Thanks to Bitch Media for pointing out VoterVox a tool to connect non-English speakers with non-partisan volunteer translators who can help them understand and fill out their ballot. Due to the Voting Rights Act, authorities are required to provide ballots in a language the voter can understand BUT local governments are not required to do so if the linguistic minority does not meet a certain threshold of the jurisdiction's population. In addition, many non-native English speaking voters are not aware of their right to have a translator present, or can be bullied out of it. The VoterVox system, though far from perfect, the program is a step in the right direction and crucial. Consider the following:
“Basically in almost every poll in every jurisdiction, Asian Americans have a lower voter turnout rate than any other racial group,” says Cayden Mak, the Chief Technology Officer of 18 Million Rising, a group that promotes civic engagement among the 18 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. According to 18 Million Rising, only 55 percent of Asian Americans are registered to vote—and a big hurdle to increasing that number is language. According to the census, the largest Asian and Pacific Island language groups in the United States are Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Hindi. But a full 1.2 million Asian Americans didn’t even see their native language listed on the census. About one-third of all Asian Americans are limited-English proficient, meaning that they have some difficulty communicating in English. Getting ballots translated from English into their native languages has proven difficult at best.
I know been posting a lot of short-share posts lately and that is because I am in a desperate frenzy to share information with you during this busy time of year. If you have a technology, story, or something else important that you think needs sharing please feel free to send it to Campaignsick@gmail.com.