Today, Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan submitted a report to the County Board of Supervisors identifying five new languages that the Department will support as part of its election services.
According to the report, Los Angeles County voters will now have access to translated election information in Hindi, Khmer, and Thai. In addition, where a local need is determined, the Department will provide language assistance in the form of bilingual pollworkers in Bengali and Gujarati.
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This brings the total languages supported by the County to 12 (including English). This now makes Los Angeles County the most linguistically diverse jurisdiction in the nation.
The Department is providing this language support in compliance with the requirements under Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec 1973aa-1a. Section 203 requires election jurisdictions to provide assistance based on language requirements determined by the U.S. Census Bureau, which were most recently published in October 2011.
To determine the specific required languages, the RR/CC report analyzed available population and demographic data and collaborated with the Elections Division of the City of Los Angeles and prominent Community Based Organizations with specialized knowledge and understanding of the local Asian Indian and broader Asian American Pacific Islander communities.
“In a County as large and diverse as Los Angeles, our language services help foster an open and inclusive democratic process for its diverse electorates,” said Dean Logan. Since 2002, the County has provided election information in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog/Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
Currently, Los Angeles County mails translated Official Sample Ballots to approximately 176,700 registered voters who have requested language assitance. The RR/CC also recruits over 6,000 bilingual pollworkers to assist voters on Election Day.
Los Angeles County voters can request translated election materials by contacting the RR/CC at 1-800-481-8683.