In 2018, Andrew Goodman Puffin Democracy Fellow Usjid Hameed worked with All Voting is Local, CAIR-Ohio, and the local Board of Elections to provide on-site, Election Day language assistance to voters who are not proficient in English. Thanks to Usjid’s efforts, 44 multilingual poll workers provided language assistance in Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and Somali at 42 polling locations in Franklin County, Ohio. Expanding the Ballot: Providing Language Assistance to Non-English Proficient Voters Through Multilingual Poll Workers is a how-to guide that explains how voting rights advocates can replicate Usjid’s approach with a six-step process in counties across the United States.
This guide was produced by Andrew Goodman Puffin Democracy Fellow Usjid Hameed in partnership with All Voting is Local, CAIR-Ohio, and The Andrew Goodman Foundation.
U.S. citizens of voting age in a single language group needed for a jurisdiction to be covered under Section 203 of the VRA
multilingual poll workers recruited using this approach to assist voters in Franklin County, OH in 2018
locations in Franklin County, OH that provided language assistance to voters who are not proficient in English in 2018
My grandmother spent the majority of her life in Pakistan. She knows first hand what it’s like for a government not to respond to their citizens’ needs. It was important for her to vote in 2016 but she wouldn’t have been able to had my father not been there to interpret for her.
There are millions of U.S. citizens like my grandmother who come from all over the world and need assistance with exercising their right to vote.
2018-2019 Andrew Goodman Puffin Democracy Fellow
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