Language Assistance for Voting & Political Campaigns

voting translations
September 22, 2022

America’s midterm elections are right around the corner, and millions of citizens will be heading to the voting booths. Political campaigns are being presented around cities across the United States, and politicians are informing constituents of their future goals. The United States is one of the world’s most racially and ethnically diverse countries. With all the different cultures and languages in the U.S., politicians are finding ways to reach all potential voters in their respective preferred languages.

In the US, federal law requires language assistance for voting and political campaigns, known as the Voting Rights Act, for over 300 demographics. This ensures that the law will be pursued even if a voter doesn’t ask for a translation service because they don’t speak English.

The law supports non-English speaking Americans with the opportunity to engage in the political system and learn about their voting rights. Politicians and political groups prepare their messages in multiple languages to inform non-English speaking citizens of their political stances and goals. A translation service can be a critical component of their campaign strategies.

What Are Translation Services?

Translation services include the processes of changing written information from one language to another. Written information, whether on paper or in digital form, is subject to translation services when required.

Depending upon the county or state the politicians and public interest groups are doing business in, the law mandates translations in multiple languages during political campaigns. This may come in the form of subtitles for commercials, translated scripts, or translated flyers and handouts.

Translation Services for Political Campaigns

voting rights

Voting rights are an essential component of every campaign.

If we look at Orange County as an example, they provide translated and bilingual materials in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

Although some voters may not request document translation, it is a federal law that mandates certain areas, like OC, to prepare themselves for such an occasion.

The Voting Rights Act prevents these required counties and states from denying misinterpretation or shortening of literacy materials and has a long, important history. It is why counties like Orange County must provide accurate and exact translations of materials up front.

Demographics play an important role for the Voting Rights Act and it is vital to know how a political campaign needs to provide materials in several different languages.

The demographic must meet one of two criteria:

  •  10,000 people within that population speak a language other than English
  • More than five percent of that population speak a language other than English

Translated Campaign Posters & Flyers for Elections

Document translation serves not only the federal or state levels, but also grassroots organizations like the League of Women Voters, who aim to reach as many voters as possible through advocacy, education, and litigation. The League of Women Voters emphasizes the importance of increasing accessibility to the electoral process for multilingual communities.

Not only are they empowering voters through translated flyers, but they also promote other essential voting information centers such as websites available in other languages. The process of translating flyers, websites, handouts, and ballots is an important and necessary part of each campaign that must be perfectly curated.
Politicians and public interest groups must also reach their intended audience regardless of the preferred language. For this reason, translating websites into multiple languages and getting their message across while incorporating appropriate cultural nuances can be achieved with an expert translator.

Interpreting Services for Political Candidates

What is the difference between translation services and interpreting services?

Translation services deal with written documents, whether physical or digital. However, interpreting services are used for spoken word. It may be something political candidates and public interest groups need to consider when planning political rallies or other campaign events.

An interpreter must be perceptive, sharp, and on-point, to decipher and convey emotion, cultural nuances, verbiage, tone, and even humor in a live setting without hiccups or errors, especially in professional settings.

For political candidates or groups like The League of Women Voters, live interpreting happens during rallies, door-to-door campaigning, speeches, and anywhere multilingual communication is needed.

Interpreting helps citizens who require knowledge in their native language to obtain voting information, register to vote, and learn how to help their community prosper.

The Importance and Role of Language Services

The role of language services during political campaigns is important, not just for the candidate but for organizations helping to get their messages across.
During periods of political turmoil, it is imperative to refer to the Voting Rights Act. As we recently learned in the heated political climate of 2020, where voting booths shifted to voting by mail seemingly overnight without the proper translation or interpreting options required by law.

Not only is it required to provide language services, but it helps the democratic process. In other words, everyone must have access to all required documents, ballots, ballot boxes, and voting machines, in the languages requested.

Communicate with Your Community in the Right Language

Are you a political candidate or public interest group that is interested in language translation services? INGCO International can help you effectively communicate your message and engage with your entire community. INGCO helps to ensure that all information is translated efficiently and accurately. Also, if an interpreter is necessary, INGCO provides them for all speeches and other events to help inform voters of your political platform.

The importance of communication is essential and even more so in a crucial time such as voting day. Make every effort to engage with the entire community by providing a connection in the right language. INGCO International promises a successful strategy to reach every citizen in their own language.

Contact INGCO International and see how their language obsessed, hard-working Wordologists℠ can help transform your campaign.