WASHINGTON - U.S. citizens who speak Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese now have available to them a new version of the National Mail Voter Registration Form, which the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has translated into these five Asian languages.
By translating the form EAC helps election officials make voter registration more accessible to U.S. citizens who speak these Asian languages and have limited or no English language proficiency.
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 1.6 million citizens over age 18 speak an Asian or Pacific Island language at home and English less than "very well."
The translated forms and other materials to assist voters with limited English proficiency are available from EAC's Language Accessibility Program at eac.gov.
The Language Accessibility Program facilitated the translations, and has also published A Voter's Guide to Federal Elections and the Glossary of Key Election Terminology in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese. The purpose of the Language Accessibility Program is to assist jurisdictions with limited resources in providing eligible voters increased access to the electoral process.
EAC has translated major portions of the eac.gov Web site into these six languages, and in 2006 provided a Spanish translation of the National Mail Voter Registration Form.
EAC commissioners voted at a November 2009 public meeting to expand the commission's Language Accessibility Program by translating the National Mail Voter Registration Form into five Asian languages.
Each translated form consists of a bilingual translation of the voter registration application and a monolingual translation of the general and state-specific instructions.
Any U.S. citizen residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia may use the National Mail Voter Registration form, with the exception of North Dakota, Wyoming and the four U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam). New Hampshire accepts the form only as a request for their own absentee voter mail-in registration form.
Visit eac.gov for more information on EAC's Language Accessibility Program.
EAC is an independent commission created by the Help America Vote Act. EAC serves as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration. It is charged with administering payments to states and developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and accrediting voting system test laboratories and certifying voting equipment. It is also charged with developing and maintaining a national mail voter registration form. The three EAC commissioners are Donetta Davidson, chair; Gineen Bresso Beach; and Gracia Hillman. There is one vacancy on the commission.