There are many different documents involved in holding an election. From your signage to your voter information guide, you disseminate a lot of information to the constituents in your district. While regulatory compliance requires translation of some of these documents into key threshold languages, there are some election materials that don’t frequently get translated. 

Lesser-translated election materials

The materials that aren’t generally translated for elections include:

  • Signage
  • Web content
  • Public notices of language assistance
  • Public notices of election activity
  • Voter registration forms

There may also be parts of your candidate statements and ballot measures in the Voter Information Guide that don’t always get translated. As a county, it can be challenging to get these translations from your municipalities and candidates, even though they can be immensely helpful to your Limited English Proficient (LEP) constituents. 

Benefits of translating these election materials

These election materials may not be translated for a variety of reasons. Time, budget, and personnel constraints can all play a role in the effective translation of your documents. While it may seem unnecessary to expand your translations beyond regulatory demands, there are many different benefits to translating these election materials. 

A more informed electorate. Providing your LEP voters with all of the knowledge they need to vote in a way that aligns with their values and ideas supports an increased sense of community. Beyond that, an informed electorate supports more active participation in the democratic process. 

Increase LEP voter turnout. If your LEP constituents understand your election materials, they’re more likely to go to the polls on election day to cast their votes, allowing all of the United State’s diverse population to actively partake in elections.

Accessibility of the democratic process. As an eligible American citizen – LEP, immigrant, or otherwise – you have the right to vote in elections. Making the process accessible is the hallmark of democracy; every vote matters, and no eligible voter is left out or faces discrimination. 

It’s the right thing to do. All eligible voters in a democratic society should have the opportunity to make their voice heard and feel like their vote is informed. Translating your election materials creates a more inclusive society.

Election materials in non-threshold languages

If you have the time and budget to spare, translating your election materials into emerging threshold languages can also benefit your LEP constituents. While your district is only regulated to translate into specific languages, staying on top of the languages used by growing language communities in your area, and translating your documents for them, has many benefits. 

For your organization directly, in the event that one of these languages rapidly becomes a threshold language, you’ll already be prepared to meet the new regulatory requirement. You won’t be stressed at the last minute trying to get your documents translated into the new language, and you’ll be far less likely to incur rush fees for the projects.

For those in your community, these translations have all of the same benefits as translating the documents mentioned above. You’ll be actively creating a sense of community, making the democratic process more accessible, increasing LEP voter turnout, and more. 

If you want to translate the mentioned election materials or any other election materials, we can take care of the project from start to finish. Call us at 530-750-2040, or request a free quote today to get started on your next election translation project.

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