DuPage to have bilingual ballots
Updated: November 5, 2012 6:44AM
For the first time, DuPage County will have bilingual ballots for the general election in November.
What that means for voters is that ballots will be printed in both English and Spanish. In addition, supplementary election materials will be printed in both languages and Spanish-speaking election judges will be on duty in certain precincts within the county.
The DuPage County Board of Election Commissioners has been working on the program since 2011.
“We have worked hard to make sure that all Spanish speaking residents in DuPage County will have access to ballots and other materials that meet or exceed Department of Justice standards,” said Robert Saar, executive director of the Election Commission.
Saar said the latest data shows just under 1 million residents living in DuPage County and 121,500 Hispanics, roughly 13 percent of the population. He said that the county has been working to reach out to the growing Hispanic community in DuPage.154
“We feel good about our efforts and we’ve made changes to our website, our phone answering service, our absentee application and more,” Saar said. “This is a part of the Voting Rights Act and whatever we’ve been mandated to do we have done and adapted quickly to it. There have been major outreach efforts and at the end of day it’s all been very transparent. We’re off and running.”
Saar said as part of the interview process for election judges, language skills were evaluated. There are plans to have 120 bilingual judges in place on election day to help Spanish speakers with the voting process.
“We want to oversaturate the polling places so that there will be enough support,” he said. ~.