birthplace for Taiwanese Americans.
In the letter to Secretary of State Bowen, Berman writes: “It has been long-standing U.S. policy that the U.S. government refers to Taiwan as ‘Taiwan.’ Federal and quasi-federal agencies such as Amtrak, the U.S. Postal Service, and the U.S. State Department, all refer to Taiwan simply as “Taiwan.” I would respectfully request that your office, as a government agency, adopt the same terminology in reference to Taiwan.”
The Berman letter appears here.
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Translated Text of April 30, 2012 Letter from Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) to California Secretary of State Debra L. Bowen:
此信是為表達我對一件選民註冊的問題以及對於「台灣」一詞使用方法的關切。近日得知加州州民於線上登記投票時，無法將其出生地輸入為「台灣」（Taiwan），因為註冊系統並未提供「台灣」這個選項，而是將台灣列為「中國台灣省」（Taiwan, Province of China）。