Tag: Non-English Ballot

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LA County Receives 70,000 Requests for Non-English Ballots

Language in the News

The LA County Clerk Dean Logan announced that registered voters can still request to receive their voting materials for the November 3 election in one of 18 different languages by calling 800-815-2666, option 3.

As states prepare for the November 3 presidential election, LA County has seen requests in droves for voting ballots in languages other than English. According to Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan, the office has received nearly 70,000 requests for non-English ballots, including mail-in ballots.

In 2006, federal legislation passed, extending the minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. Any county with more than 10,000 residents whose native language is not English and who indicated on their U.S. Census form a lack of proficiency in English is required to provide election materials in the identified languages.

“In a jurisdiction with an electorate as richly diverse as Los Angeles County, it is essential that voters are aware they have options to receive election materials and their Vote by Mail ballot in their preferred language,” said Logan. “It’s critical for civic participation and the response to this mailer by close to 70,000 voters is a strong response to our voter outreach and education efforts.”

LA County currently provides fully translated voting materials in Armenian, Chinese, Cambodian/Khmer, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Vietnamese, Hindi, Japanese, Thai and Russian. Additionally, facsimile ballots are available upon request in Burmese, Telugu, Gujarti, Indonesian, Mongolian and Bengali.

Despite the wide access to voting ballots in languages other than English, however, voters may miss out on important translation services. During the pandemic, some areas of LA County have faced criticism for insufficient translation services even in physical locations, so officials may need to increase awareness in communities that have less access to English materials.

“Sending a Vote by Mail ballot to every voter is a critical step for voter access in 2020, but it means that millions of California voters will lose that moment when a poll worker asks them what language they would like their ballot in,” said Jonathan Mehta Stein, executive director of California Common Cause, a non-profit, non-partisan citizens’ lobby. “Mailers like L.A. County’s help ensure language stands as a barrier to the ballot for as few voters as possible. Every county in the state should use their remaining mailings, before Vote by Mail ballots go out, to share language access information.

Registered voters can still request to receive their election materials in one of 18 different languages by calling 800-815-2666, option 3.

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