For Immediate Release:
Contact For More Information:
Andrea M. Gaines
Department of Elections’ Website Increases Language Accessibility for Voters
RICHMOND, VA – Ahead of the upcoming presidential elections, the Virginia Department of Elections (ELECT) is offering new website resources that assist with language accessibility for voters, including voter information in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean.The U.S. Census Bureau has estimated that there are nearly 26 million people in the U.S. who have limited proficiency in English.
Election administrators in the Commonwealth are constantly working to help those who need assistance to vote. However, in 2016, specialized assistance for citizens identified as language minorities was mandated by provisions made in the Voting Rights Act. This legislation established criteria designed to identify the areas where language assistance for voters would be required.
In collaboration with several localities in Northern Virginia, ELECT identified the communities within the Commonwealth that met the criteria established in section 203 of the Voting Rights Act. These criteria include localities with 10,000 voting age citizens who are members of a single language minority group or a single language minority group that make up 5% percent of the total voting age citizens in a single political subdivision.
“We want to do all we can to help voters successfully cast their ballots on Election Day”, said Christopher Piper, Department of Elections Commissioner. “We are proud of our efforts to ensure Virginians are able to successfully navigate the voting process without challenges; our new website resources are designed to assist those who may face language barriers in the elections process.”