Author Topic: Voting Languages  (Read 2145 times)

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Thipu1

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Voting Languages
« on: August 09, 2012, 10:31:15 AM »
I know that, in Canada, election materials are printed in English and French because both are official languages.

Here, in NYC, although Spanish is not an official language, Spanish and English are used because Puerto Ricans are native-born American citizens.  However, lately we've noticed that election materials are also printed in Chinese, Korean and Hindi. 

I'm curious. What languages appear on ballots and voter information mailings where you live? 


mechtilde

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Re: Voting Languages
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2012, 11:25:47 AM »
Just English here, but I assume that in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland they will be printed in other languages.
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Nibsey

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Re: Voting Languages
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2012, 12:14:29 PM »
Yep English and Irish here but then even our road signs have both.  :o
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Ereine

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Re: Voting Languages
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 02:43:21 PM »
In Finland it's Finnish and Swedish, as they're the official languages. I'm not sure if it's done in Sami in the areas where it's spoken, it's an officially recognised language but not as official as the other two. I assume that everyone gets the same materials, every citizen of voting age gets mailed a letter that contains all the information needed, like where your voting station is and so on. There's also a website that appears to be in English too so maybe there are some brochures too.

katycoo

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Re: Voting Languages
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 05:23:26 PM »
English only, but there is usually a page in about the 6 most common migrant languages (which I suspect include Chinese and Korean, one also appears to be Arabic) which tell people where they can get the forms in their language online.

Arianoor

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Re: Voting Languages
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2012, 01:50:43 PM »
Here, in NYC, although Spanish is not an official language, Spanish and English are used because Puerto Ricans are native-born American citizens.  However, lately we've noticed that election materials are also printed in Chinese, Korean and Hindi. 

English isn't the official language of the US, either.   ;)

In Oregon, where I am, you can request government documentation or a translator in any language.  And in areas where there are known populations that speak a particular language the government offices will keep those "in stock".  In my town all of the forms come in English, Spanish, and Russian, in the town north of here they have English, Spanish, Khmer (Cambodian), and Mandarin.

WillyNilly

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Re: Voting Languages
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 02:45:04 PM »
I know that, in Canada, election materials are printed in English and French because both are official languages.

Here, in NYC, although Spanish is not an official language, Spanish and English are used because Puerto Ricans are native-born American citizens.  However, lately we've noticed that election materials are also printed in Chinese, Korean and Hindi. 

I'm curious. What languages appear on ballots and voter information mailings where you live?

I think we have a might bit more then those here in NYC!  I get a whole booklet each election season and its at least 8-12 pages long with only one page in English.  I think there's also, in addition to what you listed, French, Japanese, Russian, Arabic and probably a few more.

StarFaerie

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Re: Voting Languages
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2012, 12:09:32 AM »
Australia here.

The ballot papers are only in English but they have instructions available for 21 other languages, plus you can get an interpreter if needed (have to book though) and can bring a helper with you.

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Voting Languages
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2012, 11:54:50 AM »
Under US federal law, "registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, or other materials or information relating to the electoral process, including ballots" must be "in the language(s) of the applicable minority group(s), as well as in English."

If census data show one of the items below, then the voting materials must be in that language.

• more than 5 percent of the citizens of voting age of the State or political subdivision are members of a single language minority and are limited-English proficient;
• more than 10,000 of the citizens of voting age of the political subdivision are members of a single language minority and are limited-English proficient; or
• in the case of a political subdivision that contains all or any part of an Indian
reservation, more than 5 percent of the American Indian or Alaska Native citizens of voting age within the Indian reservation are members of a single language minority and are limited-English proficient.

You don't necessarily have to provide alternate languages everywhere in a particular state. It is also by "political subdivision," which is usually a county.  So County A may print ballots in English & Spanish, while County B prints them in English and Mandarin. However, if an entire state is deemed to be covered, then all ballots in that state must be in the alternate language. In California, for instance, all counties must provide Spanish language ballots; some counties must add other languages.

States may have additional requirements.

Nutrax
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