Lake County election materials include Spanish translations
Updated: March 24, 2012 8:05AM
You may have noted that election information in Lake County is now printed in English with a Spanish translation.
In late 2011, the United States Department of Justice sent a certification letter requiring Lake County to provide complete bilingual election administration in the Spanish language for 2012. This requirement is a result of the application 2010 US Census data to the requirements test under 203 of the Voting Rights Act, 42 USC 1973aa-1a.
The Census Bureau conducts two levels of Census: the door-to-door Census conducted every 10 years and something called the American Community Survey. The survey is conducted every month during the “other” nine years on a rolling basis. Each month, one in six addresses for each county across the entire country is surveyed. This rolling survey replaced the old “long form” Census and asks about education, language, race and ability to speak English among other topics. Survey results are complied to determine jurisdictional requirements for bilingual election administration.
The first trigger to qualify a jurisdiction under 203 is the response to race and then the language proficiency response on the American Community Survey. The determination rule used is when 5 percent or more of the voting age population respond to the Census as limited English proficient voting age citizens, the bilingual threshold is met.
The protected language groups are narrow according to interpretation of the 2006 Reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. Covered groups include Asian (Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Tagalog, etc), Native American and Native Alaskan dialects (not of European origin, e.g., French) and Latino races. The Census Bureau does not consider Arabic an Asian language. Also Russian, Polish and Hebrew languages, for example, are not deemed covered languages.
The Lake County Clerk’s office is working diligently to comply with the bilingual requirements and to ensure Lake County taxpayers and voters are not at risk for any facet of non-compliance. All election administration materials will be provided in English with Spanish translations as required by the federal law under the Voting Rights Act.
Please know you are always welcome in the Lake County Clerk’s office and visit us at our virtual office at LakeCountyClerk.info for informational resources day or night.
Lake County Clerk