How Language Can Help Boost Election Campaign Success
Colleen Dempsey, Business Development Specialist
In a time when every vote counts for so much, are you doing enough to be inclusive to those who don’t call English their first language? With more than 20% of U.S. residents speaking a language other than English at home, it’s important to make election campaign information understandable and accessible in multiple languages. And it’s not enough to do word-for-word translation, working with a language service provider with expert native speakers on staff is key to translating ideas and oftentimes overly complex voting registration and voting guidelines to follow at polling stations.
At a minimum, consider detailed translations for the following: Make campaign finance forms and information available in multiple languages so government entities can accurately track support Provide bilingual signage at voting precincts in voting districts, including wayfinding signage so voters know where to go Take the time to translate website pages for candidates campaigning in areas where they will represent constituents who are not native English speakers And having over the phone interpretation (OPI) available at campaign offices for people who don’t speak English who may call for more background about a candidate and the platform they’re running on is essential so that they get the information they need to make informed voting decisions. All citizens (English and non-English speakers) deserve to have information that is accessible and understandable when it comes to electing representatives for their communities and the best way to ensure this is by translating campaign information into multiple languages. We encourage everyone to get out there and vote on November 6. Your voice, in whatever language you speak, needs to be heard and voting is the best way to send a clear message that you can be assured won’t be lost in translation.