Recently, the federal government indicated that Sacramento County must print ballots and other voting materials in Chinese in time for the next election. Only 15 other counties throughout America are required to print ballots in Chinese. New census data has shown that there are about 39,000 Chinese (all ages) living in Sacramento County, and of those, about 15,500 speak English “less than very well.” The U.S. Voting Rights Act requires ballots to be translated into a foreign language when more than 10,000 voting age residents or 5% of a jurisdiction don’t speak English fluently. Currently, Spanish is the only other language voting materials are translated into in Sacramento County.
This election year, Chinese voters will be able to read ballot information in their first language, an important step in getting more Chinese Americans to visit the polls. While many Chinese-speaking voters do read and speak English (albeit “less than very well”), they prefer to read and respond to voting information in their own language. Sacramento County’s move to translate ballots into Chinese will give Chinese Americans a larger local political presence and voice –– something they may not have felt they possessed in previous election years.
Avantpage’s team of highly skilled translators is ready to step in and deliver high-quality, accurate, affordable translation to meet ballot requirements in Sacramento County and elsewhere. We can translate voting information into Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Russian, Vietnamese, Hmong and many other languages. Read more about how our election translation services can help your county.
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