FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 11, 2010

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES FEDERAL AGENCY HEEDS HIS REQUEST TO TRANSLATE VOTER REGISTRATION FORMS INTO FIVE ASIAN LANGUAGES


In Letter To Schumer, Election Assistance Commission Announces It Will Make Voter Registration Applications Available In Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese

Materials Will Be Ready In Time For 2010 Primary Elections

Schumer: Asian-American Communities Across Country Will Now be Provided the Same Access to Democracy As Everyone Else

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, announced Thursday that the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has heeded his request to translate voter registration forms into five Asian languages. 

 

With the start of the 2010 federal primaries just underway, Asian-American communities across the United States will now be afforded the same access in registering to vote as Spanish-speaking voters already have. Schumer fought to ensure that the federal form is available to all eligible voters in a readily understandable format.

 

“The Asian-American community is an integral part of our nation’s electorate and will now be afforded the same access to our democracy as everyone else,” Schumer said. “The EAC responded quickly to our call to make these forms more accessible and usable. This step will help ensure that Asian-Americans are justly represented in our elections.”

 

As a result of the EAC decision, forms will now be translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

 

This will not be a new translation.  The Federal Election Commission routinely translated the federal voter registration form into the required Spanish and Asian languages in the mid-1990’s.  However, the Help America Vote Act in 2002 changed some content in the national voter registration form, making prior translations of the form obsolete.  The EAC released its Spanish-language translation of the form in January of 2006, and the Asian-language translation of the form was long overdue. 

These registrations submitted to election officials will contain both Asian and English directions on the form, so the voter can complete the form and the election official can easily enter the information.  “This is exactly the kind of assistance the government can provide to states and local jurisdiction—to assist the voter.  This form must be accepted and processed under the law,” Schumer said, “and those wishing to register to vote should download the form at www.eac.gov/nvra.”   The form can be completed online, printed and then mailed to the appropriate election jurisdiction for prompt registration.

 

Schumer had worked with the EAC last year to ensure that the translation would be made in time for the 2010 elections.  A copy of the letter sent by the EAC to Schumer is attached.

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